Chatham Town 5-2 Canterbury City
Chatham Town 5-2 Canterbury City

Chatham Town have lived up to many pre-season expectations with a flying start that has left them top of the fledging SCEFL table after over powering a Canterbury City side who themselves arrived in Medway buoyant after putting five past Rusthall on opening day.

And for the opening forty-five minutes the two sides were more than evenly matched.  As lightening flashed and thunder crashed around the ground, the officials initially held both teams off the playing area whilst the worst of the storm passed.

When the game did get under way a couple of minutes later than planned, it was the home side who went close first as Jason Thompson curled a shot just too high from twenty-five yards before the home side thought they should have had a spot kick as Jon Pilbeam was wrestled to the ground – referee Price though wasn’t interested.

The early pressure finally paid dividends as Byron Walker was on hand to squeeze Matt Parsons’ magnificent centre between keeper Jack Delo and his right post to give the Chats the 26th minute lead.

Canterbury looked as if they could be facing a long night until out of absolutely nothing Jordan Casey arrowed a terrific drive beyond keeper Ben Nourse into the bottom corner to leave the vast majority of the two hundred plus crowd shaking their heads.

There was certainly something said in the home dressing room at the break as within five minutes of the restart, it was game over, points in the bag and the Chats were heading top of the table, as City were blitzed.

Veteran marksman Paul Vines fired home spectacularly from the edge of the box; Jon Pilbeam was on hand to tap home after keeper Delo couldn’t hold onto a shot from the edge of the box before Reece Butler powered home an unstoppable header from a left-wing corner.  A level game that could have gone either way at the break was suddenly a home banker!

Vines was then denied his second of the night by a smart block from Delo before the Chats skipper missed a golden opportunity as he crashed a spot-kick against the Canterbury cross bar after Vines himself had been flattened.

Canterbury briefly rallied as Ryan Cheek flashed a header narrowly wide from Adam Woollcott’s free kick before the exit door was crashed shut behind them as substitute Michael Hagan slid in at the back-post to meet a driven cross to the back-post!

To their credit, Canterbury did net the last goal of the game as Casey looped home a second from a Wollcott free-kick with five minutes left but by then they were a well beaten side and Chatham were heading for the early summit of the SCEFL.

Chatham Town – Nourse, Bedford, Parsons, Davisson, McDonagh, Butler, Fitzgerald, Thompson, Vines, Walker, Pilbeam

Subs – Okundalaiye, Clarke, Hagan, Francis

Canterbury City – Delo, Ndaw, M Turner, Keyte, Harvey, Cheek, Woolcott, Pilcher, Casey, J Turner, Froggatt

Subs – Nelder, Phillip, R Lawrence, Middleton, S Lawrence