Monday, 2 May 2016

Erith & Belvedere 0 Hollands & Blair 2

Match 95/15/1300 - Monday, 2nd May 2016 - SCEL Challenge Cup Final

Erith & Belvedere (0) 0
Hollands & Blair (1) 2 Prescott 5,82
Attendance: 326
Played at Welling United

Entrance: £5 Senior
Programme: £2
Mileage: 70/6,743

Hollands & Blair finshed their debut season in the Southern Counties East League with silverware in the shape of the Challenge Cup. The Gillingham based club have had a fine season chasing the big money club of the league, Greenwich Borough, all the way before falling off the pace in the last month to eventually finish runners-up.

Erith & Belvedere have had a difficult season and finished languishing in 16th position in a 19 team league, not what would be expected of one of the historically grand old clubs of Kent.

Blair were quickly out of the blocks and created a scoring opportunity after just 17 seconds and after two minutes Justin Ascheri saw a well hit volley go narrowly wide.

So it was no surprise when H&B took the lead after five minutes. A corner from the right taken by Ascheri was met with a towering, but unchallenged, header from Sam Prescott to open the scoring.

On the quarter-hour, Erith made their first foray into opposition territory with a header that drifted wide but two minutes later, goalkeeper Rilwan Anibaba looked to have allowed a cross from the left to go over his head, but somehow managed to palm it to safety.

The Kent side continued to dominate with corners from Ascheri and Bryan Greenfield, who had taken the skipper's armband after Steve Dampier was forced to leave the field after 20 minutes, causing all sorts of problems.

The Deres problems multiplied just before half-time when Liam Wright got needlessly involved in an altercation with Hollands' keeper Dan Ellis and appeared to head butt the custodian and received a red card for his trouble.

The league's leading goalscorer, James McDonald, should have added to his season's total of 35 goals with three opportunities in three minutes. Two headers and a shot all narrowly missing the target.

On the hour, Rob Denness, McDonald's strike partner with 18 of his own this term, fired in a powerful shot that was beaten away by Anibaba and then a cheeky backheel from McDonald deserved a reward for its invention.

For all their dominance and personnnel advantage it took until eight minutes from the end for Hollands to seal the trophy. A cross from the right, was hooked into the net from within a crowded penalty area but Prescott.

There were two late efforts and a last gasp strike of the woodwork from McDonald as the star striker had an unusual blank day; not that he would have minded as he collected his winner's medal.

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