Wednesday 14th September 2005

The omens are good for Chatham

Chatham Town manager Steve Binks is confident his side will bounce back from last weekend's FA Cup exit and come away from Barton Rovers with all points in the bag, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Maidstone Road outfit were eliminated from the competition in a thrilling 4-3 defeat by Ryman League Division One side Leatherhead, but the Rainham based boss is looking to his young guns to get last weekend's disappointment out of their system and bounce back.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk, Binks said: "In some respects I am disappointed after being 2-0 down and then storming into a 3-2 lead immediately after half time, it looked like we were going to go on and score again.

"It could have gone either way at 3-3 and their keeper did make three or four outstanding saves.

"However, considering the circumstances with injured players, I think we gave a really great account of ourselves and on the day Leatherhead were probably one of the best teams we've met this season and just about deserved to scrape through.

"Our young players will be better for the experience next season!"

Looking ahead to their trip to Sharpenhoe Road, Binks added: "There are a couple of areas that we can improve on from last week's game, which we are working on in training and hopefully we'll get back to winning ways."

What does the Chatham manager know about the Bedfordshire side?  "They don't seem yet to be the force that they were last season," he replied.

"They were in the play-off positions for most of the season and do have a prolific scorer in Paul Barnes.

"However, we did beat them twice last season so the omens are good, but there are no easy games in this division - anyone is capable of beating anybody else."

When covering Chatham's comfortable 3-0 win over Berkhamsted Town earlier in the month, www.kentishfootball.co.uk was very impressed with Byron Walker, Rob Denness and Israel Amadi, and Binks has high hopes for the trio, adding: "They have fantastic ability, lightening pace and a real youthful enthusiasm and are an absolute delight to work with.

"Byron and Rob have progressed from last year's reserves and have been a real bonus for the club."

And finding gems that progress through the ranks at the Medway club is "paramount" according to Binks, who cannot flash the cash to sign experienced players from other clubs.

"It's paramount as we do not have the finances to attract experienced players to this club," he admitted.  "In any case the youngsters of today are the stars of the future and its no surprise what they can achieve if you give them the opportunity and confidence to play their normal games."

Central defender, Andy Larkin, however, is likely to be out of action for up to a month with a hamstring injury and Ross Finn is still a week or two away, but the rest of the injuries seem to have cleared up now.

Binks takes his side to Stonebridge Road to tackle Kent rivals Dartford in the first round of the Errea Cup (20th September) before they'll be looking for maximum points when basement dwellers Potters Bar Town visit Maidstone Road (24th September).

They then lock horns with the Darts in the Southern League at Maidstone Road on Tuesday, 27th September, and Binks' is looking forward to the two clashes with Tony Burman's Darts.

"Tony Burman has got the Darts off to a fantastic start and I'm sure the two games will be crackers," predicted Binks.

"There's always a great spirit between both sides when we play each other and I don't see these games being any different.  I'm really looking forward to the challenge."

And Binks' thanked Chat's fans for their support against the Tanners, and hopes to see them again.

"I'd like to thank the supporters who made a fantastic atmosphere in the game against Leatherhead.  Hopefully they enjoyed the game and will come again."

Barton Rovers v Chatham Town
Southern League Division One East
Saturday 17th September 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Sharpenhoe Road, Barton-le-Clay, Bedfordshire MK45 4SD