Thursday 01st September 2005
www.yourcounty.co.uk - The Kent Website - Supporting Kentish Football

Saturday 9
October 2004
FA Trophy
Preliminary Round
Brian Spurrell reports from Park View Road
Erith & Belvedere 0  
Harlow Town 2 Ositola 9, Emanuel 75

Lakin admits Deres have to concentrate on the league

The Deres went limply out of a cup competition for the second successive Saturday, as a goal early in each half saw Harlow Town to an FA Trophy preliminary round win.

In truth the Deres barely threatened as Barry Lakin continued to experiment in search of a winning formula.  To the youngsters who beat Southall Town 3-0 in last Tuesday's London Senior Cup tie (with an average age of 21) he added loan signing Gary Schillaci from Stevenage Borough and former Fulham midfielder Sam Keevill.

The downside was that the regular core of this season's side was joined by six players with just six previous starts for the Deres between them, and they looked some way short of gelling as a team.  Too often moves broke down when players, having made an opening, found themselves taking on two or more opponents with no passing options around them. 

Danny Fletcher was the pick of the newcomers, making determined runs down the left wing.  Sam Friskey made a slowish start but improved, while Keevill showed useful touches without being wholly effective.

But the Deres were on the back foot from the tenth minute, when Toby Ositola, the liveliest forward on show, put Harlow ahead with a well-taken bicycle kick. 

Dean Fenton, who had a good first half, went on a run four minutes later but showed too much of the ball to Harlow keeper Glenn Jackson, who was able to pick it out.

On 19 minutes Ryan Briggs tried a lob from outside the box which didn't have quite enough behind it to trouble Jackson.

Deres were stirred into their best period of the game by a run from Ositola, who appeared to control the ball with his upper arm before running on and shooting wide. 

They pressed forward in numbers, and Steffan Ball appeared to be shoved off the ball inside the area by Neil Moore, although Moore won a free kick by falling heavily before making a speedy recovery! 

Ball had Deres' best chance of the game on 39 minutes, put through by Fenton, but shot feebly wide.

Early in the second half Ositola again tested the defence, Jani Seitsonen and Lewis Tozer blocking good efforts, but it was half-time substitute Hendrix Emanuel (yes, named after Jimi) who put Harlow two up, given far too much space in the box when receiving a ball from John Butterfield and burying the chance.

Erith had 35 minutes to retrieve the situation but never looked likely to do so: indeed Harlow's Gabriel Fanibuyan came closest to another goal, slipping Tom Maycock on the right flank and hitting the bar with a crisp shot. 

Darren Adams replaced Fenton for the last half-hour, but was reduced to hopeful long-range efforts easily blocked.

Adams, a shadow of the goal machine of a couple of seasons ago, has been released by Lakin, but the search for the right mix up front goes on.

A disappointed Lakin said: "This was a much improved display after going out of the FA Cup.

"However, still not good enough.

"We can now concentrate on the league.  I'm looking for some bounce back ability from the team as we have some tough games ahead."

Erith & Belvedere:  Seitsonen; Schillaci, Fletcher, Tozer, Cumberbatch, Aboagye (Maycock 72), Briggs, Keevill, Ball, Friskey, Fenton (Adams 60).  Subs: Chapman, Wood, Hales.

Harlow Town:  Jackson; Moore, Warren, Daniels, Mensah, Fanibuyan (Grandman 83), Lalite, Opara (Morgan 89), Ositola, Butterfield, Salmon (Emanuel 46)