Division One East
|Stephen McCartney reports from Park View Road|
|Erith & Belvedere||3||Gary
Ian Pulman 56
Chris Dickson 84 (pen)
|Aveley||1||Steve Dickinson 81 (pen)|
It's going down to the wire
FOLLOWING embarrassing home
defeats to Tilbury and Great Wakering Rovers, Erith & Belvedere bounced back
with a deserved victory over Aveley at Park View Road.
Unfortunately Great Wakering Rovers also won - 3-1 against Harlow Town - so the Deres go into their last game of the season - at fifth placed Wivenhoe Town - having to equal or better Great Wakering Rovers' result at Chatham Town.
The Deres, however, have a two point lead as they go into their last game and hope their friends at Maidstone Road do them a favour and beat the Burrough's Park outfit.
But on this showing, especially in the first 70 minutes, the Deres should have enough in their locker to maintain their Southern League status for another year.
They opened the scoring in the 9th minute when central midfielder Gary Wraight got in between two defenders to rifle Ryan Briggs' cross from the left into the net.
Such was the home side's dominance in the first half an hour, Aveley boss Amin Levitt made a 33rd minute substitution bringing on the burly Chris Rose for Simon Thomas up front.
Aveley, however, brought a fine save from Deres goalkeeper Ricky Hall after 27 minutes when he blocked Kevin Marsden's shot at the near post.
Six minutes before the break Aveley goalkeeper Michael Collier clawed Chris Dickson's volley out at his near post.
Inside stoppage time the impressive Daryl Plummer ghosted in at the far post but blazed high over the bar from close range following a cross from the right.
The Deres twice came close inside the opening three minutes of the second half when former Margate striker Ian Pulman crashed a shot into the side netting and Anthony Henry flashed Briggs' corner agonisingly wide.
But the Kent side should have wrapped up the victory in the 52nd minute. Dean Standen sent Pulman on his way down the left flank. As the goalkeeper came rushing off his line, the striker stroked the ball agonisingly the wrong side of the far post.
However, four minutes later, Pulman found his range with a quality strike. Wraight played a superb ball over the top of the Aveley defence and Pulman left Steve Dickinson and Mark Risley in his wake and as Collier came off his line, Pulman lobbed the ball over him from the edge of the box and the ball dropped into the net for his ninth goal for the Deres this season.
Aveley played three men up front for the last 25 minutes and Ricky Hall made a comfortable save from Dickinson's 24-yard free kick.
But Dickinson pulled a goal back (82) for the Essex visitors, sending Hall the wrong way from the penalty spot, after Deres defender Wayne Brown was adjudged to have fouled Jermaine Hughes some eight yards from goal.
Referee S Daly appeared to even things up two minutes later when Deres top scorer Chris Dickson was fouled on the left hand side of the box, near the by-line and Dickson netted his 19th goal of the season from the spot.
Speaking after the game, Steve Robinson, in charge of the Deres for the 15th match following Barry Lakin's departure to become assistant manager at Heybridge Swifts said: "The pleasing thing of all was the performance we put in today against a very lively and very sharp Aveley side.
"We could have killed them off a little bit earlier than we did earlier in the second half but overall I was delighted with the way the boys performed."
Commenting on the two penalites late in the game, Robbo added: "Both of them were a bit dubious to be fair. I thought Brownie (Wayne Brown) won the ball but the referee decided to give the penalty, which I thought was a bit dubious and I could say the same for our penalty as well. Whether he did to even it up a bit, I don't know."
Erith & Belvedere: Ricky Hall, Anthony Henry, Ross Edwards, Lewis Tozer, Wayne Brown (Capt), Gary Wraight, Ryan Briggs, Dean Standen, Ian Pulman (Peter Afolayan 80), Chris Dickson, James Elmes. Subs: Joe Diggins, Richard Usherwood, Craig Hales, Tom Maycock
Aveley: Michael Collier, Wes Faulkner, Barrie Simmons (Jermaine Hughes 65), Steve Dickinson, Mark Risley (Capt, Tolo Mas 61), Barrie Fox, Kevin Marsden, Steve Jones, Daryl Plummer, Leon Belton-McKenzie, Simon Thomas (Chris Rose 33). Subs: Danny Curran, Steve Pashley
Referee: S Daly
Assistants: T Conlon & D Wyatt