Binks: We've got nine cup-finals to play (EXCLUSIVE)

Sunday 05th March 2006
Chatham Town manager Steve Binks admitted their 2-0 win over Southern League Division One East leaders and FA Trophy semi-finalists Boreham Wood yesterday was “no fluke and fully deserved,” writes Stephen McCartney.


The Hertfordshire side, now five points clear of Enfield Town – who won 1-0 at Dartford – were brought down to earth after Chatham scored two goals in the final nine minutes.

Man of the match Rob Denness was hauled down by the last Wood defender, Marvin Samuel as he broke clear.

The full-back was quite rightly shown the red card while Leon Archer received a yellow for his prolonged protest.

A minute later Denness was brought down again, this time inside the box by Michael Black (whose the brother of Gillingham’s Tommy).  The Chatham teenager calmly stepped up and converted the resulting penalty.

The leaders ended the game in complete disarray with their manager being dismissed from the touchline.  They then conceded an own goal in the last minute as Jon Stevenson could only put Byron Walker’s cross into his own net to seal the points for the Medway side.

However, the victory was “dampened” with an injury to their influential central defender, Danny Larkin within the first minute of the game.

It is expected he will be ruled out for the rest of the season, having broken his metatarsal in his right foot.

”They had a couple of chances first half – perhaps should have done better and we had a goal ruled out,” recalled the Chats’ stalwart.
“Andy Larkin’s header beat the keeper, going into the empty net, but Luke Harvey followed in to make sure but the goal was ruled out for offside.

”Unlucky not to be 1-0 up at half time.  I’m delighted with the result but dampened with the fact Danny Larkin broke his metatarsal in the first minute of the game.

”The ball was played back to him from the kick off, and he passed it forward and his standing foot gave way on the hard surface – it’s unfortunate.

”Our back four has been a real strength for us this season and Danny’s played well.

”But we’ve got young Luke Mortimore who can come in for Danny and I think he’s going to be a good young prospect.”

Binks described their last nine league games are “cup-finals” for the Maidstone Road club as they aim to get into the play-offs.  They are just three points adrift of local rivals Dartford, who occupy the last play-off spot.

Having beaten Boreham Wood, Chatham tackle two sides in the top four in the next two weeks, travelling to Corby Town next Saturday and entertaining Enfield Town on 18th March.

”After that we’re playing teams below us,” said Binks.  “It’s a crazy league, anybody can beat anybody and it’s going to be a roller coaster until the end of the season.
“I don’t think we’ve had the rub of the green,” he added.  “Last week we lost 1-0 at Wivenhoe but we were much the better side, playing much the better football and had we won we would have been sitting where they are in fifth place.

”But there were seven teenagers involved yesterday and they’ve gained some good experience.  There’s some belief, they’re battling well and we’ll give it our best shot.”
Looking ahead to their trip to Corby Town, Binks, whose side are ninth if the table, knows what to expect.  He said: “They’re very strong defensively.  I think they’ve got the best defensive record and are a hard side to break down.

”But having said that they lost 3-0 at Aveley yesterday, who moved out of the bottom two.
“I expect a very tough game.  We’ve got nine games left and we’ve got nine cup finals to play.

”I’m delighted with the way things are going,” he said.  “We are playing some good football, keeping the ball well, creating chances and the youngsters that keep coming in keep doing superbly – the future is only looking bright.”
Left-sided midfielder, Gary Tilley, meanwhile, has been given the all-clear from his doctor to resume training during the close season, as he battles back after breaking his leg twice in 2004.

”He won’t be playing again this season but will he’ll be training in pre-season to get his fitness back for next.  I’m not going to rush him back,” revealed Binks.

Meanwhile, Chatham Town’s Maidstone Road ground will be staging the FA National League Systems Cup Semi-Final tie between the British Energy Kent County League and the Isle of Man League.

The match, on Sunday, 2nd April 2006, will kick off at 11:30am.   Admission prices are £3.50 (adults) and £2.00 (concessions).