Match Date: 18 February 2017
Match report by Allan Hefferon
This game was to be a close affair throughout with the opening stages producing potential goal threats, for Erith it was the pace of wingmen Nathan Palmer and Bradley Simms and for Bearsted front runners Reece Connor and Andy Hart. However the visitors were able to open the scoring after 14 minutes when Graeme Andrews feed the ball down the right for Collins to run on, before providing the cross for the incoming Matt Garner to power home a header from close range. Almost immediately after the score could have been doubled in similar fashion, following another Connor run, the ball was returned to Luke Hughes for him to cross to Hart, only for him to see his header striking the far post before falling to safety. However, very soon after, they had to be grateful to their goalkeeper Scott Andrews for maintaining the scoreline, having to make a smart save from Olakunie GIWA. Unfortunately for him though he could do very little to prevent an equaliser after 30 minutes when he was only able to get a hand to a header by Quinton Conteh getting onto the end of a Palmer cross to score from 5 yards
The immediate impact after the half time break came from Town, when following a deep cross into the box Giwa was able to get a goal bound shot on target which was somehow deflected onto the bar and going over to safety. However midway through the half saw a penalty decision given to the Bears following a run by Hart on goal which was brought to an end by a tackle by Lee Coburn, the result of which seeing referee point at the spot. Unfortunately the opportunity to score was not taken by Ollie Bartrum sending his shot clip the bar and going over. What turned out to be the match winner though came 16 minutes from time when a Connor shot on goal was deflected into the path of Garner to grab his second of the afternoon. This strike did signal a period of Erith pressure the result of which creating several tense moments for the visitor’s defence, during which time saw a wonder save Scott Andrews diving low to his left, turning a rasping goal bound shot by Palmer from 30 yards around the post. This was though not the last piece of action as with only a minute to go Bearsted did think they had sealed the game when Hart played in Peter Williams to steer the ball past home keeper Charlie Penfold only for him to be denied by a linesmen’s flag.
Team: S.Andrews, L.Hughes (S.Flisher) A.Foster, R.Lyall, O.Bartrum, G.Andrews, M.Holliday(C.Carcary) M.Garner, A.Hart, K.Mooney (P.Williams)
Subs: S.Sage, B.Donnelly