Vines swaps goals for goal
Vines swaps goals for goal

In Saturday’s away game at Crowborough Athletic, Chatham Town got back to winning ways, winning 3-1, although the real story came as their top scorer played in goal for eighty minutes.

Veteran Paul Vines has played for many Kent sides scoring goals wherever he’s played.  But as he himself explained he started Saturday on the Medway side’s bench.

“Originally the Gaffer (James Collins) decided with a lot of games being played recently that he was going to have a little bit of a shuffle and go with a different formation with different players.  Have to though admit that me being me had a bit of a strop on and excepted it.”

“Anyway, nine minutes in and Crowborough scored from a corner and our keeper (Dan Ellis) goes down and stays down after dislocating his thumb as well as tearing a tendon which is when the Gaffer says, “who wants to go in goal?” to which the four other boys on the bench put their heads down as I said “go on then!”  He asked if I was serious and I said I was – I went in goal a couple of years ago for Thamesmead during a game.”

“It’s happened a few times – as a striker you think you might have an idea of what’s going on.  And so we’re 0-1 down and I went on – caught a couple – there was a bit of passing, nothing too extravagant and I pulled off one save from a header at a corner where I tipped it onto the bar and from another one and a shot into the corner – I was in completely the wrong position and I still don’t know how I managed to get across and dive on the ball which everyone thought was quite funny and then they had a player sent off which let us start to dictate the game.”

“I was just needed to sweep up and play the ball around until in the last five minutes when I managed to launch a long one forward for one of our forwards who managed to round the keeper and score,” Vines added laughing, “so I got an assist as well!”

“I could have done with a slightly smaller keepers’ shirt as Dan’s a big bloke, but in the end,  it didn’t end up too badly!”

“To be fair I only did it because no one else fancied it!  And the fact that I volunteered when no one else fancied it went a long was to save me from the lads, I think. They thought it was quite entertaining!”

Chatham are back in action on Monday in the first leg of the League Cup Semi Final against Division One Sporting Club Thamesmead and Vines is hoping for which shirt?  “It’s all in the Gaffer’s hands – I don’t know if it will be the number one or the number nine so I’ll take what I can get…”

Picture supplied by Chatham Town.