Erith & Belvedere 2 Erith Town 3

Posted by Brian Spurrell on 23 April 2022

15 April 2022


Erith and Belvedere          2          Lear 17, Palmer 88

Erith Town                           3          Callender 39, 90, Ash 60   




A bumper Good Friday crowd of 362, the biggest home league crowd since Southern League days, saw the Deres produce some enterprising football in their first game under the management of Luke Rooney, but go down to yet another late goal.


Easter fun events and an inflatable goal entertained a large number of children with their parents, and age group games took place before the main event.  That main event almost started with a freak goal as a Dockers clearance in the sixth minute hit Lee Lewis, and Jack Moore in the Town goal had a job to control the rebound.  The opening goal when it came was more fitting of the event, however, a sumptuous drive from just outside the box by Danny Lear for his 19th goal of the season.


For the next 20 minutes or so the football matched the weather – bright, sunny and relaxing!  The Deres were playing beautiful controlled possession football for long periods, reminiscent at times of the way England probed for openings at Euro 2020 and were content to play the ball across to the other side of the pitch.  Yet when they gained possession the Dockers were dangerous, in particular when Emmanuel Oduguwa sent a drive just wide in the 35th minute.  Four minutes later they were level, as former Dere Fred Obasa’s shot was only parried by Ted McDonald and Steadman Callender, lurking on the right, buried the chance that came his way.


Obasa had a chance to give Town the lead four minutes into the second half – his shot was deflected and McDonald did well to reach it and turn the ball around the post.  Ten minutes later Stefan Cox, who was always lively, did well down the right and fed Gavin Tomlin, whose looping shot was well tipped over the bar by Moore.


On the hour, though, the Dockers took the lead when a corner from the right was met powerfully by Tom Ash.  His header bounced down off the crossbar, clearly over the line, and bounced out again but the goal was given.  Odugawa, after a defensive lapse by Reece Barrett, and James Miles from distance had good chances as the Deres’ earlier composure was severely rattled.


Yet late on in the game Deres managed an equaliser from nowhere – a Cox cross was half-cleared to Nathan Palmer on the edge of the box, who drove it along the ground through a crowd of players and into the bottom right corner.  And just as Deres were perhaps settling for the point, Callender nipped in at the other end for a last-minute winner that left the home crowd stunned.  But what an entertaining game and a fine occasion.


DERES: Ted McDonald; Josh Leach, Ross Craig, Harry Maher, Calum McGeehan, Reece Barrett, Lee Lewis (Teddy Green 76), James Dyer, Gavin Tomlin, Stefan Cox, Danny Lear (Nathan Palmer 74).  Subs not used: Jude Salmon, Neil Spencer, Daniel Pepple.

DOCKERS: Jack Moore; Jude Jeffrey, Emmanuel Oduguwa, James Truman, Ryan Mahal, Tom Ash, Harry Gamble, James Miles, Jason Goodchild, Steadman Callender, Fred Obasa (Andres Tobon 76).

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