Chatham Town 3-1 Erith Town
Chatham Town 3-1 Erith Town

A chilly Bauvill Stadium with its 3G pitch and floodlights blazing was the perfect setting for a SCEFL Challenge Cup quarter final on Tuesday night..

Both teams had reached the last eight with 2-0 victories in the last round and it was hard to predict who would reach the semi finals.

Erith Town in their Blue and Black kit showed they weren’t in the mood to go down without a fight against cup holders Chatham by attacking straight from the kick off and firing an early warning shot over the bar within the first 30 seconds.

It was The Chats however who opened the scoring in the third minute. A corner swung in from the left was cleared to the edge of the box where Jack Evans took a touch before firing into a crowd. The ball appeared to hit a boot causing it to change direction and nestle into the net with Adam Molloy in the Erith goal rooted helplessly to the spot.

From the restart Erith again launched an attack with Fred Obasa firing low across goal but a regulation save from Jordan Carey in the Chats goal kept the home side in front.

The Chatham defence marshalled by ex Fisher player Pat Geddis and defensive partner Nicky Hunt seemed to grow in confidence as Erith Town struggled to reach the Chats goal with both teams giving away numerous free kicks in midfield.

It was a set play which nearly brought Erith back into the game as well travelled Michael Power attempted an audacious overhead kick which flew agonisingly over the bar.

With the game becoming scrappy and camped in midfield it was Danny Gannon who produced a shot from the edge of the box which was well blocked by the home defence and found its way harmlessly to the waiting keeper.

With the clock on 44 minutes Erith Town found themselves level as a break down the left found it’s way to Danny Phillips who after appearing to be forced wide inside the box tumbled over with the referee immediately awarding a penalty. The spot kick was converted by Michael Power with Jordan Carey sent the wrong way.

The second half started with Chatham immediately trying to regain the lead but it was Erith who came closest with Jordan Carey saving well at the feet of the lively Obasa.

Chatham grew in confidence as the half wore on and it was only an excellent save from Adam Molloy that kept the away side level.

That lasted until the 57th minute when the ball broke to Chatham number 11 Harvey Brown who fired hard past Molloy to restore the Chats lead much to the delight of the majority of the now shivering spectators.

It wasnt until the last minute that the game was made safe as crowd favourite Jon Pilbeam fired in a third for the hosts to ensure at least another home match in the two legged semi final.

There was still time for the hosts to hit the post and win three late corners before the final whistle sounded.

With Glebe overcoming Punjab United on penalties at least two of the semi finalists are known.

The remaining two games involve SCEFL1 sides Sutton Athetic who play Tunbridge Wells and Kennington who play Deal Town, the scene is set for an exciting end to the competition.

Chatham – Carey, Pilbeam,Sheminant, Butler, Hunt, Geddis, Orji, Evan’s, Vines, Jeffrey, Brown

Erith Town – Molloy, Kiren-Wright, Fairweather-Oates, Bedford, Rosenfield, McDonagh, Gannon, White, Power, Phillips, ObasaOfficials Dan Doyle, Chris Clark and Macin Indyk

Officials Dan Doyle, Chris Clark and Macin Indyk

Attendance 209