A busy August pre-season campaign continued with plenty of midweek friendlies taking place involving our SCEFL sides.
As they took place ‘Behind Closed Doors’ we have brought together a round-up of the action here.
Tuesday 4th August
AFC Croydon 0-0 Tudor Sports
Chatham Town 2-2 Cray Valley PM
FC Elmstead 0-3 Erith & Belvedere
Welling Town 0-5 Welling United
Following some goalscoring practice on Saturday Chatham Town had a much tougher test in front of them when Cray Valley PM visited the Bauvill on Tuesday night. The Chats once again went in with a strong attacking line-up while Cray Valley gave debuts to their recent signings Conor Dymond and Ade Yusuff.
Chatham started strong and took the lead early on when Chris Lawal headed home a Ryan Hayes cross. Yusuff then became a big problem for the home defence for the rest of the first half as he netted twice, and was only denied a hat-trick thanks to a fine penalty save from Jordan Carey.
The second half started with a George Sheminant equaliser for the hosts before both managers utilised their playing squads and the game ended in a 2-2 draw. A great test and result for Chatham who will next host Folkestone Invicta on Saturday.
Chatham Town: Carey, Ajayi, Lawal, Sheminant, Dalton, Robins, Pilbeam, Hayes, Evans, Pugh, Bradshaw
Substitutes: Butler, Bodkin, McIlheron, Smith, Orji, Parmby, Brown.
Welling Town faced their second National League South opposition in a few days with the visit of Welling United following a narrow weekend loss to Concord Rangers.
This one was far more clear cut in terms of result with the Wings running out as 5-0 victors although the Boots had their chances to get themselves on the scoresheet.
Sam Bailey and Ryan Golding both went close to netting but it was the teenage goalkeeper Nathan Ross who was the real star of the night for Welling Town, making several excellent saves that kept the score down to a respectable figure.
The scoreline was not the key thing going into the game for Manager Kevin Oakes as winning against such a strong side was never a realistic option. Instead he wanted a strong test for his squad and to grow the links between his club and his more famous namesakes.
He got that and more as he also got to see the benefit of their partnership with the ‘Charlton Atheltic Community Trust’ in the shape of a Man of the Match performance from their young keeper.
Kevin told us: “Nathan was thrown in the deep end a bit to be fair, with his debut in mens football coming against such a strong team – and at short notice too as Jack Moore has a slight injury strain coming out of the weekend.
He is a clearly a keeper with a bright future and we look forward to working with him and others that come through the CACT to us. It shows our growth as a Club that we can already provide a pathway to Mens Football and this is going to be a huge benefit to us and the young players in our area over the coming months and years”.
The Manager / Chairman is a lifelong Wings fan and is keen for his own Club to forge strong links with an outfit that, as expected, had more quality than his own on the night.
“Welling United clearly respected us, sending down a strong squad down many of whom we knew from their previous National League South campaign, while there were also trialists from the Divisions above. Sure, as expected they dominated play in the main part but we had decent spells and chances and will come on a lot for playing 90 minutes against such a good team. We thank them for the game and look forward to working closer with them in the future, with player movement and joint ventures an avenue that both parties are keen to explore.”
Next-up for Kevin Oakes and his men is a visit to Isthmian North side Hullbridge Sports on Saturday.
Welling Town: Ross, Amoah, Muckle, Tabima, Afoke, Simms, Jimoh, Batchilly, Bennett, Montoya, Bailey.
Substitutes: Cody, Benyoucef, Clarke, Nelson, Arthur-Dede, Eshilokun, Golding, Bewick, Wright.
FC Elmstead and Erith & Belvedere both took to the field for the first time this pre-season with the Deres coming away as 3-0 victors.
Strike pair Kameiko Pope-Campbell x2 and Henry Dasofunjo got the goals for Del Oldfield’s side, with the First Team Manager pleased to finally see his side play a game after such a long break.
“It was a good game against tough opposition. Elmstead were placed in 6th before the Lockdown, and could well have made that push for a Top 4 spot and been promoted, so it was the kind of test we needed early on to see where we were really at.
We’ve spent the last 5/6 weeks ticking over on a Saturday morning, slowly putting a squad together, but we started our Pre Season properly last week, so it was nice to actually play a game at long last.”
The Club have had a major overhaul during the past few months, the new bar looks stunning, new sponsors are on board and everyone involved is focussed on driving the Deres forward.
“It’s no secret that we’re operating with no budget initially, but it’s a scenario that will be looked at once the season gets started and the new Directors can forecast properly and be able to implement a budget that is sustainable to the running of the club. That means though that every player is here because they want to be, and are happy with the vision of the club going forward at this point. Sometimes that’s a blessing in itself, and I’m grateful to all the players for showing that faith in us and what we’re trying to do.”
“That all being said, the club have invested heavily off the field, and we now have a brand new bar area that looks amazing, along with new kits, tracksuits, training kits etc that all add to a welcoming environment to anyone joining us. So again, I’m grateful to them for providing that environment.
Last night was pleasing to get going with a first win and clean sheet, in what was a very solid all round squad performance. There are plenty of positives to take out of the game, but there are also aspects that we need to improve on, so the hard work has only just begun.”
Erith & Belvedere will now go on to face Snodland Town on Saturday while FC Elmstead will play the other of the Erith sides as they continue their tough preparation ahead of another run at promotion from the First Division.
For pre-season fixtures and results please click here.
Wednesday 5th August
Rochester United 6-3 Guru Nanak L
Stansfeld 1-0 Maidstone Utd u23s
Stansfeld got their pre-season campaign under way with a solid 1-0 win at home to a young Maidstone side. The visitors had held Kent Football United to a 2-2 draw on Saturday but couldn’t deny this experienced Stansfeld line-up from getting the victory here. The only goal of the game came in the 35th minute from Billy Shinners before the second half saw a heavy rotation of players and the squad well utilised.
Stansfeld: Cottrell, Parkinson, Killilea, Wise, Beale, Holland, Minter, McCormack, Milton, Shinners, Oborne.
Substitutes: Summersby, Ryan, Kempton, Cray, Hughes, Malyon, Hassan
Rochester United were involved in another goalfest but unlike Saturday things went their way this time. The Spartans bounced back in style from a heavy defeat to Chatham Town at the weekend to take this match 6-3 against Guru Nanak. The Kent County side raced into a 2-goal lead but as Rochester went through the gears the goals soon followed, with Max Ciano x2, Lucas Payne x2, Reece Gillies and Callum Peck all finding the net.
Rochester Utd Starting line-up: Nourse, Brown, Plummer, Cook, Webb, Ciano, Teddy, Hume, Blake, Payne, Cox.
Main Photo: Dave Cumberbatch