DERES' TOP 100 GAMES - No 56

Posted by Mickey Cooper on 28 June 2020

Erith & Belvedere   2          Sheckles 9, 30

Crook Town            5          Keating 31, 75, Tracey 44, 65, Coates 85     

FA Amateur Cup 2nd round, 24 January 1959


Continuing the series counting down the 100 most memorable games in our history.  Today, an honourable exit from the Amateur Cup and an encounter with a major name in amateur football.


1958-59 saw the Deres in what looked like an exciting new era with a big name as manager: Charlie Revell, who had spent ten years as Charlton Athletic’s left-half and three as captain.  Revell had made 117 peacetime appearances for the Addicks and scored 18 goals: if wartime football was included these figures rose to 224 and 100. He had missed the 1947 Cup Final win due to injury.  The Kentish Times reporter who visited pre-season training said he was “impressed by the additional yard or two Charlie has already added to the players’ speed”. 


In fact it was a middling season: we finished 9th of 14 in the Corinthian League, and the highlights were two 5-2 defeats in January 1959.  We lost at Tooting and Mitcham in the London Senior Cup, and a week later at the same ground Tooting took a 2-0 lead against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round.  Forest came back to earn a replay, won 3-0 and went on to win the Cup: their Cup Final goalscorer Roy Dwight would feature prominently in the Deres’ future.


Three weeks later we hosted another strong Northern League team in the Amateur Cup.




Erith and Belvedere gave Crook Town a fright in the FA Amateur Cup second round tie at Belvedere on Saturday, having so much of the early play that they were two goals up in 30 minutes and might well have been four up.  One perfectly good goal was disallowed when the referee gave a foul in Erith’s favour instead of applying the advantage rule.  In the closing stages, two men having taken hard knocks, Deres tired.


The rival attraction at Charlton [a 2-2 draw with Everton in the FA Cup 4th round] undoubtedly affected the gate, which was in the region of 1,700, but the spectators could not complain at the quality of the fare.


Home supporters were roused when the home left wing raced away and burst through Crook’s defence, but Sheckles was offside when he took Lawson’s pass.


Deres’ forwards repeatedly left the Crook half-backs standing and after five minutes McNulty did well to pull down a drive from Sheckles.  Crook broke away and Reith conceded a corner in saving from Keating, but Deres were not to be denied and Sheckles gave them the lead from a pass by Barry in the ninth minute. 


Barry, running onto a through ball, shook off a strong challenge and netted, but presumably Gardener must have been guilty of obstruction 30 yards out, for the referee gave a free-kick at that spot, instead of applying the advantage rule.


The decision not only robbed Deres but, for a minute or two, appeared to upset their play.  However they recovered, and a feature of their play was the accurate manner in which forwards slipped the ball back to their half-backs and to open up fresh attacks.  It was copybook football that had the visitors puzzled and, after 30 minutes, beautiful footwork by Carey preceded his pass from which Sheckles outpaced Bainbridge and increased the home lead.


Crook went away with a burst a minute later, O’Connell putting Keating through to score, and this was the prelude to serious pressure on the home goal.  Reith was forced round the outside of a post by another strong drive from Keating, and the home backs conceded several corners.  Just before the interval a pass from Jeffs was headed in by Tracey for the equaliser.


The second period opened with Erith again on the attack, but Wilkie, the Crook right-half, eventually found the way to stop Lawson.  Crook’s stamina told, as the home wing-halves tired, but Hurlock was superb and gave Keating little chance.  Barry gave Sheckles a neat pass and the centre-forward whipped it into the goalmouth, but McNulty took the ball a fraction of a second before Neylen could head it.


Twenty minutes after the interval Tracey put Crook ahead from a pass by outside-right Coates.  Soon afterwards Hurlock was hurt and this was the turning point in the game, as for some time he was too dazed to tackle Keating and Crook’s forwards had the better of the play.


It was a fruitless corner for the home team that led to Crook’s fourth goal.  Lawson’s flag kick was cleared up the middle and Keating, outpacing the dazed Hurlock, went on to score with a low drive.


A delightful movement by Crook’s left wing opened the home defence, but Keating’s header went over.  Once more Deres’ forwards took up the running and attacked strongly, but they lacked support, as their tired half-backs were lagging behind and near the end Coates ran in to meet a pass from the left wing to score No. 5 for Crook.


Erith and Belvedere: Alec Reith; Alan Cross, Dave Dwight; Ray Danks, Joe Hurlock, Dennis Crawford; Tommy Lawson, John Carey, Paul Sheckles, Colin Neylen, Gil Barry.



The big consolation for Deres in defeat, in the long run, was that they lost to the eventual winners.  Crook went on to beat Oxford City 5-2 in the 3rd round, Briggs Sports 3-0 away in the quarter-final and Leytonstone 2-0 in the semi-final at Roker Park.  On 18 April 1959 they beat Barnet 3-2 at Wembley to lift the trophy.  An account of the final by Crook’s goalkeeper can be found at

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