DERES' TOP 100 GAMES - No 87

Posted by Mickey Cooper on 16 September 2019

Whyteleafe               0         

Erith & Belvedere   4          McCann 60, Crush 75, Springett 89, Kissi 90    

Kent League, 25 April 2013

 

Continuing the series counting down the 100 most memorable games in our history.  Today, the first visit in the series (but by no means the last) to the memorable 2012‑13 season.

 

As April 2013 began, the Kent League title race was getting white hot.  Deres had led the table since the New Year, but VCD were on a superb run, and on 1 April the teams shared four goals, making Deres the only team to take any points off the Vickers since December.  On the 9th, Deres were held 1-1 at Corinthian, so VCD, who had started the year 8 points behind from a game more, were now 2 points behind on level games with six to go.  Both teams won the next three, so by the 25th, a Thursday night, the stakes were high as VCD travelled to Beckenham and Deres to Whyteleafe, one of only two sides to beat them in the league so far.

 

Deres were denied an opening goal within four minutes when Jamie Wood’s angled drive from 18 yards was tipped around the post by the diving Dave Wilkinson. Two more good chances fell to Kieron McCann, who cracked a volley over the crossbar from the edge of the box, and Sam Hasler, whose free-kick whistled past the foot of the right-hand post from 30-yards.  The game turned into a midfield battle as news filtered through that VCD were already 4-0 up inside 22 minutes at Beckenham – they went on to get seven.

 

Deres twice had the ball in the back of the net after the half-an-hour mark, only for Kissi and Constable to be flagged offside.  Smith blasted a volley over the stand roof and into the road from 12 yards, and two minutes before the break Constable released Kissi who cracked a powerful right-footed drive from 18 yards, the ball narrowly sailing over the top of the near post.

At half-time, as Collins told Kentish Football website, “I just had a moan really!  I thought we were a bit nervous and a bit tetchy. There’s a lot at stake at the moment for us and that’s obvious. I just told them to calm down and be patient and the belief and the quality that we’ve got in the changing room eventually shone through.”

Deres were unlucky not to open the scoring after 69 seconds of the second half.  Smith floated over a cross towards the near post and Constable’s brave diving header under pressure looped wide of the near post from six yards.  Whyteleafe were reduced to ten men in the 51st minute when Palmer collected a second yellow card for a foul on Sean Johnson.  Deres coach Grant Watts was also asked to leave the technical area.

Deres continued to press and Wilkinson produced a fantastic triple save in the 53rd minute from Constable and two efforts by Kissi.  He then made a flying save from McCann’s 25-yard drive.  But the frustration ended when Deres finally broke the deadlock on the hour mark.  McCann picked the ball up in midfield and charged forward towards the centre of the penalty area before cutting across two defenders and sweeping a low left-footed shot across the goalkeeper and into the bottom far corner from 20 yards.  Collins: “when you get that breakthrough you’re up and running. Obviously once we scored and relaxed we were in the ascendancy.”

Midway through the half Adam Burchell sent a free header over from two yards and soon afterwards saw his 20-yard drive tipped over the bar by Wilkinson.  Collins: “To be fair Burch has come back from a broken leg – just has to get his eye in back in front of goal and get his confidence back but the kid’s a quality, quality player.”

Deres’ second goal came with only fifteen minutes left. McCann swung in a left-footed free-kick from 45-yards was met by central defender Crush, whose looping header from 12 yards dropped into the far corner for his 9th of the season.

Deres goalkeeper Jack Bradshaw, who recorded a time of 4 hours 10 minutes in the London Marathon the previous Sunday, had a quiet night, as Whyteleafe failed to register a single shot on target.  Their first decent goalscoring chance.came on 84 minutes.  Omar Folkes clipped a right-footed free-kick into the box and Ollie Thornton glanced his header wide of the far post from 10 yards.

Deres were comfortable at 2-0 going into stoppage time, but then grabbed a couple more to enhance the scoreline.  Wood played a precise defence-splitting through ball between Whyteleafe’s central defenders for Springett to latch onto and the substitute kept his composure to slot home with his right-foot.  Collins said: “Geordie’s gone through and to be fair to him that’s a very composed finish and he’s put the geezer on his backside and scored it.”  And it was 4-0 just 66 seconds later when McCann played a low centre across the face of goal from the right and Kissi was lurking at the far post to lash his shot into the top left-hand corner to spark wild celebrations with those of us behind the goal.

Whyteleafe: Dave Wilkinson, Lou Clark, Rob Smith (Lee Glanville 65), Jay Massey, Cedric Abraham, Bentley Graham, Bradley Wilson, Dean Palmer, Omar Folkes, Ollie Thornton, Ryan Bailey.
Erith & Belvedere: Jack Bradshaw, Allan Matthews, Sam Hasler, Jamie Wood, Richard Davies, Drew Crush, Orlando Smith, Sean Johnson (Paul Springett 80), Andy Constable (Adam Burchell 64), Richmond Kissi, Kieron McCann.

Micky Collins concluded: “It’s not good for the ticker but it’s good for the Kent League. If we don’t finish this off it will be a long summer for me reflecting on what we could have done and what we should have done.  The one thing we want to guarantee is promotion, that’s the one thing that I wanted to do.  It’s my third season and we wanted to get the club to the next tier up. Hopefully we’ve made big strides towards that tonight.”

 

There was just one problem with what Collins was saying: VCD.  The previous Saturday Deres fans had sought hope in the knowledge that the Vickers were facing three difficult away games in six days, at Erith Town, Fisher and Beckenham.  By that Thursday evening VCD had won all three, with an aggregate score of 14-0.  It really was going to go down to the wire…

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