Match Report from Hollands & Blair
Hollands & Blair were beaten 3-1 in their SCEFL Premier Division opener by a pacey Erith & Belvedere at Park View Road.
Former assistant manager Luke Harvey was often left to plough a lone furrow up front, netted a 48th minute penalty but it proved little more than a consolation for the Blair contingent in the crowd of 79.
New faces in Si Halsey's starting XI were full-back Samuel Itauma and the attacking Leyton Davis while Kieran Sharp returned to the club having spent the last campaign at Lordswood.
Before the game here, and around the whole SCEFL circuit, the two sides observed a minutes applause to remember Plum and Blair later tweeted -
"A huge thank you to all our fellow SCEFL teams across the league for paying their respects to our Secretary and inspirational leader Laurence Plummer who we lost in November 2020. Thank you also to SCEFL for organising this. Plum is sorely missed."
The Deres put Blair under pressure from the off, diagonal balls to the wide forcing them onto the backfoot, and they went ahead in the fifth minute when the rapid Henry Dasofunjo squared for Keanan Allassani to stroke home from six yards.
Dasofunjo then fired a shot wide before Blair finally got themselves into the game when Jack Simon smacked a free-kick inches over.
Home keeper Rilwan Anibaba flapped at a great Louis Valencia cross from the right but the loose ball was cleared before Simon saw another fine, curling free-kick beat the wall and the keeper but crash back off the post and Harry Kingdon was unable to react quickly enough and could only put the rebound over.
Four minutes from the break Blair fell further behind, a similar build-up and finish to the first goal, although down the left this time, by the same oncoming midfielder.
Skipper Callum McGeehan got forward to send a shot across the face of goal just before the break and Blair did pull one back three minutes into the second-half.
David Chandler, another new boy who'd replaced Davis at half-time, was brought down in area by Drew Allassani and referee Thomas Fennelly didn't really have a decision to make. Harvey confidently stepped up to fire the resultant spot-kick low to Anibaba's right, recording his first competetive goal for the club.
Former Bridon Ropes winger Dasofunjo, who proved a constant thorn throughout, saw Blair keeper Mitchell Ware tip over but a third goal did arrive in the 63rd minute. Ware could only parry a low free-kick and central defender Rob Curtis was on hand to poke home.
Ware was called upon again minutes later to keep out a Dave Martin volley but it was the visitors that finished the game on the attack.
Harvey turned on the edge of the area but shot over, Ben Brown, who'd come on in the 74th minute in a double substitution along with George Benner, put a far post header wide and had another effort ruled out for offside, Harvey shot at the keeper before Anibaba denied McGeehan late on after a neat build up involving Chandler and Kingdon.