Dr Martens League Eastern Division 1999-00

Season 99/00

Reports 99/00

4/12/99 Hastings Town (1) 1 Tonbridge Angels (0) 0

Magnificent Town overcome all the odds

McArthur 38

Att:- 380 (Thanks again to the local’s for turning out in force - anywhere except the Pilot Field)

Magnificent, brilliant, superb - well, you just can’t come up with enough superlatives to describe this 1-0 slaughter of Tonbridge who could so easily have gone home on the wrong end of a seven or eight goal hammering.

Town started off without Steve Smith and Terry White who each have one game left of their suspensions to sit our. To the surprise of many, Stuart Myall started after that hamstring injury he picked up against Baldock but never came out for the second half - to the surprise of nobody - with a recurrence of the same problem.

As if that wasn’t bad enough - the first half had ended with Simmo in goal after Kess had to go off with a shoulder injury - for which, somewhat bizzarely - Dave Arter, the Tonbridge striker - was booked about 5 minutes later. But the lads coped really well with that enforced re-shuffle and went in 1-0 up thanks to an outstanding edge of the box special from the ever improving Duncan MacArthur - top right corner, in off the bar - Joe Radford in the Tonbridge goal was never anywhere near it. And yet - the goal came from a Paul Jones effort that was flying so wide of the target that it was going out for a throw in and while we were still moaning at Jonesie, Steve Yates picked the ball up and set Macca up for the goal - which rivalled Mylie’s effort against Bashley for power and placing.

No Mylie in the second half - Paul Holdaway replaced him and Mylie just wasn’t missed as the team coped with the latest change around of the afternoon. The second half was all one way traffic with Danny having little to do - and what he did have to do was done bloody well. Paul Jones had to go off after a tumble in the box that resulted in him damaging a shoulder. Talking about tumbles in the box - how referee Griffin saw fit to turn away two legitimate penalty appeals (Macca and Jonesie) was beyond belief. But then he’s baffled us on numerous previous accasions.

The chances created in that second half are too many to list - Macca hit a post twice (Terry’s going to have to watch out - he could lose that set piece title of his), Joe Radford got Tonbridge out of the mire with several good saves and how they escaped with just a single goal defeat is just unbelievable.

An exceptional performance - and my man of the match award goes to Sean Lofts who was playing Kent County League football with Rye a week or two ago - now didn’t we get a guy called Playford from Rye......... Well played Sean - and the rest of you. Up to 6th - games in hand - and away to Folkestone next Saturday.

Simon Stoddart

7/12/99 Hastings Town (0) 2 Erith & Belvedere (0) 0 [DMC2]

Town maintain Erith hoodoo and progress in DM Cup

D.Jones 70, Loft 90

Att:- 158

We have the same effect on Erith that Sittingbourne have on us. Since joining the Southern League in 85/86, we’ve played the Deres 18 times and have yet to lose. Yet, earlier this season, they went to Sittingbourne who we haven’t beaten in 12 attempts - and won 3-0.....

Should’ve been playing them in a DM Eastern game tonight - but having been drawn against them in the DM Cup (draw made on the day we beat Erith away back in October!) - that took precedence. Attendance of 158 just about sums up the pulling power of the DM Cup.

No Kess in goal - hopefully ok for the big game at Folkestone on Saturday - no Paul Jones and no Mylie. Jonesie should be ok Saturday - but don’t hold your breath on Mylie. Worryingly - Spencer Mintram went off in the first half with a knee problem which seemed to be ok after the game - fingers crossed for Saturday. Town still put in a very good performance and - as with the Tonbridge game on Saturday - it’s a mystery we didn’t win by more than 2-0. Completely dominated the game and it was a combination of a good keeper (NOT Craig Tucker who gave us such a good laugh a few weeks ago), a post and sheer bad luck that stopped us from being out of sight at half time.

Duncan McArthur had another bloody good game - rumours abounding that a West Ham scout was looking at him - and Sean Loft also put in a top 90 minutes and was hugely unlucky not to score what would would’ve been goal of the season from a bicycle kick. Erith did themselves no favours - or should I say their 9 did them no favours - by cretinously getting himself sent off for an argy bargy with Yatesie a matter of seconds after a warning for exactly the same offence. TW*T!

Duncan Jones put Town ahead late in the game - the ball flew into the 6 yard box - off his leg and into the net. All that domination - all those chances - and it took a freak goal to put us in front. Rob Wylie in goal dealt competently with everything he had to (having said that - he was bloody lucky not to be sent off in the first half for what looked like a red card clash outside the box) - the team with several reserves plus new signing Micky O’Callaghan did a fine job and it was only appropriate that Lofty should finish Erith off with a late, simple tap in after being set up by Duncan Jones.

Well played boys and let’s hope the form of the last two games can be repeated at Folkestone - that IS the first big one of the season - well, second after Chelmsford back in August.

Simon Stoddart

14/12/99 Hastings Town (0) 1 Dartford (0) 1


Smith 79

Att:- 219

Town’s second chance to make up ground on the top five and make inroads on their fixture backlog resulted in this dreary and pretty fortunate 1-1 draw. Very disappointing that when we’ve had a chance to reduce that points difference, we’ve basically blown it by firstly losing to a very average Baldock and then scraping a draw last night against more mediocre opposition.

Ours was the only Eastern Division game last night as the other fixture between Fisher and Folkestone was postponed - presumably due to a frozen pitch. Conditions at The Pilot Field were pretty awful - a very cold night - rock hard pitch and matters hardly helped by the absence of Danny Simmonds, Duncan McArthur and Stuart Myall - suspended, suspended and injured respectively. Smudger Smith and Terry White were back but looked rusty, Steve Sargent got a rare 90 minutes in and - frankly - had a nightmare. But then nobody played well - just one of those games.

Would’ve been nice to avenge the 2-4 drubbing Dartford gave us in August - but apart from an early break into the box by Jonesie who’s cross went frustratingly behind all of our guys and a long range effort by Terry that was only just too high - we created very little and on too many occasions had to back pedal frantically against a small but lively Dartford front line.

Second half wasn’t much better and the worsening state of the pitch didn’t help. Having had two valid penalty claims turned down in the Tonbridge game - we had another good shout for handball in the box rejected by Referee McCoy who’s performance was abysmal with some quite incredible decisions.

On the hour we went 0-1 down - well taken goal rifled past Kess into the far corner. Town stepped up a gear after that and looked a bit better. They just about deserved their equaliser from Smudger who’d pushed up front after starting off at right back - a header with little power but placed perfectly beyond a flat footed keeper who watched it roll over the line off the post.

Might even have sneaked it in the last 10 minutes but that would’ve been just too good to be true. 10 points behind leaders Newport with 3 games in hand - and Fisher are here on Saturday. Should have a full squad for that - with the exception, surely, of Stuart Myall.


Yes - it’s confirmed that instead of playing Fleet on Jan 15th - we will instead be off to Storrington for a Sussex Senior Cup tie with a 1.30 kick off as we find ourselves having to re arrange our league fixtures to accomodate some Micky Mouse Bumpkinship outfit that doesn’t have floodlights. We will now play Fleet on Tuesday 1st February which in a way is poetic justice because they wouldn’t come here when we had a free Saturday earlier in the season and will have to trek over mid week instead. If it wasn’t for our fixtures backlog and what’s at stake - this whole shambles would be comical.

Simon Stoddart

18/12/99 Hastings Town (2) 3 Fisher Athletic (Munden) (1) 2


Loft 1,15,64

Att:- 295

At last the chance to mix it with a side in the top 5 - and as tests go - they don’t come much harder than this. No McArthur - out with flu - but a surprise return for Stuart Myall who, crucially, seems to get through the 90 minutes ok. Simmo’s back after suspension and we’ve got a virtually full strength side and what a start, 1-0 up after a minute when Lofty’s unmarked to head in a corner past the legendary Gob o’ Kent, Mo Munden.

2-0 after 15 minutes when Jonesie breaks down the right and sets up Lofty for his second from what Fisher think is an offside position - what a good decision by the linesman to keep his flag down. Town dominate but Fisher do enough to show why they’re where they are in the league. And they’re back in it on 38 minutes when Town fail - again - to deal with a corner.

2-2 after 46 minutes, Town caught out down the middle and a good finish puts the sides all square. But Town don’t let the setback get in the way of playing some fine football in what is a bloody good game - classic end to end stuff. Lofty completes a memorable hat trick on 64 minutes when he heads in a cross from Simmo (?) From close range.

The game comes to a bizarre halt with 10 minutes left when Referee, Ian Gosling (who, for a change had a very competent spell in charge) takes a tumble and dislocates an elbow. Fisher go off, our lads stay on and we panic thinking the game might be called off - but another linesman is found and the match resumes at 4.45. Another 15 minutes or so are played - and if Lofty’s got a hat trick - don’t forget Kess in goal who pulls off three excellent saves as Fisher press for an equaliser.

Sparse crowd it might be (Christmas shopping and Fisher bringing no fans) - but huge celebrations on and off the pitch when the whistle goes. We deserve to win this - the side displays great character to keep it all together when Fisher have got back to 2-2. Nice to get one over on their manager, Alan Walker, who nobbled us so many times when playing for and managing Sittingbourne.

Up to 5th after Witney go down 0-3 at Newport - Folkestone and Ashford also win - but we’re in there. Our next game - 27th December - up the road at Fort Fun where a big crowd can be expected. THAT is the one we want to win more than anything........

Simon Stoddart

27/12/99 St Leonards (1) 4 Hastings Town (1) 1

Mudbath Massacre @ Fort Fun

White 27

Att:- 1209

What a way to see out the 1900’s - if there was anywhere we would have preferred not to get a drubbing like this - and 1-4 more than accurately reflects the afternoon’s proceedings - it has to Fort Fun. It was a miracle the game even started - the pitch was a bog and as for the penalty areas....... When did we last play a Boxing Day fixture that wasn’t affected by poxy weather? Not that we can complain - conditions were the same for both sides.

And it all started off so well when Terry headed in a rebound after the St Leonards keeper couldn’t hold onto a Danny Simmonds effort. It has to be said that came against the run of the play because St Leonards coped better with the conditions. Within 3 minutes it was 1-1 after a Matt Ball back pass stuck in the mud and after a scramble it was ex Town striker Simon Fox who levelled. But we could’ve regained the lead on 39 minutes but Terry hit the bar with a penalty awarded for hand ball.

The second half was a nightmare and Town didn’t do anything till they were 1-4 down - and in the last 10 minutes they created three good chances - Mylo headed just wide, Duncan saw a good effort brilliantly tipped over and Matt deserved at least a consolation goal only to be denied by a post. But - too little too late - the game was over after 77 minutes when they got their fourth. We were just not in it, we didn’t play well and much as it hurts to say it - and it does bloody hurt - St Leonards were the better side.

Newport, Folkestone and Fisher all won - so the gap widens. We might have games in hand but you can’t beat points in the bag and today’s result is a big blow for all sorts of reasons.

Happy New Year? Yeah right. Couldn’t have seen the old one out any worse if we’d tried.

PS - not a word in the programme about the close season take over tactics that nearly saw us go out of existence. Draw your own conclusions.

Simon Stoddart

Using the latest satelite technology, we can bring you the conditions at the Firs:

Fort Fun

On a more serious note, can somebody point out to the council that it would be better for the clubs (if it comes to it) to share the Pilot Field rather than this pitch, the money required to make it into a decent one is money wasted.

Well done to Andy Thompson, those hours practicing on Romney Marshes really paid off.