DERES' TOP 100 GAMES - No 34

Posted by Mickey Cooper on 27 February 2021

Erith & Belvedere   1          Glover 54

Margate                     0                     

Southern League Southern Division, 27 October 1992

 

Continuing the series counting down the 100 most memorable games in our history.  Today, that night we went top of the league.

 

The history of the successive leagues we’ve been in reads: Kent League 1922-39, South East Combination 1939-45, Corinthian League 1945-63, Athenian League 1963-78, Kent League 1978-82, Southern League 1982-2005, Kent League 2005-13, Isthmian League 2013-14, Southern Counties East 2014 to date.  In the postwar era the various amateur leagues were roughly equivalent, although the Corinthian and Athenian were deemed less prestigious than the Isthmian.  Only in fairly recent years, and since the abolition of amateurism, has the pyramid been established to show exactly what level a club is playing at.  Our time in the Southern League Southern Division thus saw us at the highest “official” level we’ve ever been, and by that logic 1992-93 was our highest ever league finish.

 

It was the first season under the chairmanship of John McFadden, and manager Harry Richardson had strengthened the squad with the additions of Paul Battram, Mark Dennehy and Henry Hughton (formerly of Palace and the younger brother of Spurs’ Chris).  We started well albeit with a series of narrow wins, then had a dramatic 5-3 win at Gravesend and Northfleet on 10 October followed by a fine novelty – an away trip to Vicarage Road, Watford, where Wealdstone were groundsharing, for a 2-2 draw.  Then on 27 October came a red-letter day.

 

ALL WHITE ON THE NIGHT FOR LEADERS DERES

 

Erith and Belvedere went top of the Beazer Homes League Southern Division for the first time in their history on Tuesday after having to battle against both opponents Margate and the muddy conditions.

 

The only goal of the game came on 54 minutes when a Mark Dennehy free kick on the right was met by a fine header by John Glover – on loan from Welling United – and although a Margate defender blocked the ball on the line he could only divert it into the roof of the net.

 

As if the waterlogged conditions were not enough for the Deres they even had to change strips when both teams took to the field wearing white.  [White, not quite – that season Deres wore light blue and white stripes a little like the classic Argentina kit, but it still clashed with Margate’s white.]

 

They then had to clear twice off the line before Jed Nohilly brought an excellent save out of the Margate keeper as play switched from end to end during the first half.

 

After the Deres went ahead conditions underfoot began to worsen and a combination of the ball getting stuck in the mud and poor final passes were enough to continually frustrate the home side.  But they were great value for their win which followed hard on the heels of last Saturday’s 2-1 home victory over Baldock.

 

Deres: Kevin Foster; Henry Hughton, Paul Hennessy, John Glover, John Palmer, Tony Young, Graham Brenton, Mark Dennehy, John Leslie, Paul Battram, Jed Nohilly.

 

 

The atmosphere in the bar after the match was a little unreal: played 10, won 7, drawn 2, lost 1, we’re flipping top!  We lost the next game 4-1 at Salisbury, but returned to the top with two more wins – then three defeats in a row in Nov/Dec put us back in the pack.

 

This was the finest Deres moment for John Glover, a very experienced centre-half who joined us aged 36 at the sunset of a distinguished career which included four England semi-pro caps and the moment which could have given Welling United the lead against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup third round in 1989.  His header hit the bar and bounced on the line Geoff Hurst style, but the goal wasn’t given and Blackburn won 1-0.  His loan spell at Deres in 1992-93 yielded consistent performances and ten goals, including four in the last five games of the season to leave us in 7th, our highest ever final placing.

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