DERES' TOP 100 GAMES - No 85

Posted by Mickey Cooper on 27 October 2019

Erith & Belvedere   0         

Wimbledon               2                      Coote pen 56, Williams 65

London Senior Cup 1st round, 23 November 1963


Continuing the series counting down the 100 most memorable games in our history.  Today, the day the Amateur Cup holders came to town, with more history to make, and there were VIPs in the crowd.


1962-63 ended in bitter disappointment for the Deres.  It was the last season of the Corinthian League before that league was absorbed into the Athenian League as its second division, and Deres had had the prospect of moving into the Athenian League’s top division with a good League placing.  Instead two Corinthian League teams, Dagenham and Maidenhead, were voted into the top division despite finishing 4th and 8th respectively, and the top two, Leatherhead and Deres, were frozen out.


So for 1963-64 we had to repeat the previous season’s feat, and there was a major blow in the opening game as prolific scorer Colin Johnson suffered a knee injury which kept him out of the team until Christmas.  However new signing Bernie Traynor, a former Arsenal youth signed from Eastbourne, stepped in and scored in 6 consecutive games during the autumn as Deres started well.  On 23 November the Deres took time out from the League campaign to face a stiff test in the London Senior Cup.  Wimbledon were the reigning FA Amateur Cup holders, having beaten Sutton United 4-2 at Wembley the previous May, and had won 5-1 at Bexley United in the FA Cup first round the previous week.


A good crowd gathered at Park View, possibly still stunned by the news of President Kennedy’s assassination the previous evening.  The Kentish Times reported on the game as follows:




Wimbledon must like the Kentish soil.  Following their 5-1 win at Bexley the previous week, they came away from Park View on Saturday safely into the second round of the London Senior Cup by beating Erith and Belvedere by two clear goals. Amateur Cup holders and Isthmian League leaders, Wimbledon are accepted as one of the best clubs in the country, but if this display was anything like their normal form then Deres, Division 1 Athenian League leaders, must be a much better team than would be thought.


Wimbledon were matched or bettered in every department.  The only important edge that they had on Deres was finding the right man when passing.  Even this did not get them very far as Deres’ defence was on top form and Mike Kelly, in the Wimbledon goal, had more work to do than Alec Reith.


The pitch was soft, but play was maintained at a fast pace before a good crowd, including the Mayor of Erith (Councillor Mrs Marjorie Barron), Mr Norman Dodds, MP, and Mr Frank Barthelmas (London FA).


Deres played well against a strong wind.  Within two minutes Studley was on the move to swing the ball behind him for Traynor to force a full-length fingertip save off a lightning drive.


Erith soon got the hang of the visitors’ clockwork passing, and the nearest they got to Reith was a couple of headers over the bar by centre-forward Reynolds. [Eddie Reynolds had scored all four Wimbledon goals in the Amateur Cup Final, all headers!]


Studley fired just over the angle of post and bar and then he and John Baker were in a good position for a good long cross by Williamson, but were finally crowded out from a strong final shot.


Reynolds looked certain to score from a pass by Williams, but he headed past a post.  Deres looked dangerous as Studley put Williamson through but he was forced wide by three men and the move ended with a weak centre.


Eleven minutes after the break came the first of the two unsatisfactory goals – a penalty by Coote given for a heavy charge on Brown right on the edge of the area.


After Studley had brought Kelly to his knees, the second goal was scored with a final push by Williams, who was actually on the goal-line two yards behind Reith when he took the deflection of a shot by Hann.


Deres still looked likely to score and Kelly made two brilliant saves from Baker and Studley.


It was a hard and fairly clean game, but for the record, three Wimbledon men were cautioned by the referee.


Deres: Alec Reith; John Brooks, Pat Meagan, Arthur Coughlan, Dennis Crawford, Fred Heritage, John Williamson, Bernie Traynor, Dennis Studley, Phil Moore, John Baker.

Wimbledon: M Kelly; G Coote, D Willis, J Wallis, R Andrew, E Murphy, R Keats, L Brown, E Reynolds, G Hann, N Williams.


Deres fans went home no doubt a bit disgruntled, although some of them may have cheered up watching the first episode of a new TV series called “Doctor Who” that same evening.  We went on to finish seven points behind champions Leatherhead for the second year running – except this time we were 4th rather than 2nd.


As for Wimbledon, they went out of the London Senior Cup to Kingstonian (a game marred by crowd trouble!) but completed a hat-trick of Isthmian League titles.  In summer 1964 they made the momentous decision to turn professional and join the Southern League.  13 seasons later they became a League club, and in 1988, less than 25 years after this game at Belvedere, they won the FA Cup.

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