DERES' TOP 100 GAMES - No 95

Posted by Mickey Cooper on 14 April 2019

Erith & Belvedere   0         

Faversham Town   3                     

Kent Amateur Cup Final, 15 April 1974 (at Sittingbourne)

 

Continuing the series counting down the 100 most memorable games in our history.  Today, a game which was hardly memorable in terms of the performance or the result, but which was highly significant.

 

It was already known that this would be the last Kent Amateur Cup, a competition the Deres had dominated in the late 60s with a number of matches which will feature further on in this series.  The amateur/professional distinction was to be done away with, meaning that 1973-74 would also see the last FA Amateur Cup competition.  The Deres’ last participation in that famous old competition, on 8 December 1973, was a damp squib, completely mastered at home by Leyton from the division below them in the Athenian League, and sent packing 3-0.

 

In the Kent Amateur Cup the Deres entered at the second round stage, beating Cray Wanderers 4-2 with a brace from Tony Clary.  In the semi-final we enjoyed a 5-1 awayday win at Crockenhill: Ray Brayne opened the scoring on 12 minutes, Crocks equalised through Wishart on the hour, and the second half belonged to Brian Adams, who scored four to take us to the final.

 

Unfortunately, with the final being played on Easter Monday and the way the Kentish Times’ print deadlines worked, there was no match report in the paper, and consequently there is little record of this match beyond the line-up and a couple of fairly grumpy quotes.  Bobby Dudman was crocked early on, and a “mysterious penalty decision” according to manager Peter Peters led to what secretary Eric White described as “a complete travesty of a result”.

 

Erith & Belvedere: Martin Dillnutt; Peter Gummer, Bill Palmer, Keith Gurr, Roger Dent, Gary Cooper, Tim O’Keefe, Alan Hart, Ray Brayne, Brian Adams, Bobby Dudman (Bobby Etherington).

 

 

And so the amateur era ended for the Deres with something of a whimper – but there were better days ahead that season, as we’ll see later in this series.

 

Certainly the local paper had plenty of local football interest that month, with Dartford attracting 2000+ crowds to their Easter fixtures, 3,180 to the game where they clinched the Southern League title, and taking some 10,000 supporters to the FA Trophy Final at Wembley on 27 April, where they lost 2-1 to Morecambe.  The Kentish Times produced a four-page pullout preview of the Final, profiling the players.  For midfielder Graham Carr, who had played for Northampton Town in the First Division, it would have been a life highlight rivalled by becoming a dad two years later – his son Alan growing up to be a comedian and chat show host.

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