DERES' TOP 100 GAMES - No 99

Posted by Mickey Cooper on 10 March 2019

VCD Athletic            3          Greatorex 8, Huggins 25, Sinden 53

Erith & Belvedere   3          Collins 67, Smith 89, Gross 90

Kent League, 17 March 2007


Continuing the series counting down the 100 most memorable games in our history.  Today, the day two late Deres goals saw us snatch a point from bitter local rivals VCD Athletic in an enthralling encounter at Oakwood.


This fixture was originally scheduled for 30 December, but had been abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch.  Bizarrely, it was the second VCD v Deres game abandoned early in the second half with Deres leading 1-0 in the space of 11 days! – the other game being a fogbound London Senior Cup tie.  So the scene was set for a memorable spring day.


Deres started the match positively and had a glorious opportunity to take the lead just two minutes into the match. Steve White made an excellent run on the right side of the pitch and found himself one-on-one with 17-year old Vickers keeper Alex Hyde. Whilst the young goalkeeper kept his cool, the veteran striker lost his as he over-hit a simple ball for Mark Nougher, who would have had the easiest of tasks in side-footing the Deres ahead.


Vickers soon showed the Deres how to take your opportunities as Mark Greatorex outclassed Erith left-back Joe Diggins before tucking the ball past Alan Hughes to give VCD the lead after just 8 minutes.


Erith rallied and could have equalised after 12 minutes after some good play on the right by Matt Bedford eventually led to Adrian Deane feeding the ball into the box. Mark Nougher pulled the trigger from six yards out, but Paul Foley was on hand to deflect the ball away for a corner-kick.


Despite having been on top territorially and chance-wise, Erith hadn’t managed to penetrate the Vickers defence in the opening quarter of the match and Vickers punished the Deres as Leroy Huggins fired home a neat volley to make it two goals from two shots for fourth placed Athletic after 24 minutes.


Erith had the better of the play in the opening stages of the second half, but it was VCD who were to score the next goal and surely ensure another three Kent League points would be going to the Oakwood club. Richard Sinden latched onto a through ball and tucked the ball past the onrushing former VCD keeper Alan Hughes to net his 9th goal in a VCD shirt.


Then came the first of three inspired substitutions by Paul Gorman and Chris Cosgrove. Micky Collins came on to replace the below par Steve White. The introduction of former Lordswood striker Nick Smith soon followed and suddenly things were starting to happen up front for the Deres. Not only were E&B dominating territorially, there were creating more chances.  Collins had been at fault for missing a number of opportunities in recent weeks, but there was nothing of the sort from the 36-year old striker as he nodded home a goal after 66 minutes to give the Deres hope.


Steve Chioma came on to make his Deres debut and put in a fine performance on the left side. Together, the three substitutions had given the Deres an edge that they were missing in the first period, but it appeared to be too late as with 88 minutes on the clock they still trailed 3-1 as the best defence in the Kent League held out.


On 89 minutes, the Deres added some respectability to the scoreline as Collins raced through on goal. Hyde charged out and made a good reaction save, but there was little that he could do as the ball broke to Nick Smith who side-footed into the empty net to make it 3-2.


Vickers had been guilty of time-wasting tactics and they were to pay for this as in the 4th minute of injury time Erith equalised to provoke ecstatic scenes amongst the Deres players and management. Adrian Deane hoisted a teasing free-kick to the back post and Paul Gross was on hand to guide the ball past Hyde.  As the final whistle went Chris Cosgrove was seen dancing onto the pitch à la David Pleat, complete with a split in his trousers.


The Deres were now unbeaten in six and lay 9th, but overtook Beckenham and Deal to finish 7th.  After dropping these two points late on, VCD finished runners-up, three points behind Whitstable Town.

VCD: Alex Hyde, Steve Hogg, David Hunt, Paul Foley, Martin Driscoll, Lee Coburn, Stuart Abbott (Kevin Winchcombe 71), Mark Greatorex, Leroy Huggins (Danny Penny 88), Richard Sinden (Juan Ramirez 78), Ashley Probets.

Deres: Alan Hughes; Mitch Crawley, Joe Diggins, Lee Morgan (Nick Smith 62), Paul Gross, Matt Johnson (Steve Chioma 68), Matt Bedford, Austin Berkley, Adrian Deane, Steve White (Micky Collins 55), Mark Nougher.

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