Chatham Town 3-1 Hollands & Blair
Chatham Town 3-1 Hollands & Blair

It was a rainy derby match at The Bauvill Stadium with a strong last 20 minutes bringing 3 points Chatham’s way.

Chatham got the first half started with a quick chance coming from captain Paul Vines. It come from a cross into the box which he brought down but couldn’t get the right contact on the ball to send it into the net. Chatham continued the attacking flow with chances coming from two corners but both chances were scuppered when both shots were put high and wide.

Vines then had what was quite possibly the golden opportunity to make it 1-0 to The Chat’s but he didn’t take it. The ball came to him in space after being deflected off of a Blair leg, but Vines took one too many touches and then dragged the shot wide. Tom Fitzgerald looked to correct Vines’ mistake when he struck the ball beautifully on the half volley, but it couldn’t beat Shaun Wickes in goal who pulled off an incredible save. Vines continued to search for the goal he deserved after he found the ball in the box, but his chance was yet again taken from him after a small touch led to Wickes’ hands.

Hollands & Blair then got their first chance of the game coming from a cross which met Pat Bishenden on the edge of the box, but his volley flew over the bar. Captain Jason Frebene then had a great chance but just like Bishenden, he hit it well over the bar. The Chat’s then took it up the other end and created some more chances. Vines had another great chance but rolled it straight along the floor for Wickes to collect and then he got one on one with the keeper and this time his shot was straight at Wickes.  Fitzgerald then tried to do what Vines couldn’t after a fantastic run into the box but yet again the shot just couldn’t get past Wickes.

Both teams had plenty of chances in the first half, but no one could convert, which led to fans believing it was going to be a stalemate in the end.

The second half was kicked off by Blair, but Chatham come out the more attacking side with Vines getting another great chance. The ball fell to him in the box at the back post and he then took the shot on first time. It got past Wickes but he somehow managed to still keep it from going in! But The Chat’s were finally rewarded on the 72nd minute when super sub Michael Hagan’s superb shot from outside the box was parried by Wickes in goal into the net.

It seemed as if one goal would win the match, but Chatham wouldn’t let up as they went for the goal that would secure them the three points for sure and they found it when Richard Avery found the back of the net. A great, searching cross skimmed across the box with Blair and Chatham players sliding in to meet it but it was Avery who met it and managed to poke it past Wickes in goal.

This two goal cushion didn’t stop Chatham as they finally had the momentum they were looking for all match. Jon Pilbeam had a great chance saved and then ball fell straight down for Jack Mahoney, but his shot went high over the bar. Then a great chance for substitute Eitel Goueth to make it 3-0 just come too fast for him. Vines’ shot was saved and deflected right into the path Goueth who had an open goal to shoot at, but he went for the slick finish which didn’t come off for him as it went over the top of the goal.

Hollands & Blair had to respond, and they did when a dead ball in the box just couldn’t get cleared by The Chat’s and was poked towards a Blair shirt who took the chance perfectly as his shot blazed straight past Dan Ellis in goal and nestled itself into the middle of the goal. Blair was looking to get some revenge after conceding an equalizer which cost them all two points last week and looked to do it to Chatham, but Michael Hagan was having none of it as he secured all three points for The Chat’s. A lovely lofted pass from Fitzgerald fell to Hagan at the back post who had a free header and headed it straight over the top of Wickes in goal.

It was a great Christmas present for the home fans who won’t be seeing their team play at home until after Christmas and will be looking for their winning streak to continue when they come up against Cray Valley next week.

 

Chatham Town: Dan Ellis, James Fray, Reece Butler, Jack Mahoney (Eitel Goueth), Richard Avery, Corey Walters-Wright, Jon Pilbeam, Tom Fitzgerald, Paul Vines (Captain), Byron Walker (Michael Hagan), Matt Bodkin

Subs Not Used: Taylor McDonagh, Alfie Spiers and Luis Dos Santos.

 

Hollands & Blair: Shaun Wickes, Harrison Pont (Jason Mensah), Reiss Crimmen, Lee Garlinge, Charlie Plummer (Yellow Card), Billy Johnson, Jordan Gallagher (Yellow Card), Jason Frebene, Pat Bishenden (Darren Marsden), David Abe, Marshell Ratten.

Subs Not Used: Calvin Sedenu, Callum Peck and Charlie Daie.

 

Report Co-Written by Ethan Fergusson.


 
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