Monday 08th August 2005

Deres sharpen up in time for local derby


Erith & Belvedere play their final pre-season game on Tuesday night when local rivals Dartford visit Park View Road, writes Stephen McCartney.

Dartford impressed during their 4-1 home win over Cray Wanderers on Thursday night, but they went down to a 5-0 defeat at Lowestoft Town two days later, with former Ashford Town goalkeeper, John Whitehouse's heroics preventing a higher score.

"We are looking to sharpen things up against Dartford on Tuesday night, where it looks as though we will have a full squad available for selection," reveals Deres' assistant, Wayne Baldacchino.

"A nice kind of headache to have but one that will be difficult to leave anybody out."

The Deres were held to a goalless draw by Sittingbourne at Park View Road on Saturday.  Brickies boss, Steve Lovell created a lasting impression on the Deres' assistant.

"I thought we performed very well against a strong Sittingbourne side, led by their manager Steve Lovell," Baldacchino told the club's website.

"We had a chat before the game and it was very pleasing to hear somebody so experienced have the same passion and beliefs as I have.

"We both felt strongly that the game should be played a particular way and that players need to adapt to more than one system if they are to be successful in their careers.

"I wish him and his team the very best for the coming season."

Reflecting on the draw, "Chino" said: "The game itself was a close nit affair with some quality football from both teams.

"I felt we edged it over the 90 minutes and could have nicked a 1-0 win but we did not get any luck in or around the box at all.

"We again created some decent chances but do not seem to be able to score too easily at the moment.

"But you create your own luck in football and I really hope we can start to find an end product to compliment our open play.

"I felt the work rate against Sittingbourne was of a very high standard and our passing and movement was also up around the 90% mark."

Saturday is the start of the Nationwide Conference, Nationwide Conference South, Southern and Kentish Observer League seasons.  The Ryman League, however, kicks off seven days later.

Erith & Belvedere travel to unpredictable team Sporting Bengal United as they kick off their Kentish Observer League campaign.  Sittingbourne, on the other hand, entertain Rothwell Town at Bourne Park in their opening Southern League Division One East game of the new season.