Sunday 23rd October 2005

Masters returns to Erith & Belvedere

After four games without a win, Slade Green's reserve team boss Wayne Baldacchino rang the changes against bottom of the table VCD Athletic on Saturday and his gamble paid off with a 2-1 victory, writes Stephen McCartney.

Following two draws and two cup defeats, Baldacchino left out Collier, Fern, Vinnay, Craig and Parmenter and was without the injured Taylor and Mace.

In came new signing John Gallagher along with ex-Erith & Belvedere  players Sam Whittington, Allen Gobbett and Tony Gallgher and Danny Little from the first team after suspension and injury lay offs.

The match was a fairly even affair although the Green had more of the possession and created the better chances over 90 minutes.

Striker Lee Jull opened the scoring just before the break with a twice taken penalty following a foul on John Gallagher in the box.

Despite a VCD equaliser midway through the second half Elliott Pitcher headed what was to be the winner minutes later and the result was complete.

Former Erith & Belvedere coach Baldacchino was fairly pleased with the performance but knows that the team need to play much better if they are to gain promotion to division One this season.

"We need to display more adventure and creativity when going forward and work twice as hard coming back," he said in an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk

"We play well for 10 minutes and then hide under a shell for the next ten.

"It is very frustrating watching from the sidelines as I know the players we have are capable of much more.

"I hope that this win will give the lads some confidence ready for the Lordswood match next weekend".

Baldacchino has completed the transfer of centre half Terry Hawkey from Ashford Town bringing the total number of signings since taking charge to ten.

"That will be it for now on the signing front as I am confident that we now have the players to give the league a real good go," he said.

Hawkey joins Lee Britton, Sam Whittington, Buddy Eastwood, Adam Craig, Allen Gobbett, Lee Sugden, Danny Parmenter, John Gallagher and Stevie Lee in the Green ranks along with coaching staff Ray Bagnall and Trevor Cross. Of the signings, eight are ex Erith & Belvedere players.

However, goalkeeper Richard Masters has gone in the opposite direction having decided his chances of regular football would be greater with the Deres.

Baldacchino is expected to complete the signing of a second keeper
this week as cover for Sam Mills.