Chatham Town 3-0 Bearsted
Chatham Town 3-0 Bearsted

It was a repeat of the last fixture between these teams as Chatham took all three points after a great display against Bearsted at The Bauvill Stadium.

By Alfie Hill and Ethan Fergusson

Chatham got the game underway and within thirty seconds the ball was in the back of the net! Some lovely build-up play created space for Matt Bodkin who picked up the ball and coolly slotted past Scott Andrews in goal. It was almost two for Chatham on the 7th minute as Harrison Carnegie broke into space but he didn’t get the right connection on his shot as it rolled straight across goal. However, this created another chance with Byron Walker looking to run onto it, but a quick interception sent the ball hurtling out of the box.

Walker continued to search for his golden opportunity and almost had it when a great floated corner from Bodkin come into the box, falling for Walker who went for the sensational bicycle kick, but it just whistled over. It was non-stop attacking play from Chatham as they had shot after shot and could’ve easily been three or four up by the 20th minute. A freekick from Bodkin almost increased the lead to two on the 19th minute as it fell to Reece Butler whose header was denied by the crossbar and just three minutes later on the 22nd minute, Jon Pilbeam nearly made it two but a sublime save from Andrews kept Bearsted alive.

However, Bearsted were not going to stay alive for much longer as captain Rob Lyall picked up a straight red after a horrific tackle! Walker would’ve been clean through on goal but a rash challenge by Lyall brought him down, resulting in the straight red on the 31st minute and with just a minute gone after this, Chatham had their second on the 32nd. The red card seemed to have shaken Bearsted as they couldn’t defend against Harrison Carnegie who took a shot on from outside the box which flew straight into the back of the net.

It quite possibly could’ve been three and it should’ve been three when Walker got one on one with Andrews on the 39th. Walker took it round Andrews and had the easiest of shot’s there possibly is, but he just couldn’t connect with the ball, leading to Andrews making a quick recovery and gathering the ball. Bearsted finally got their first chance of the game on the 44th minute but a weak shot created an easy save for Kleton Perntreou in goal.

Dan Blades then blew his whistle to bring the half to an end with Bearsted looking down and out, leaving fans wondering if they could possibly get back into this match?

Bearsted got us underway for the second half but just like the first, it was Chatham who come out as the most promising side. Some quick chances from Chatham tried to bury the match with the most prominent of these chances coming from Walker who split open the defense, but another weak connection led to an easy save. The match become quite slow after these chances with nothing really happening but then out of nowhere Bodkin broke through the defensive line on the 72nd minute. Bodkin unselfishly played the ball across goal towards Walker, but it just wasn’t Walker’s day as he couldn’t convert again!

Paul Vines then almost added to his goal tally when an exceptional run led to an equally exceptional shot but a great save from Andrews forced it wide on the 85th minute. Richard Avery then tried to get his name onto the score sheet on the 88th minute but his header just sauntered wide. Chatham did finally get their third of the day on the 89th minute which was well deserved after their terrific performance. Tom Fitzgerald had it laid perfectly for him after a lovely piece of work from Vines who set the ball for Fitzgerald so he could hit it from outside of the box. Fred Obasa then almost had an instant impact after coming off the bench to make it four, but his shot was easily saved.

Dan Blades then blew his whistle, but the game wasn’t finished there as a heated argument between both teams caused a tiny bit of chaos, but it was all resolved. Chatham picked up all three points and take their winning streak to three and will hope to continue this run as they play SC Thamesmead at The Bauvill Stadium for the second leg of their semi-final in the Southern Counties East Challenge Cup.

Chatham Town: Kleton Perntreou, Danny Grant, Matt Parsons, Zak Henry, Richard Avery (Captain), Reece Butler, Jon Pilbeam, Tom Fitzgerald, Matt Bodkin, Byron Walker, Harrison Carnegie.

Subs: Paul Vines for Jon Pilbeam (60th Minute), Jack Mahoney for Matt Parsons (79th Minute) and Fred Obasa for Matt Bodkin (90th Minute).

Subs not used: Michael Hagan and James Fray.

Yellow Cards: Byron Walker (70th Minute)

Red Cards: N/A

Bearsted FC: Scott Andrews, Sam Fisher, Cameron Croucher, Graeme Andrews, Rob Lyall (Captain), Jon Rogers, James Bessey-Saldanha, Ryan Croucher, Reece Collins, Charles Noyelle, Dave Baranowski.

Subs: Peter Williams for Ryan Croucher (75th Minute) and Andy Foster for Charles Noyelle (78th Minute)

Subs not used: Matt Garner, Perry Cray and Ethan Collen.

Yellow Cards: N/A

Red Cards: Rob Lyall (31st Minute)

Referee: Dan Blades

Assistants: Bethany Archer and Max Sollis

Attendance: 190