Thursday 01st September 2005

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Saturday 19th
March 2005
Southern League
Division One East
Thomas Hawes reports from Wadham Lodge
Waltham Forest 0  
Erith & Belvedere 2 Wraight 16
Hammond 53

Deres have spring back in their steps

ON THE first day of spring, the Deres were given a new lease of life in their quest to avoid the dreaded drop from Southern League to the Kent League after a fantastic all round team performance away at Wadham Lodge, the home of play-off contenders Waltham Forest.

It was the Deres who started strongest in front of a lacklustre crowd of 56 and Erith should have been 1-0 up in the 2nd minute, but Ian Pulman couldn’t negotiate the bouncing through ball and his shot was tame and was easily saved by Emeka Aneke.

Pulman didn’t have to wait long to make up for his error and after 16 minutes had been played he received the ball in a central position in the Forest half and somehow managed to thread and exquisite pass through a crowd of Forest defenders. The weight of the ball was near perfect and midfielder Gary Wraight couldn’t believe his luck when he found himself one-on-one with Aneke. Wraight made no mistake in slotting past Aneke to earn his first goal in a Deres jersey and more importantly give the away side the lead.

Despite Forest controlling possession, they couldn’t use it to their advantage and it was the Deres who came closest to scoring after a goalmouth scramble, the ball landed at the feet of Captain Wayne Brown, but the defender showed us why he’s not an attack minded player and the ball was hoisted wide.

Deres top scorer Chris Dickson seemed to be the most unfortunate of the Deres players today as he was subject of numerous clattering tackles by Forest defenders – twice in the final third of the first half fracas occurred due to malicious tackles from behind on Dickson.

The Deres started the second half strongly as they searched for a second and they only had to wait eight minutes to get it. A beautiful swerving ball found Ian Pulman in the bottom corner of the pitch. The ball sat up nicely for Pulman who rifled a cross in on the half volley the ball went all the way to the back of the box and an unmarked Mark Hammond had plenty of time to compose himself before guiding the ball past a helpless Aneke in the Forest goal.

Having brought on substitutes Forest had a new lease of life and a shot bounced off the top of the bar after 71 minutes and the Deres realised that the game had not been won yet. Forest continued with their barrage, but a combination of solid defending and superb goalkeeping meant that the Deres held out for victory.

However, there was just enough time for Dickson to be fouled again and this time Forest were reduced to ten men.

The Deres now have a five point gap over the relegation zone in their quest for Southern League survival.