Santa Celebrates Christmas Fixture with The Dockers

Santa Celebrates Christmas Fixture with The Dockers

Ryan Mahal leads the team out with Mascot Aleena

There may still be a couple more weeks to go until 25th December, but Christmas came early for the 168 fans in attendance for The Dockers’ fixture with Hollands & Blair in the SCEFL Premier Division.

Along with the playing staff and fans in the seats at the Stanmore Stadium, Erith Town were met by another special guest in Father Christmas, who in the blink of an eye built a beautiful grotto for the young children to visit him in and also treated our family visitors to fantastic selection boxes before everyone took their seats for the match action on the field.

With our third highest attendance of the 2023/24 season, Adam Woodward’s side started on the front foot well, but were met by an organised and stubborn Hollands & Blair on a pitch surface that only managed to survive the elements due to the incredibly hard work of volunteers behind the scenes at The Dockers.

There were plenty of exciting moments in the first half including a fabulous volleyed goal from Harry Taylor cruelly disallowed for offside while the visitors had a couple of chances that left The Dockers’ faithful with their hearts in their mouths, but with both sides locked at 0-0 at half-time, it was the turn of the Junior Dockers and other young fans to take to the field for a fun penalty shoot-out whilst the home side had their half-time oranges and team talks.

Clearly inspired by their young guests, The Dockers started the second-half brilliantly and deservedly went ahead after a long ball from Ryan Mahal was stabbed past the visiting Number One and into the back of the net by Ollie Milton to make it 1-0. The ball seemed to take forever to trickle into the net and there were gasps and cries from the 168 Dockers’ faithful wondering what side of the post it would end up, but the second it crossed the line, a roar sounded around Bayliss Avenue that could be heard all around SE28. After more brilliant defending, the final whistle sounded and the three points remained in Thamesmead.

Kids meeting Father Christmas at The Dockers' grotto

Speaking after the game to the official Erith Town podcast, The Dockers Debate, first team manager, Adam Woodward said, “There was sickness in the camp, and five or six of them we had to dig up out of bed, but that’s what it’s about and again another clean sheet.  They put a few balls into the box and it was edgy at the end, but three points is three points and that’s what we set out for. I thought George Goodwin was superb, I thought the back four and Joe Chalker were exceptional and James Trueman managed to keep them quiet. Ollie Milton gambled [for the goal], he’s done well and nipped in front and that’s what good centre forwards do.

Commenting on the work behind the scenes, our visitors to the Stanmore Stadium and our special guest from the North Pole, Woodward continued, “It was great work from everyone to get the game on and it’s great for the big man, Father Christmas to come along and see the kids – absolutely superb!  It’s great for the local community and we’ll keep building and building. We had over 150 here and it’s a positive. We’re really going in the right direction and it’s a credit to everyone working hard behind the scenes. We just got to make sure we keep doing the business on the pitch and the club will grow off of it.

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