Chatham Town 3-0 Crowborough Athletic
Chatham Town 3-0 Crowborough Athletic

A dominant, commanding and almost faultless display from Chatham Town despatched Crowborough Athletic for the home sides fifth win in six games at the end of a desperate week for Chats boss Scott Lindsey.

On Thursday, Lindsey announced that his wife had sadly lost her battle against cancer and on Saturday, his side showed their respects to the boss by ruthlessly destroying the Crows to keep the pressure at the top of the SCEFL Premier Division. 

A first half strike from skipper Paul Vines was followed by Jack Evans’ stunning free kick and a third from sub Jon Pilbeam in the final moments sealed the win – a win that Vines dedicated to the boss, “He’s had tough week – we pulled together to show him and his family our support and the best way we could do that was by putting in a performance like that!”

Chatham were rampant from the start with Matt Bodkin turning back the clock with some sensational wing play down the right – every time the home side went forward in the early stages it was through Bodkin and how they didn’t score… Vines had a header cleared off the line; Byron Walker almost connected with a flying Ian Draycott; Draycott then curled a cracked that his the bar; before Evans was denied by Crowborough keeper’s Callum Hall’s right boot, before Vines finally converted one of Bodkins crosses and the home side had the lead.

The visitors against the run of play then created a series of chances with SCEFL’s answer to giant Wycombe Wanderers striker Bayo Akinfenwa – striker Andy Dalhouse – the main man.  Dalhouse who had a spell at Maidstone Road earlier in his career, was firstly denied by Chats keeper Dan Ellis before in their next attack, Ellis and defender Pat Geddis between them allowed Dalhouse to get away which resulted in the keeper scything down the striker on the very edge of the box.  Jack Funnell’s free kick looked as though it had wrong footed Ellis only for a lunging defender to divert the ball wide.

The second half began as the first finished – Bodkin thundered a shot off the inside of a post; an almighty scramble saw Bodkin have a shot blocked and a second cannon off the unsuspecting Vines – before on 53 minutes, Evans curled in a stunning free kick which left Hall helpless.

Crowborough then saw Funnell’s deflected shot crash off the crossbar as they tried to get back into the game.  Defender Tom Boddy flashed a header narrowly wide from a corner as the visitors got closer but that was as close as it got.

Walker’s great ball into Draycott saw the striker’s shot well saved by Hall with an off balanced Vines prodding the ball wide of the post before the scenario was repeated when Jon Pilbeam’s shot was blocked and a falling Vines again was narrowly denied a second.  Pilbeam though wasn’t to be denied as he drilled home Chatham’s third in the closing minutes.

CHATHAM TOWN – Dan Ellis, Matt Bodkin, George Sheminant, Reece Butler, Fikayo Ajayi, Pat Geddis, Byron Walker, Jack Evans, Paul Vines, Ian Draycott, Mikey Dalton

Subs – Jordan Carey, Jon Pilbeam, Matthew Achuba, James Jeffrey, Ike Orji

CROWBOROUGH ATHLETIC – Callum Hall, Alexx Kendall, Rory Salter, Tom Boddy. James White, Rob Parry, Tom Pearson, Jason Stripp, Andrew Dalhouse, Jason Barton, Jack Funnell

Subs – Shaan Karim, Sam Saunders, Jamie Smith, Elliott Wood

REFEREE – Mr Blades

ASSISTANTS – Mr Kaczala & Mr O’Toole