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Erith Town 1 Corinthian 1 (Erith Town won 4-2 on penalties): Southern Counties East Premier Division Play-off Final report

Erith Town will be playing step 4 football for the first time in their history next season.

The Dockers won the Southern Counties East Premier Division Play-off Final on penalties against Corinthian at Bayliss Avenue.

Erith Town celebrate promotion after winning the Southern Counties East Premier Division play-off on Monday.
Erith Town celebrate promotion after winning the Southern Counties East Premier Division play-off on Monday.

It completes a memorable season for Erith who also won both the Kent Senior Trophy and the Challenge Cup, the latter via a shoot-out – also against luckless Corinthian.

Volunteers worked throughout the day to ensure the game went ahead following heavy rain with a crowd of 671 in attendance.

Corinthian keeper Nathan Boamah showed good handling in the wet conditions after just seven minutes to handle George Goodwin’s early long-range drive.

It was Corinthian who went ahead midway through the first half with a slick counter attack as Oscar Housego and Charlie Clover combined for the latter to set up Michael Hagan, who beat keeper Mackenzie Foley with a low finish.

The tricky feet of James Dyer nearly produced an Erith equaliser but Corinthian were able to clear. Their three defensive towers of Jamie Billings, Sam Fitzgerald and Tom Fitzgerald headed away most balls into the box.

Boamah made a smart save at the start of the second half to thwart Harrison Carnegie while Clover blazed over at the other end.

Erith started to dominate possession but Corinthian were a threat on the counter, Foley saving well at the feet of Clover before Housego hit the post after good work by substitute Festos Kamara.

Then Kamara crossed into the box but his delivery was just ahead of Brandon Davey as Corinthian broke clear following an Erith free-kick.

Erith introduced substitute Bradley Ryan and he gave their attack a different dimension. The pressure was building as Dyer’s shot was brilliantly blocked and the resulting corner was headed over from close range.

Then a right-wing corner was fumbled by Boamah but, in a crowded six-yard box, the assistant referee ruled the ball hadn’t been forced over the line.

Erith deservedly levelled with just four minutes left when striker Harry Taylor glanced in a deep cross by Jerome Jayaguru.

Despite play-offs at step 4 and above going to extra-time, the FA strangely ruled that steps 5 and 6 games go straight to penalties after 90 minutes.

Erith went first with keeper Foley scoring against his opposite number before Billings made it 1-1.

Dyer put Erith ahead before Foley correctly dived to his right to deny Housego. It was 3-1 when Goodin drilled his spot-kick home but Ahmed Salim Futa managed to squeeze in his penalty.

Erith were 4-2 ahead when James Miles found the bottom corner and the Dockers were promoted when Foley produced his second save, an excellent one-handed stop to deny Corinthian substitute Sam Bewick.

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