DERES' TOP 100 GAMES - No 72

Posted by Mickey Cooper on 8 March 2020

Erith & Belvedere   5          Young 13, 105 (pen), 115, Hawley 51, Gowler 75

Slade Green             3          Deadman 40, Tyne 78, Barrett 80 

FA Cup 1st qualifying round replay, 8 September 1997– at Slade Green


Continuing the series counting down the 100 most memorable games in our history.  Today, the Cup tie in which one of the club’s darkest hours was relieved a little by Tony Young’s finest two hours.


Anybody associated with the Deres at the time will remember where they were on Monday 1 September 1997.  Less than 24 hours after the death of Princess Diana, the wooden stand at Park View, Belvedere, built with the proceeds of the run to the 1924 Amateur Cup Final, was wrecked by arsonists, putting the club’s future in serious doubt.  A lot of work had to be done to ensure the club’s survival – but first there was an FA Cup replay to deal with.  On the Saturday before the fire, a slightly dubious stoppage time penalty by Tony Young had earned us a replay in a 1-1 draw.  9 days later the first game after the fire produced a bit of a classic.





Surrendering home advantage in this FA Cup replay, the first match since the fire that destroyed their stand, Erith and Belvedere had the better of a thriller.  This game had everything – fine goals, soft goals, defensive howlers, great saves, tough tackling and a hat-trick by Tony Young, giving possibly the best performance of his Deres career.


It was Young who opened the scoring on 13 minutes, following good work on the left by Darren Gowler and Rob Hawley.  Receiving the ball on the edge of the box, Young wrong-footed two defenders in a diagonal run and lobbed neatly over Dean Lee.  For most of the half the Deres were as lively as they had been sluggish in the first game, with Young, Gowler and Paul Bates working well and Micky Cloke hitting the bar.  Green came back strongly towards half-time however, and on 40 minutes Kirk Watts’ left-wing cross picked out Peter Deadman, who volleyed past the isolated Danny Harwood to equalise.


Six minutes after the restart Deres were ahead again, as a bad bounce turned Lee’s clearance into a grotesque shank to the feet of Hawley, who kept his head to bury the chance.  Green could have hit back on the hour when they Harwood tipped Barrett’s shot onto the bar and Matt Fagan’s followup shot also hit the bar before Watts’ shot was deflected past the post.  But the Deres seemed to have sealed it fifteen minutes from time when Scott Liddell’s corner was pinballed in by three Erith heads, the last of them being Gowler’s.


Yet five minutes later the Green were level.  16-year-old Tommy Tyne, newly arrived as substitute, ended an outrageous run through half the Deres defence with the goal of the night, then Wayne Barrett pounced on Paul Foley’s under-strength header back to Harwood to make it 3-3.  Both keepers pulled off superb saves in injury time, but an extra 30 minutes beckoned.


And now Young stepped in again.  At the end of a tense opening period during which Gowler and Bates had gone close, Paul Garrett handled Hawley’s shot during a goalmouth fracas, and Young tucked away his second vital penalty of the tie.  Barrett at one end and Ray Aboagye at the other went close in the second period but five minutes from time, fed by Paul Gurr on the right of the box, Young’s shot was perhaps covered by Lee but looped over him off the boot of Garrett to settle an absolute cracker.  There was no denying the Deres’ star man the match ball!


ERITH AND BELVEDERE: Dan Harwood; Tim Bealey, Robert Bird, Paul Foley, Scott Liddell, Micky Cloke, Paul Bates (Steve Rutter 105), Tony Young, Darren Gowler (Ray Aboagye 98), Gary Ware, Rob Hawley (Paul Gurr 122).

SLADE GREEN: Lee; Phillips, Eldridge, Miles, Garrett, Barrett, Pruce (Perona 105), Deadman, Penfold (Tyne 69), Fagan (Hall 90), Watts.



Although this FA Cup run began with Youngy’s finest two hours, it ended with his worst two minutes, when he was sent off along with teammate Robert Bird in the closing stages of the first half of a third qualifying round tie at Billericay Town.  It was the last time the much-loved and much-missed ginger warrior played for the Deres.  He died 16 years later aged just 48.


As for the Deres’ season, after three months of uncertainty playing home games at other grounds – Aveley, Thamesmead, Ashford, Romford and Gravesend - we returned to Park View just before Christmas, playing out of portakabins in front of the bleak remains of the stand for 18 months, before moving in with Welling United here at PVR in August 1999.

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