Chatham Town 7-2 Erith Town
Chatham Town 7-2 Erith Town

It was an exceptional start to the New Year for Chatham Town as they produced a nine goal thriller against Erith Town at The Bauvill Stadium.

Erith got the game underway for the first half and come out looking like the better side out of the two. The first chance of the game fell to Erith when a searching ball in came from the left wing, but it just skimmed the heads of the attackers and went out for a goal kick.

Just one minute later, on the 7th minute, Erith had another great chance when a throw-in found an Erith head who headed towards goal, but the ball just skimmed the post. Six minutes later, Erith had another chance when a shot from captain Louis Valencia thundered towards goal but goalkeeper Dan Ellis parried it away for a corner.

This corner resulted in the deadlock being broken when Ellis pushed the ball away from goal, but it fell to ex Chatham player Taylor McDonagh who finessed the ball into the empty net in the 15th minute. It was a bitter sweet goal for Erith but this goal woke the Chatham players up as they finally got into the game.

Some quick chances from Chatham put Erith on the back foot with a shot from Matt Bodkin being blocked by the keeper Adam Molloy on the 18th minute. After plenty of bad balls from Chatham which didn’t find anyone in the box, they finally got a successful one on the 28th minute.

The ball was sauntered in and found captain Paul Vines in the box who was completely unmarked, and his free header gave Chatham the equalizer. But Erith were quick to respond to this goal as they went straight up the other end from kick off and almost made it 2-1 when Jack Mahon’s shot hit the bar and then the rebound, being saved by the keeper.

However, Chatham stayed as the dominant force as plenty of searching balls and great passes meant that Erith couldn’t get the ball out of their own half and this beautiful play payed off for Chatham.

Erith had to make a foul to try and win the ball back but it resulted in a yellow card and a free kick. The free kick was a great one as it came to Vines who played it to Jon Pilbeam who took it past the defender and then slotted it home, making it 2-1 to The Chats on the 37th minute.

With 3 minutes added on, looking like Chatham was going to cruise into the second half in the lead, they gave away a penalty. It looked like it was going to be a certain goal to equalize the game for Erith but Mahon’s shot was saved by Ellis who guessed the right way and went bottom right!

This must have rattled Chatham as they came out looking to put away Erith and they did just that just 7 minutes into the second half with 2 very quick goals! The first one coming from a freekick which was whipped into the box and found the head of Reece Butler who headed it home to make it 3-1 on the 49th minute and then it was 4-1 in the blink of an eye when a lovely through ball found Byron Walker who ran onto the ball and smashed it straight at Molloy who parried it up into the air but it still found the back of the net on the 52nd minute.

But Chatham wasn’t finished there as Jack Evans’ freekick from the left wing just skimmed the crossbar and then another freekick was intercepted just in the nick of time. Erith responded with a chance of their own when a shot from Russell Bedford forced an uncomfortable save from Ellis in the 63rd minute.

It seemed to be all over for Erith as Jason Goodchild picked up a second yellow for a rash tackle and led to Erith being 10 men down and also 3 goals down! Chatham capitalized on this with a great chance coming from Bodkin who tried putting the ball across the box but this ball was parried away by the keeper, but it fell to Byron Walker who played it back to Vines who crossed it in but his cross just skimmed over the other attackers.

Chatham carried on with the attack as another chance was created by Bodkin as he got through on goal. He took it past the keeper but somehow Molloy recovered to stop the chance. But Chatham gave away yet another penalty to Erith but this time it was converted by Bedford who slotted it into the bottom right on the 71st minute.

This goal didn’t force Chatham into playing a more defensive style as they carried on attacking. A chance coming from Vines created an uproar in the fans as Vines was brought down inside the box, but the referee Ian Bently waved off the claims. Then another great chance coming from Walker forced a corner. The corner come in and looked as if it missed everyone, but it didn’t miss Vines who lept into the air to perform a sensational scissor kick which found the back of the net, making it 5-2 on the 81st minute.

Chatham then went onto dominate the remaining time with even more chances. Substitute Fred Obasa ran through onto goal but his shot just hit the side netting and then a ball from Pilbeam almost reached Obasa but his outstretched leg just couldn’t reach the ball. But when it looked like the match was just wrapping up, Pilbeam added some more flair when he showed of some spectacular skill to beat the center back and then finessed the ball into the back of the net to make it 6-2 on the 88th minute.

With 4 minutes added on, Chatham got their 7th of the game when Obasa picked up the ball from a corner and then played it back to Jack Evans who struck a very sweet chip over the keeper to make it 7-2 on the 93rd minute.

Ian Bentley then blew his whistle to bring the game to an end with Chatham fans receiving a spectacular show of football and revealing this is what’s to come for the rest of the season!

Chatham Town: Dan Ellis, Danny Grant, Reece Butler, Jack Evans, Richard Avery, Corey Walters-Wright, Jon Pilbeam, Tom Fitzgerald, Paul Vines (Captain), Byron Walker, Matt Bodkin.

Subs: Jack Mahoney for Tom Fitzgerald (64th minute), Reece Butler for Matt Parsons (68th minute) and Fred Obasa for Byron Walker (82nd minute).

Subs not used: James Fray and Michael Hagan.

Yellow Cards: Corey Walters Wright (78th Minute)

Red Cards: N/A

Erith Town: Adam Molloy, James Pass, Dan Palfrey, Russell Bedford, Sam Fairweather-Oates, Taylor McDonagh, Louis Valencia (Captain), Jason Goodchild, Nahum Green, Aaron Jeffery, Jack Mahon.

Subs: Steadman Callender for Nahum Green (59th minute), Stefan Kempton for Jack Mahon (66th minute).

Subs not used: Carl Rook, Jack Hooper and Leon Ojutalayo.

Yellow Cards: Jason Goodchild (36th minute and 66th minute) and Louis Valencia (77th minute).

Red Cards: Jason Goodchild (66th minute).

Referee: Ian Bentley.

Assistants: Stephen Luke and William Bussey.

Attendance: 156