Thursday 01st September 2005
Easter Monday,
28th March 2005
Southern League
Division One East
Neil Sanders reports from Maidstone Road
Chatham Town 1 Billinness 47
Aveley 1 Thomas 32

Chatham struck by injuries to key men

WITH Michael Smissen having completed his loan spell from Ryman Premier League side Dover Athletic, and making a late substitute appearance for the Whites in their 1-0 defeat to local rivals Folkestone Invicta, and weekend injuries picked up by Mark Brookes and Israel Armadi, Chatham showed a number of changes.  Tom Binks, Andy Boyle and Glenn Billinness all returned to the starting line up.

The visitors had the better of the first quarter and nearly broke through in the 8th minute when a stray pass opened the way for Jeff Shepherd to run clear.  Fortunately for Chatham, Andy Boyle was able to make an excellent last ditch tackle to deflect the shot for a corner. 

A neat passing move in the 24th minute gave Frannie Collin the space to test the Aveley keeper from 25 yards.  His shot was well saved and Steve Searle’s effort from the rebound went over the bar.

Aveley took the lead after 32 minutes when hesitation in the Chatham penalty area enabled Simon Thomas to get between Binks and Green to head the ball over the advancing keeper.

No further clear opportunities were forthcoming before half time, however worryingly for Chatham, Collin limped off just before the break.

Chats started the second half brightly and took just two minutes to get on level terms. Substitute Darren Adams playing on the left, delivered a pin point cross to Glenn Billinness, whose first touch took him away from goal but gave him space to turn and beat the keeper with a low left foot shot. 

Both keepers were kept on their toes, first when Louis Green had to be quick off his line to collect a dangerous through ball. Then in the 65th minute after failing to clear a high ball, Aveley keeper Collier had to retreat quickly to claw out Steve Searle’s lob for a corner.  

Moments later, Adams threatened the visitors goal again with a good turn and shot from the edge of the 18 yard box.  

The final chance for a winner fell to Chatham. A poor clearance kick from out wide by Collier, was picked up by Tom Binks.  His long range lob was on target and caused some confusion in the Aveley defence, but the keeper had just got back in time to claim it.

Overall Chatham had created more scoring opportunities but a draw was not an unjust result.  Steve Binks' side host in-form side Maldon Town at Maidstone Road next Saturday (3pm). 

Chatham Town:  Green, Binks, Bourne, Boyle, A.Larkin, Best, Collin (Adams 45), Searle, Cass, Billinness (Solly 67), D.Larkin.  Subs: Hunt, Nicholl.

Aveley:  Collier, Jones, Simmons, Dickinson, Risley, Mas (Lake 52), Marsden, Shepherd (Hoddy 74), Thomas, Rose, Plummer.