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Erith Town v Corinthian preview
Erith Town v Corinthian preview

Stanmore Stadium, Bayliss Avenue, is the venue for the South Eastern Counties Football League play-off decider when Erith Town host Corinthian on Bank Holiday Monday.

Both teams came through away game eliminators to qualify for the match on the early May Bank Holiday. The Dockers finished fourth in the league table so went to third placed Glebe and came from behind to claim the honours.

There was one first half goal for Glebe, finished by Natahan Mampono who headed home Jamie Philpot’s cross. Foxes goalkeeper, Nathan Edwards, then did everything that he could to keep his team ahead until beaten with fourteen minutes remaining.

Even then, he made a stunning save but luck was against him when it came out to Tom Ash and he slammed it home from twelve yards. Seven minutes later Erith scored the winner when super-sub Bradley Ryan crossed and Harry Taylor hooked it home.

Meanwhile, fifth placed Corinthian travelled to runners-up Faversham Town in a match that went to penalties before the Hoops prevailed. This was not as big a shock as it might look as there were only four points between the two teams, however, the hosts came into the match as strong favourites having won their previous six matches which included a four-nil victory over their play-off opponents.

Billy Bingham put the Lilywhites ahead in the fourth minute however parity was restored when Michael Hagan scored twelve minutes later. Connor Essam put Faversham back ahead midway through the first half but shortly after the hour mark, Dean Naylor equalised. It then went to penalties and Corinthian won four-one.

In the regular league season, Corinthian recorded the double over Erith. At Bayliss Avenue back in September, the Hoops registered an incredible come from behind victory. Henry Arnold and James Dyer gave the hosts a two goal lead and when Joe Chalker scored just before the hour mark it appeared that the contest was over.

However, Charlie Clover pulled one back soon after, followed by a Jack Unwin goal eleven minutes from time. Injury time goals by Luke Adams and Sam Bewick completed the turnaround.

When the two teams met in the return match, the Dockers again lost after leading. Dyer opened the scoring in the sixth minute but Oscar Housego levelled eight minutes later. Hagan scored what turned out to be the winner with eleven minutes remaining.

After that, there was one further meeting between the two clubs in the final of the SCEFL Challenge Cup on Good Friday at Hollands & Blair. On this occasion the Hoops went ahead through Hagan on the half hour mark but Dyer levelled five minutes before full time. In the penalty shoot-out, the Dockers were faultless and won five-three to claim the silverware. 

It would come as no surprise if the promotion decider was also a tension filled event that went all the way and with a bumper crowd, early arrival is recommended.