Saturday 22nd April 2017
Bearsted v Erith & Belvedere
Southern Counties East Football League
Kick off 3.00pm
Otham Sports Ground, Honey Lane, Otham, ME15 8RG
It's do or die for the Deres in our penultimate game of the league season when we travel down to Maidstone to face Bearsted, the Deres are currently two points from safety and it looks like everything is going to go down to the wire.
Bearsted have enjoyed a stable first season in the SCEFL Premier Division and last time we met them earlier in the season Bearsted came away as 2-1 winners, Anthony Adesite gave the Deres the lead but goals from Keelan Mooney and Andrew Irvine gave the visitors all three points. Bearsted are currently 13th in the league table with 41 points from their 36 games
£7.00 - Adults
£3.50 - Concessions
Free - Under 16's with a full paying adult
Referee: Jack Fagg
Assistant Referees: Don McLeod & Josh Smith
Club Name: Bearsted FC
Nickname: The Bears
Ground: Otham Sports Ground, Honey Lane, Otham, ME15 8RG
Distance from Park View Road (Round Trip): 65.8 miles
Colours: All Yellow
Manager: Kevin Stevens
Last Season: 1st (Kent Invicta League)
Bearsted Football Club was founded in 1895 and is one of the oldest clubs in the County of Kent. Some early history of the club can be found in the book "A history of Bearsted and Thurnham". The club was reformed after the Second World War and continued its participation in the Maidstone and District Saturday Football League running first and reserve sides. It was in the mid-1970's that the Club emerged as one of the leading local Maidstone teams. After applying to join the Maidstone League`s Premier Division the club finished runners-up for three consecutive seasons and then champions for three successive seasons.
At the same time the youth section of the Club started when we took under our wing a young boys club, Bearsted Hornets, who ran U12 and U14 sides. In 1982 the club was elected into the Kent County League. Since then the club has won almost every league and cup competition run by that league.
The club celebrated its Centenary in 1995, the occasion being marked by a dinner at the Great Danes Hotel. Commemorative certificates were presented by both the Football Association and the Kent County Football Association.
For its first 100 years, the club played on the Green at Bearsted. However, the higher standard of football in which the club plays requires better facilities. So in 1998/9, we moved to our present ground at Otham. Since then the club has invested heavily in improving the excellent facilities there.
In the 1999/2000 season, we reached the semi-final of the Kent Senior Cup (defeating three Kent League sides on the way) before losing to Deal Town who later went on to win the FA Vase at Wembley. In the same season, the Times reported on our League achievement in going unbeaten until the first weekend in May. In the season 2002/3, the Kent County League represented England in a UEFA tournament, its representative side being managed by Bearsted's first team manager and coach and with 5 Bearsted players representing England. The club is very proud of the individuals who have represented their country.
The club was awarded FA Charter Status in 2005.
Bearsted FC have had the honour and privilege of being involved in the early development of many players that have gone on to play at a higher standard with names like Doug Loft, Adam Birchall, Danny Spiller to name but a few. But there was one whose finest hour wasn’t even known to the club until after he died.
Ray Hutchins joined Bearsted in the 70s and served the club in many of our successful league and cup campaigns. After he retired he became our First Team Manager taking up the mantle from Russ May, another ex-player and stalwart, and continued to bring home the trophies. Following his spell in charge, Ray remained an active member of the club striving towards its further development and enhanced reputation in Kent club football.
Sadly Ray died suddenly on a golf course in December 1999 leaving us all quite shell-shocked. 17 years later he is still fondly remembered and missed and ever since his death, his former teammates and friends have held a lunch in early December to commemorate his life. The event is still well attended by these acquaintances coming together to both remember Ray and, through him, enjoy many fond memories together. In addition to this, the Club holds an annual golf day during the Summer where his memory lives on.
While Ray played for us, it was apparent what a fine player we had and with such an elegant style. However, during all the years we knew him, none of us really appreciated the high level he had played at. He always remained so modest about it and very rarely would mention it. But one day one of his daughters passed on an article she had just received, written by his old friend and team-mate Andy Wheeler who had played alongside him at Redhill.
The article related that Ray was “one of the most remarkable players ever to have played for Redhill”. He was a product of Roan Grammar School, Blackheath. Many amateur clubs were chasing his signature but he chose to sign for Redhill under manager Eric Nicholls.
It is quite probable that Ray was the last player from non-league to not just get selected but play for England at youth level. He gained two England Youth caps against Wales and Scotland in the 1963/64 season, in a squad which included Peter Springett, John Hollins, Harry Redknapp, Peter Knowles, Howard Kendall, Dave Sadler and Don Rogers.
Ray sent the professional club scouting system into overdrive. Yet football becomes secondary to Ray as he pursued a career in accountancy and became a member of the London Chartered Institute. A framed photo of Ray Hutchins, a wonderful player in action against Scotland at Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough, is proudly on display in the clubhouse at Redhill.
Head to Head
Dears Goals: 1
Bears Goals: 2
05/11/2016, SCEFL, Deres 1 (Adesite), Bearsted 2 (Mooney, Irvine)
Getting to the Game
Directions from Junction 7 on the M20, at the first roundabout, take the 1st exit signposted Bearsted. Continue past Nottcuts Garden Centre then at the next roundabout take the 3rd exit onto New Cut Road, continue to the end of the road upon reaching the traffic lights then left at the T-junction.
Continue along Ashford Road passing over one set of traffic lights, before reaching the second set of traffic lights move over to Offside Lane, turn right at the traffic lights onto Willington Street, continue until you reach the bottom of the hill and then turn left onto Deringwood Road, take the 4th right turn into Chruch Road and continue up to the T-Junction and turn left onto White Horse Lane.
The ground is on the right-hand side, just before reaching the Whitehorse Pub carry on up the Unmade Road and the main gates are on the left.
By Public Transport
The closest stations are Maidstone West which can be reached on services via Dartford and Bearsted which can be reached on services via Bromley South, the ground is quite far away from each station and there are no weekend bus links so a taxi from the station is reccomended.
Elswhere in the League
SCEFL Premier Division
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Crowborough Athletic v Beckenham Town
Croydon v Ashford United
Rochester United v Erith Town
Sevenoaks Town v Fisher
Tunbridge Wells v Hollands & Blair
Whitstable Town v Cray Valley PM
SCEFL First Division
Updated 22:54 - 20 Apr 2017 by Website Admin
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