DERES' TOP 100 GAMES - No 89

Posted by Mickey Cooper on 31 August 2019

Tunbridge Wells     6          Cable 34, 88, Rhodes 74, Tate 110, 116, Lord 120

Erith & Belvedere   4          Robinson pens 30, 37, Budak 87, Hill 111         

Kent League Cup 1st round 2nd leg, 30 September 2008 (aggregate 8-6)

 

Continuing the series counting down the 100 most memorable games in our history.  Today, the day we played extra time with nine men but went out of the Kent League Cup in extraordinary circumstances.

 

This game came in a sequence of 7 cup ties in 4 different cups in the space of 8 games: two Vase rounds, a London Senior Cup tie and three FA Cup ties.  In the Cup we’d won at East Preston then recorded a notable 2-0 win v Sittingbourne, at that time 6th in the Ryman South.  In the second qualifying round we went out 2-0 at another Ryman South team, Godalming Town.  A matter of 50 hours later we had this Monday night Kent League Cup second round tie at Culverden.

 

The first leg had seen the Deres race into a 2-0 lead courtesy of the now departed Matt Johnson and Huseyin Budak only to be pegged back to 2-2 to leave the second leg evenly poised.  For the second leg, with strikers Aiden Pursglove and Nick Smith unavailable, the Deres knew they would be in for a tough night against a Tunbridge Wells side that had made their best start to a season for many a year.

 

Yet, it was the Deres who shaded a first half which, looking back, was dull in comparison to the rest of the game.  The only opportunity of any note in the opening twenty minutes fell to the visitors as a quick free-kick caught Wells unprepared.  The ball was fired across the 6-yard box but no Deres player was on hand.

 

On 20 minutes came the incident which kicked off the remarkable sequence of events to follow.  After some ‘handbags' between Deres striker Paul Gross and Wells central defender Bryan Pearce, both players were booked.  Two minutes later, Pearce appeared to successfully tackle Gross, although from behind.  What exactly happened only Gross and Pearce will know, but referee Mr Ions took exception to something Gross had done and promptly showed him a second yellow card to leave the Deres facing 67 minutes down to 10 men.

 

Seven minutes later though, the Deres were ahead.  Converted striker Joby Thorogood stormed his way into the box before being upended by Pearce.  The Deres were awarded a penalty and Ryan Robinson stepped up to send Michal Czanner the wrong way to give the 10 men a 1-0 lead.  But the lead was to be short-lived as the bobbly pitch deceived Deres left-back Joe Penny and Ross Cable took full advantage.  The much-travelled striker took one touch before floating the ball over the head of a helpless Matt Bromby and into the back of the net to make it 1-1.

 

Despite being a man down, the Deres had been the better side throughout the first period and regained the lead on 36 minutes.  The ball found its way to Huseyin Budak 16 yards out who fired the ball goalwards only to see his shot blocked by the outstretched hand of a Wells defender.  Once again Deres were awarded a penalty and once again Robinson scored to give the visitors a 2-1 half-time lead.

 

Wells’ best period of the game came in the opening twenty minutes of the second half.  Andrew Browne had to clear the ball off the goal-line on 56 minutes and Wes Tate was inches away from scoring on 59 minutes.  At the other end Robinson, on a hat-trick, forced a great save with a free-kick whilst Wells continued to threaten.  The equaliser came on 73 minutes as a corner found its way to half-time substitute Phil Rhodes who poked the ball into the top left corner of Matt Bromby's net.  After the equaliser, the Deres took charge of the game and looked the most likely side to win in normal time.

 

On 86 minutes, E&B substitute Jon Gallagher was charging down the left-wing with a Wells defender’s hand over Gallagher's mouth and chin.  Gallagher eventually fell to the ground and threw the ball at the Wells player.  He didn’t throw a punch but was still sent off when a yellow card to both players might have been the best option.

 

This left the Deres with four minutes to score to avoid playing extra time with 9 men. And, unbelievably, they did so.  Thorogood, who had spent 65 minutes chasing lost causes, slid in substitute Matt Bedford down the right-wing.  Bedford's cross wasn't the best but it managed to pick out Budak, who, just 12 yards out from goal, was in acres of space and he had time to take a touch, regain his balance and sidefoot the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-2.

 

The joy was to be short-lived as a through-ball was slid in to Ross Cable who fired past Bromby from 18 yards out to make it 3-3 and send the match into extra time.

Amazingly, the 9 men of Erith still managed to slightly edge the opening ten minutes of extra-time and could have had a penalty on 94 minutes when debutant Robbie Bryant was brought down in the penalty area.

 

Deres knew that the away goals rule would apply at the end of extra-time meaning that they would go through if the match ended as a draw.  And at half-time in extra-time the score remained 3-3 – but Deres were two men short and by now Huseyin Budak was hobbling and with no substitutes remaining had to carry on.

 

Deres were really starting to tire and unsurprisingly went 4-3 down 5 minutes into the second period as Wes Tate poked the ball through Bromby's legs and into the back of the net.  Amazingly though, the Deres came back to make it 4-4 as a corner from the right met the head of Chris Hill who glanced the ball into the back of the net to put the Deres back in the driving seat.

 

There was a cruel ending though as Wes Tate tapped home his second of the evening to make it 5-4 with 4 minutes to go and to add insult to injury Mike Lord made it 6-4 with seconds left to book Wells' passage to the second round.  Four days later Deres went out of a third cup in seven days, losing in the Vase at Banstead.

 

Tunbridge Wells: Michal Czanner; John Lord (Alex Rich 63), Jason Bourne, Gary Clarke, James Russell, Bryan Pearce (Phil Rhodes h/t), Barry Gardner, Dean Chamberlain, Wes Tate, Ross Cable, Sam Phillips (Mike Lord 63).

Erith & Belvedere: Matt Bromby; Chris Hill, Joe Penny (Jon Gallagher 66, sent off 85), Kevin Lott, Michael Adcock, Richie Radbourne (Matt Bedford 70), Andrew Browne (Robbie Bryant 88), Huseyin Budak, Paul Gross (sent off 23), Joby Thorogood, Ryan Robinson.

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