Bearsted 2 Erith & Belvedere 2

Posted by Mickey Cooper on 10 October 2021

2 October 2021


Bearsted                    2          Melvin 4, Ababio 6

Erith and Belvedere  2          D Allassani 27, McGeehan 46




Erith and Belvedere came back from an early one-two of sucker punches to earn a point in teeming rain from start to finish.


On their previous two visits to Honey Lane the Deres had suffered disastrous defeats.  In 2017 they were 0-0 at half time with Bearsted down to ten men, only to collapse to a 7-1 defeat with two hat-tricks which virtually ensured relegation.  In 2019 they were in a mid-season nine-game losing streak and suffered an 8-1 hiding. 


It was to be expected that this one would be closer, but it seemed ominous when Bearsted went into a 2-0 lead within six minutes.  Daniel Melvin fired home from outside the box in the fourth minute, and just two minutes later Jordan Ababio, who was dangerous on the right wing all afternoon, doubled the lead, as the Deres looked shellshocked.


The Deres were giving a debut to the strapping Joseph Gbode, a 16-year-old loanee from Gillingham, having lost leading scorer Benga Ogunseye.  They took a while to settle down but began to dominate possession and make chances.  Good work from Henry Dasofunjo on 18 minutes allowed Ollie Bate to turn and shoot just wide.  Ababio wasn’t finished, another twisting run on 21 minutes leading to a shot wide, but on 26 minutes Drew Allassani fired home after more good work from Dasofunjo to pull back a vital goal.


Reece Barrett came close to equalising straight after this, and just past the half-hour Luke Rooney’s corner came straight back out to him and he fired over the top.  Just before half-time Ababio broke clear and got in a shot which was deflected by the outstretched leg of Rilwan Anibaba onto the upright and away to safety.


It only took the Deres 55 seconds into the second half to equalise when Calum McGeehan rose highest for a simple header.  Shortly afterwards Gbode went down asking for a penalty to no avail, and just after this Drew Allassani had a promising header saved.  Andy Irvine also went close with a header as Bearsted rang the changes, while at the other end Rooney’s 66th-minute long-range shot took a deflection onto the crossbar.


In the 68th minute Deres brought on their other debutant, 42-year-old former Millwall star Gary Alexander, and he and Gbode surely set a club record for the biggest age range between players in the same team.  Four minutes later, however, Abadio was the provider again as Sam Stace’s header brought a point-blank save from Anibaba, and Barrett cleared a followup effort.


The last chance to clinch all three points came Deres’ way in the first minute of stoppage time, but Ollie Bate leant back slightly and his close-range shot hit the bar.  Still, a point each was fair reward for those providing rich entertainment in the rain.

BEARS: Illia Saukh, Jason Dawson, Callum Croucher, Vincent Follea (Jon Rogers 64), Lekan Majoyegbe, Adesina Luqman, Jordan Ababio, Daniel Melvin, Andy Irvine (Giorgio Russo 80), David Baranowski (Harrison Hatfull 60), Sam Stace.

DERES: Rilwan Anibaba; Vinnie Medhurst (Keanan Allassani 86), Marlon Patterson, Luke Rooney, Calum McGeehan, Reece Barrett, Henry Dasofunjo, Louis Sprosen, Joseph Gbode (Tommy Brown 75), Drew Allassani (Gary Alexander 68), Ollie Bate.

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