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Chatham Town 0-1 Cray Valley PM
Chatham Town 0-1 Cray Valley PM

Cray Valley PM started their season with silverware as they ran out tight 1-0 winners over Chatham Town on Saturday afternoon in the Southern Counties East Charity Shield.

Cray dominated this game & fully deserved this victory after this display and the omens look good for them this season as they enter the Bet Victor South East Division. Chatham defended well but just lacked a little but once the season starts they should be one of the favourites for promotion & they won’t come across a team like Cray.

The game was only four minutes old when Cray produced the first of many chances. A sliced clearance fell at George Palmer’s feet and he went into the area dummying Jordan Carey, leaving him on his backside, but his shot was deflected away for a corner. From the resulting set piece to the back post, it found Ashley Sains who controlled the ball, but his shot was pushed away for a corner buy Carey.

Two minutes later Dave Martin on the left cut in and passed to Palmer but from ten yards his shot was deflected away for a corner. In the 9th minute a ball played into the channel found Palmer who controlled and then pushed the ball into the path of fellow striker Dominic Ogun whose curling effort from 25 yards went just past the post.

Against the run of play almost ten minutes later, Chatham nearly took the lead when Jon Pilbeam’s cross to the back post sailed over Andy Walker but hit the woodwork and came back into the area where Matt Bodkin reacted first, but fired over from five yards under heavy pressure.

The rest of the half saw Cray dominate possession & have a few half chances, in the 25th minute Gayle’s cross found Palmer but his header went wide via a deflection.

Another chance came with 24 minutes gone when Martin on the left wing received the ball & his first time low cross saw Palmer sliding in but his shot went wide. Two minutes later Gayle on the right beat two defenders & went into the area but saw his shot saved by Carey.

In the 38th minute Jack Sammoutis on the edge of the area saw his shot deflect wide of the goal for another corner. The last chance of the half came when Martin, from twenty yards out, saw his shot deflected away for a corner.

Half time arrived & the only problem for the Cray manager was could they get a goal, while Chatham defended doggedly but hadn’t really created much.

The second started like the first half had finished with Cray on top and in the 46th minute Gayle was put through on goal & his shot from 18 yards was saved by Carey.

Two minutes later Sammoutis on the edge of the area received the ball raced into the box; from an acute angle Carey pushed his shot away for another corner.

In the 53rd minute Cray took a deserved lead when a ball down the right wing saw Palmer latch onto it & he saw Carey rushing out & pushed the ball past him & then from 30 yards shot into an empty net.

Less than five minutes later, Sammoutis threaded the ball through for Gayle in the area & as he was about to shoot he was tackled & a corner was conceded.

Soon after in a rare Chatham attack Pilbeam crossing from the right found Josh Beadle 10 yards out but his flicked header went past the post.

In the 69th minute it was nearly two when Gayle and Palmer combined leaving Gayle to get the by-line & his low cross was met by Ogun who from 6 yards saw his stabbed effort instinctly saved by Carey.

Another rarity came when Paul Vines latched onto a long ball and, from 20 yards out, his shot went across the goal and past the post.

Chatham were now chasing the game & created a couple of chances, firstly Beadle saw his volley shot go just past the post then in the 78th minute Vines forced Andy Walker to parry his shot away, then in the  86th minute Jack Evans put a free header wide.

The final chance came in the 89th minute when a free kick into the Cray penalty area caused confusion & suddenly the ball from a defender beat Walker but not the bar as it went out for a corner. The board went up to indicate another five minutes but Cray managed the time & the first piece of Silverware was won. Chatham will have another chance to beat Cray as they meet each other in the FA Cup in August.


Chatham Town: Carey, Kane, Butler, Evans, Smith, Roberts (Fitzsimmons, 74), Pilbeam, Beadle (Wells, 85), Vines, Bodkin, Dos Santos (Hagen, 10 (Geddis, 63))

Subs not used: Harkin

Cray Valley PM: Walker, Morath-Gibbs (Edgar, 65), Sammoutis (Ansah, 77), James (Warren, 65), Sains, Tumkaya, Gayle, Ogun, Martin, Okonkwo, Palmer (Flack, 77)

Referee: Mr J McKay

Assistants: Mr B Archer and Mr B Wheatley

Fourth Official: Mr D Doyle