DERES' TOP 100 GAMES - No 71

Posted by Mickey Cooper on 15 March 2020

Erith & Belvedere   11        Southcombe 5, Urpeth 3, Mann 2, Scott

Ashford                       1        Luckhurst       

Kent League, 3 May 1939


Continuing the series counting down the 100 most memorable games in our history.  Today, an end-of-season hammering of opposition who two years previously had given us one of our worst days ever.


On 3 March, as most of you will know, Deres went down to a horrible 10-0 defeat at Corinthian.  It was our biggest defeat since the war, indeed the biggest defeat since our biggest ever.  That happened on 28 April 1937 when a team weakened by work commitments due to playing 10 games in 26 days (!) went down 15-0 at Ashford.  But Corinthian be warned – two years and five days later we got a good measure of revenge.




Ashford’s team at Park View on Wednesday evening, May 3, was far from the usual strength.  Erith and Belvedere practically monopolised play from start to finish, winning by 11 (Southcombe 5, Urpeth 3, Mann 2, Scott) to 1 (Luckhurst). 


Very early in the game Southcombe gave the home team the lead, following with another goal soon afterwards.  The Deres were playing clever football, but the Ashford defence put up a stern resistance and held the home forwards at bay for some time.  After Mann had scored the third goal, Ashford’s forwards got going, but Firminger saved the situation.  Another home attack drew the goalkeeper, but a back cleared from the line and Ashford went away down the right wing, crossing to the left and drawing the home defence.  The ball was sent to and fro for some time before Luckhurst notched Ashford’s solitary success.  From this point on, play was absolutely in favour of the home team, whose superiority was such that O’Hara frequently went up to shoot at goal.


Deres: Tom Firminger; Bert Bennett, Pat O’Hara; Cyril Smee, Reg Beal, George Hormill; George Young, Len Scott, Jack Southcombe, Harry Mann, Jack Urpeth.


This match report shows signs of having been hacked about a bit due to a lack of space!  It was the last home game of a season which saw us finish 6th in the Kent League, two places and four points below Ashford who were clearly having a major off day.  Ten days later we played the London Senior Cup Final against Dulwich Hamlet at The Den, which will feature later on in this series.


Having been our last visitors of 1938-39, Ashford were our first visitors the following season, and were seen off 6-3 with four goals on his home debut by Bob Ewers, a new signing from Dartford.  It was 2 September 1939.  The following morning the Deres’ secretary John Bell was typing up his notes for the local paper when radio programming was interrupted by Chamberlain’s declaration of war on Germany.  So Ashford were the opponents in our last two home matches before the Second World War.

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