Match Report from Erith & Belvedere Media Team
Keanan Allassani, signed during the summer to join his brother Drew at Erith & Belvedere, got the Deres’ season off to a flyer with two first-half goals as the season opened on an optimistic note.
No team in the SCEFL has been a bigger thorn in the Deres’ side than Hollands and Blair. The Gillingham-based side has given the Deres two six-goal pastings in their ten previous meetings, as well as benefitting from their disqualification in the Kent Senior Trophy in 2012. So Erith’s third win over them was hugely satisfying.
New manager Danny Murphy has built a team around the four standout players from the truncated 2020-21 season: goalkeeper Rilwan Anibaba, centre-back partnership Rob Curtis and Reece Barrett and entertaining right-midfielder Henry Dasofunjo. It was Dasofunjo who finished off a fine move down the right with the cross from which Keanan Allassani had the easiest of finishes to give the Deres a fifth-minute lead.
Jack Simon provided Blair’s best first-half moment with free-kicks, one in the 12th minute just over the bar, and another in the 36th (following a six-of-one type challenge with Curtis) which was tipped onto the bar by Anibaba. In between these chances Tyler Anderson-Parr sent in a dangerous ball from the left which nobody met. Seven minutes from the break Simon was yellow-carded for a chop on Anderson-Parr, and two of Murphy’s ex-League signings combined well, Dave Martin’s free-kick being flicked on by Calum Willock for Curtis to send a header just over the bar.
In the 41st minute good work down the left by Anderson-Parr resulted in a cross and Keanan Allassani’s second goal, leaving Deres very happy at half-time.
The mood changed briefly after five minutes of the second half, when an air-shot attempted clearance in the Deres’ box led to Drew Allassani fouling Bair substitute David Chandler, and Luke Harvey made no mistake with the penalty. Blair briefly threatened an equaliser although Harry Kingdon’s shot went well wide. In the 64th minute, however, a Deres free-kick from just outside the box was parried by Blair keeper Mitchell Ware only as far as Curtis, who had been waiting for a headed opportunity but found the ball at his feet for a tap-in to restore Deres’ two-goal advantage.
Deres played out the rest of the game with confidence, Martin and substitute Louis Sprosen both having chances, and it wasn’t until stoppage time that Blair threatened again, Anibaba blocking from skipper Calum McGeehan and Kingdon having the ball in the net before the offside flag was raised.
Main Photo: Martin Hawkins