Soccer Shorts: Erith Town apologise to Welling United over pitch fiasco

Friday 17th July 2015

BROMLEY have unveiled that left-back Aaron Tumwa, 21, has signed for the newly-promoted Vanarama National League club after a successful trial at Hayes Lane and takes the number of contracted players up to 19.


Tumwa spent his youth carer with Watford, having loan spells with Harrow Borough and Wealdstone. Following his departure from Vicarage Road, he signed a one-year contract with Blackburn Rovers, before signing for Conference South side Farnborough in 2014.

Tunwa is also internationally capped, having played for Antigua & Barbuda in the Caribbean Cup, scoring one goal.

Meanwhile, the club have submitted plans to Bromley council to improve facilities at the South end of the stadium, lovingly described as the benches end.

The club have applied for the demolition of the existing south stand and terraces, removal of astro turf pitches to the south of the existing stand and the erection of a new building to accommodate a stand with 1,485 seats and a multi-purpose facility with badminton, volleyball and indoor cricket facilities, a café and viewing boxes at mezzanine level and a new car park for 134 cars.

DEAL TOWN have confirmed the erection of the £180,000 brick building on the site of their old wooden clubhouse is now well underway.

Board member Arron Skirrow told the club’s website: “Things are going really well so far and we are hoping it will be completed by early September.”

The club’s previous attempt to build a new clubhouse back in October 2011 was ruined by an arson attack, but the loss of the building was covered by insurance taken out by Dover District Council who own the Charles Ground and lease it to the Southern Counties East Football League club.

The council awarded the contract for the clubhouse to a local business, building contractor Mark Beevers.

Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Dover District Council cabinet member for property management, said: “We are delighted that work on the new clubhouse is now underway, and are very pleased that Dover District Council has been able to support Deal Town FC through the planning, building control and procurement processes. It is great to see that the contract has been awarded to a Deal-based business.”

Mr Skirrow added: “It’s going to be a lot bigger than the old clubhouse, around seven metres longer and also a little bit wider. The bar is also bigger while the kitchen area has tripled in size, and we are going to need that because the new clubhouse will be able to seat 130-140 people for dining.

“There will also be a pool table and a darts board and we have already got pool and darts teams wanting to play out of here.

“We have said right from the start that we want this building to be available to the whole community of Deal, not just to followers of the football club, and so my wife for example is already looking at setting up a “Mums and Toddlers” group, and it will be free to hire for everyone.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the board members and volunteers, past and present, for their help as we continue to put this football club back on its feet.”

While the clubhouse is being built the club will use a marquee for the sale of beer and other refreshments on match days.

DOVER ATHLETIC boss Chris Kinnear was delighted with his side following their 5-0 home win over Eastbourne Borough on Tuesday night.

Ricky Miller opened the scoring, whilst Stefan Payne and Sean Raggett both added a brace each after the break to thrash the Vanarama National League South side.

The Whites went down to a 4-1 home defeat to Whitehawk last weekend and Kinnear told that he was delighted with his side’s recovery.

He said: “It’s just the way as we were not too upset about losing on Saturday and there are still four weeks to go.  But what we did was go back to the pattern that we normally play and showed we are quite a formidable team.”

EBBSFLEET UNITED’S long-serving goalkeeper Preston Edwards, 25, has signed for Vanarama National League club Boreham Wood on a season’s long loan.

Manager Daryl McMahon has added further defensive cover to his squad with the signing of former Cheltenham Town left-back Craig Braham-Barrett, 27.

ERITH TOWN would like to go on record and apologise to the players, staff and supporters of Welling United as well as those who were due to be attending the friendly game at Erith Sports Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Southern Counties East Football League issued the following statement on their website “As a football club we are completely embarrassed by the whole situation that occurred and feel that the decision taken by Welling United FC and their management not to play the game was totally justifiable.

“We would like to let everyone know that we as a football club will take full responsibility for the unfortunate events that occurred, although the situation was totally out of our hands. 

“To elaborate further, Erith Stadium is run by Parkwood Leisure (who are in charge of all grounds and pitch maintenance). We were assured that the pitch would be ready in time to host the fixture. It is no secret that this fixture was an extremely big event for Erith Town FC and that our secretary Paul Carter had worked very hard to secure this game in the best interests of the club.

“Throughout the summer (so far) we have been in contact with those in charge of the pitch maintenance at Erith Stadium who have constantly assured us that the pitch would be in perfect condition for us to use pre-season as it usually is every year without fail.

“We have now been at the Stadium for over 10 years and at no point have we ever had to 'check up' on pre-season pitch preparations as this is normally taken care of without our interference. However, with a game of this magnitude approaching we visited the ground early last week and stated our concern regarding the condition of the pitch which appeared to be overgrown and untreated in areas.

“We were told by those in charge that this was all in hand and that everything would be ready and in a more than suitable condition by our first pre-season game and that we have nothing to be worried about.

“On arrival at the ground (around 4pm) the pitch was in fact in a worse condition than the week previous and although it had clearly been marked out, it had not been cut and treated as promised. On closer inspection it was also noticeable that the damage caused to the pitch by the discus/hammer throw (from the Athletics club) had not been filled in adequately. A

“Although the centre done all they could to get the pitch cut and divots removed it was ultimately too late and quite rightly so the playing surface was deemed unplayable by the Welling management team and subsequently the game was cancelled.

“Again we would like to apologise to Welling United unreservedly for the events that unfolded. All those involved behind the scenes at the club are very much embarrassed by the whole situation that has arisen and we can confirm that this will be dealt with as a matter of urgency before Saturday's home friendly fixture against Sittingbourne that will 100% be going ahead as planned.”

FISHER chairman Ben Westmancott has issued a rallying cry to the club’s fan-base to get behind the club ahead of their homecoming.

The club hire Dulwich Hamlet’s Champion Hill Stadium and are aiming to return to their Rotherhithe roots soon.

Fisher were defeated 2-1 by Tower Hamlets on the artificial pitch at Coldharbour Leisure Centre in Eltham in midweek and Mr Westmancott told the club’s website: “It was good to catch up with old friends after the summer break and plenty of people took the opportunity to discuss our impending homecoming.

“This season is set to be one of the most important yet.  We are going to need all the support you can muster to get us to where we need to be – home once more.

“Thank you to everyone who came along to the game and thank you to the coaching team who are building a competitive squad for the campaign ahead.”

GLEBE chairman Rocky McMillan says he is excited ahead of tomorrow’s ground opening game against Canterbury City.

It will be the first time that Simon Copley’s Kent Invicta League side have played at Foxbury Avenue, Chislehurst.

The chairman said: “Everybody’s excited about the first game. The clubhouse’s all done, pitch looking good. There is still ground work in next couple of weeks but everything’s on target.”

LEWISHAM BOROUGH chairman Ray Simpson says he is relishing tomorrow’s trip to Peterborough to tackle United Eastern Counties League side FC Blackstones.

“It will be good to get out of London and Kent and experience a different environment and opposition,” he said.

“We have been invited and I was delighted to accept the invitation.

“Training has gone really well and the coaching staff and players, including many new faces, are eager to get some match action.”

TUNBRIDGE WELLS chairman Clive Maynard says he is delighted with the appointment of former Bromley reserve team and Cray Wanderers manager Keith Bird.

Bird is joined by Jason Bourne on the management team at Culverden Stadium and the pair are working with a much reduced budget than what Martin Larkin had in his last season in charge of the club.

Mr Maynard told “Believe it or not it is just two weeks since we started the search for a new manager and we now have in place what I believe to be an excellent choice in Keith Bird.

“When we set off what we were looking for were the following attributes, a proven record of developing youth, someone with a scouting network that would look both up and down the league pyramid, a long term appointment and someone that we believed was capable of delivering both the clubs short term and long term ambitions.  We also wanted a link between the old and new management teams.

“Jason Bourne was looking to enter the management side of football, Keith wanted continuity between the past and present, Jason wants to learn about management at senior level, Keith wanted someone to mentor, so I consider the club more than fortunate to have both of these guys as part of the new management Team at the club.

“I really believe that we can look forward to some exciting times ahead. Keith will continue to build his management team over the next few days, as I said in the club statement.

“Engaging with our existing players was absolutely essential and I have spoken to the players that were here last year and told them about Keith and Jason's appointments and this has been followed up by a call from Keith.

“We have lost some players so the new management team will have work to do assembling a squad, this is not easy at any point of the close season, let alone when most clubs have already started their pre-season.

“I am confident that with Keith and Jason's networks we will not only assemble a squad, we will assemble a group of players that want to play for this club and also a squad that want to achieve with this club.

“I would like to thank Joe Fuller for doing a sterling job as caretaker manager. It has been a dreadfully difficult task for him, none of us like uncertainty and we have had that aplenty.

“Joe made it clear to me that he wished to play football at this stage of his career, he wanted to concentrate his efforts on the pitch and didn't feel that he could do justice to having a foot in both coaching and playing.

“That said, as one of the senior players and with the knowledge of local football that he has, he will be feeding names to Keith where he believes that a player has the potential to pull on the shirt.

“My thanks also goes to the board who have worked tirelessly to appoint Keith.”

Mr Maynard added: “So Team Tunbridge Wells enters a new phase of its history, a new manager, undoubtedly some new faces on the playing side but amidst this sea of change, believe it or not, we have stability.

“The club has a long term vision of where we want to be and we have plans on how we are going to get there. Nothing in life is easy, but if the cause is worth fighting for, even in adversity, if we keep the belief, what happens is you come out the other side stronger from the experience.

“So let us all, whatever role we play, not forget our past but concentrate on our future, together and together alone we will be; bigger, better, faster, fitter and stronger!”

VCD ATHLETIC continue the search for a club secretary following Chris Dudley’s retirement from the role.

The successful applicant would need to be a volunteer and would receiving mentoring and assistance for a season from Mr Dudley. Also the Ryman League have offered some assistance at their offices in Dartford.

This role may suit someone who is interested in progression into the administration side of non-league football at the Crayford based club.

Applications should be emailed to