Chatham Town 4-4 Sheppey United
Chatham Town 4-4 Sheppey United

The goal fest that is the Gravesham/Medway/Swale post lockdown tournament continued at a sun baked Bauvil Stadium on Saturday as Chatham Town and Sheppey United shared eight goals in front of a crowd of over 600.

The lead changed hand four times and each time the response was better as the crowd were treated to entertainment that was far above the levels of most “friendlies” and would have left defensive coaches reaching for the headache tablets!

The hosts were to strike first when skipper Jack Evans was in the right place at the right time to convert Ike Orji’s cross, and when Andy Pugh got on the end of Evans’ corner shortly afterwards, it should have really been two-nil inside the opening moments.

Sheppey’s response was impressive to say the least as Danny Leonard showed brilliant temperament as he raced onto a great through ball, held off two Chatham defenders before coolly slotting the ball past the advancing Henry Newcombe to level the scores.

Chatham boss Scott Lindsey was critical of his sides defending in the midweek draw with Punjab so what the boss must have thought about his sides defending when Harrison Carnegie put Sheppey ahead surely isn’t repeatable.

Neither I would imagine were the boss’s half time words as Chatham came out at the start of the second half with their proverbial tails between their legs. Evans had a header superbly turned round the post by Adam Molloy in the Sheppey goal, before being denied by the frame of the goal from a free kick.

The equaliser though duly arrived but it was desperately unlucky for Molloy who produced a wonderful block to stop Andy Pugh converting Orji’s cross only to see the ball ricochet into the net off a defender’s legs. Within two minutes Chatham were back in front as Evans converted a spot kick – awarded after Orji had been felled and you wondered if Sheppey would join the list of sides steamrollered by Chatham in SCEFL this season.

Yet incredibly the Islanders were level almost before the Chats cheers had died down as Leonard turned provider with the terrific cross for Jack Midson to level the scores again.

Back though came Chatham, and the ever-impressive Matt Bodkin began to cause chaos down the left and from his great cross, Evans completed a fine hat-trick with a magnificent header. But yet again, the Chats couldn’t keep the lead and after some more defensive play that will surely give the manager greyer hairs, Midson was on hand to level it up again at four-four!

In truth given the rest of the game, it’s a real question as to how the game finished at that score-line as both sides went close for more – Newsome produced a fantastic block at the back post after Sheppey had carved the Chatham defence apart yet again before the keeper was indebted to Christian Lawal for bailing him out as his badly mistimed a punch from a corner, whilst at the other end, Evans was inches away from a personal fourth with a rasping drive and Orji was left holding his head after firing wide.

All in all, a terrific game that had just about everything – except a winner! 

Picture supplied by Sheppey United.