Thursday 01st September 2005

Three and easy for unbeaten Chats

Saturday 3rd
September 2005
Southern League
Division One East
Stephen McCartney reports from
Maidstone Road
Chatham Town 3 Rob Denness 6
Israel Amadi 23
Glen Billiness 85
Berkhamsted Town 0  

Chatham Town maintained their unbeaten start to the season, climbing into sixth place, and one point and place behind their Kent rivals Dartford in the Southern League Division One East table, following today's comfortable stroll in the sun against Berkhamsted Town, writes Stephen McCartney.

Chatham boss Steve Binks had admitted his squad are capable enough of reaching the play-off's - and they have collected 12 points from their opening six games.

Although his side have not yet conceded a goal at Maidstone Road, thanks to England's World Cup qualifier in Cardiff being played at the same time as this match, only 119 fans witnessed their latest win - their lowest turn out of the campaign.

Such a shame as wingers Israel Amadi and seventeen-year-old Byron Walker impressed throughout.

Walker was one of four teenagers in the side, along with midfielder Matt Solly and striker Rob Denness (both seventeen), and eighteen-year-old defender Matt Bourne.

It took the Kent side only six minutes to take the lead.   Solly sent in a free kick close to the right by-line and Denness' diving header at the near post found the far corner of the net to score his fourth goal of the season.

And seven minutes later, impressive left winger, Walker crossed into the area but Amadi planted his header over.

Chatham doubled their lead after 23 minutes and all credit must go to skipper Steve Best for winning the ball of his opposite number, Leon Hibbert inside the visitors half.

The 32-year-old then sent Amadi on his way and the former Dover Athletic striker raced into the penalty area and fired the ball, right-footed, across the goalkeeper and into the far corner.

Just after the half-hour mark, Walker was instrumental in creating another chance for the Medway side, and Amadi, who received the ball from Chatham born striker Brendon Cass, rolled his shot towards a grateful goalkeeper.

Brekhamsted - who fielded 30-year-old Pablo Ardilies, the son of Argentina and Spurs' legend, Ossie - threw the kitchen sink at Chatham late on and had two penalty appeals for handball turned down.

Visiting defender Robert Coldrake defended well on the hour mark, when his diving header flew over his own bar, following Walker's cross from the left by-line went into that no-mans area inside the box between goalkeeper and penalty spot.

Just two minutes later the visitors had their only shot on goal when Louis Lancaster's left-footed free kick bounced once on its way out for a goal-kick.

Chatham came close again with 21 minutes left when Samuel Mazurek's poor clearance went straight to Walker who played the ball to Amadi but his shot was hacked off the line by Joe Cowen.

Berkhamsted rallied late on but were dealt the killer blow with five minutes remaining.

Green's long ball found Amadi on the right hand side of the pitch.  And once inside the penalty area, he squared the ball to unmarked substitute Glen Billiness in the middle - and with no flag being raised by Mr Regan - fired his shot inside the foot of the post to make it three.

Speaking in the post-match press conference, Chats' boss Steve Binks admitted he was pleased that his side had won the battle and the points.

"Excellent first half, 2-0 up at half-time.  We won the battle today," he said.

"It was not a classic by any means but another three goals, a clean sheet - what more can a manager ask for?"

Binks praised the talented youngsters that are currently shining in the Southern League.

"We've signed some quality players, got some really good youngsters coming through," he said.

"We had four teenagers out there today, worked their socks off.

"I'd like to think I've got the team trying to play a better possession game of football but we've got the quality but you still have to earn the right - we did that again today."

The Maidstone Road outfit finished in eleventh place last season - their highest in the Southern League - and Binks is looking to bring success to the club.

"I'm delighted with the way it's going.  The unbeaten run goes on," he said.

"The club have been making steady progress now for three or four years.  We'd like to push on from last season.

"We've got the quality and the ability here to do that.

"If we can get into the play-off positions and stay there, I think we've got every chance.

"There's a lot of people working behind the scenes working their socks off and the club are ready.

"If we keep progressing like we are it will be great and fantastic progress for the club."

And Chats' skipper, Steve Best, who set up their second goal, also heaped praise on their talented kids.

The 32-year-old said: "It's been brilliant, we've got the young lads that have come in now and they've started to really play well."

He added: "The heat was the main factor.  Berkhamsted done well in the second half but we've got a strong defence, we haven't let in a goal at home so we've done really well, looked solid."

Chatham's next game is next Saturday, 10th September, when Ryman League Division One side Leatherhead visit Maidstone Road in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.

I am sure the club would appreciate more support from Medway's football fans - they deserve it.

Chatham Town: Louis Green, Tom Binks (Andy Garrett 59), Dan Larkin, Andy Boyle (Karl May 90), Matt Bourne, Steve Best (Capt), Israel Amadi, Matt Solly, Rob Denness (Glen Billiness 78), Brendon Cass, Byron Walker.  Sub: Phil Miles

Berkhamsted Town: Samuel Mazurek, Joe Cowen (Leon Gordon 89), Louis Lancaster, Dean Hutchinson (Jack Copson 59), Robert Coldrake, Leon Hibbert (Capt), Robert Charles, Pablo Ardiles, Sean Sonner, Simon Eden (Andy Mullins 76), Ben Porter.  Subs: Vincent Somers, Jack Rowley

Attendance: 119
Referee: Ian Gosling (Ashford)
Assitants: Mr I Regan & Mr J Gooding (both Ashford)