Chatham Town 1-1 Faversham Town - Chatham Town expect to call upon Paul Piggott to keep them in the Ryman League

Monday 21st November 2016
Chatham Town 1 – 1 Faversham Town
Location Maidstone Road Sports Ground, Bournville Avenue, Chatham, Kent ME4 6LR
Kickoff 21/11/2016 19:45

(Match abandoned after 27 minutes due to a waterlogged pitch)
Ryman League Division One South
Monday 21st November 2016
Stephen McCartney reports from Maidstone Road

CHATHAM TOWN are expected to turn to Paul Piggott to keep the club in the Ryman League after axing Darren Anslow after 12 games in charge on Sunday.

Director of football Steve Binks revealed the news during the post-match press conference after their home game against Faversham Town was abandoned after 27 minutes due to a waterlogged pitch with the score level at 1-1.

Faversham Town took the lead inside six minutes through striker Luke Harvey’s fine strike, but the lead lasted only 198 seconds as Chatham Town equalised through Freeman Rogers’ bullet header, before Ashford-based referee Stephen Brown had to option but to abandon the game due to a waterlogged pitch as the heavy rain lashed down.

“I was actually enjoying it,” said Binks, who was in charge tonight with Piggott, Teryr Groom and Adam Groom in the dug-out.

“The sort of message we gave the players before the game was how to play, the pattern of play and the attitude everyone, to a man, took it on board and although we conceded an early goal for not enough pressure on the ball just outside our box, from them on I thought we got more and more on top and forced several corners (four corners to three) and we were the better side and deservedly equalised.

“In many respects I’m really disappointed the game was abandoned but on the other hand with so many injuries it’s probably done us a favour.”

Faversham Town boss Ray Turner was the first manager to emerge from the dressing room after getting soaked during the run-out.

He said: “You haven’t got much to report on tonight, have you?  That’s a quick report! That’s the quickest one you’ve ever written innit?!

“Not much in terms of thoughts. The right call by the ref. Stephen’s come over, I think once you’re into the game you want to carry on because it was a pretty lively start to the game and both teams weren’t doing too bad, what is it 27 minutes? You can’t say an awful lot can you?

“It’s the right call, safety of the players.  In the end it was getting a little bit farcical, the ball was starting to hold up and of course you’re going to get tackles involved so yes, I agree with the ref.”

Faversham Town created the first opening after only 52 seconds when right-winger Josh Stanford turned Chatham Town’s left-back Abdul Lyoubi, played the ball inside to George Monger, whose left-footed drive from 25-yards deflected into Alex Hyde’s hands.

Faversham Town took the lead with five minutes and 20 seconds on the clock, although both goals will be chalked off, although Jamie Maxted’s yellow card will still count.

Maxted clipped a long ball out of the heart of the Lilwhites’ defence and Harvey pulled off a sublime piece of skill to bring the ball down under control outside the box, turned and cut into the penalty area and stroked his right-footed shot across Hyde and over the line – although his strike partner Dean Grant tried to get the last touch.

Harvey’s strike brought an immediate torrential downpour and the conditions worsened as the game went on.

“He (Grant) tried to claim it, no, it’s Luke’s goal,” said Turner. 

“He’s good at that and those kind of surfaces, he’s strong and he’s difficult to shake off. He’s got himself in the box and hit the target, that’s the main thing.  It took a slight deflection but it’s his goal.”

Binks added: “We’ve given him far too much time for him to do that on the edge of the box.  I’m not going to name names but we should’ve done better as a unit, the centre halves and the defensive midfield players gave him that time and space and we didn’t do it well enough but there on after that we got to grips and done it much better.”

Chatham Town could have so easily folded but they showed character and desire to fight their way back into the game.

Winger Josh Jackson floated in a deep free-kick which was knocked back across goal by Jon Difford and visiting keeper Thomas Benham turned the ball around his near post. 

Chatham Town equalised from the resulting corner, the goal timed at seven minutes and 58 seconds.

Ryan Flack delivered a quality ball in from the left and Rogers showed the desire to meet the ball with a bullet header, which screameed into the roof of the net from six-yards.

Binks said: “Quick thinking, excellent delivery into the box, excellent header from Freeman and deservedly equalised. Yes, well pleased with that!”

Turner said: “One of our problems that we’ve had this year is holding onto leads. It’s the only point I’ve made to them tonight, we’ve got to do better at doing that. It’s one of the reasons we’ve given ourselves problems in the last few weeks where we’re doing alright and we’re taking leads into games and we’re not holding onto those, so if there’s any aspect and any point out of the game it’s that and we’ll take that forward into Saturday.

“It’s down to us in terms of we’ve got to start taking responsibility in those situations. We’ve spoken about it and will be dealt with.”

Faversham Town’s central defender Daniel Carrington tried to score with a speculative left-footed free-kick from wide on the left some 45-yards out, which was plucked out of the air by Hyde.

But puddles started to form on the pitch after 20 minutes of play, as the rain continued to lash down, although the pitch was completely playable when the game kicked-off as the home club felt the need of not having any pitch inspections during the course of the day.

Rogers was penalised for a handball on the corner of his penalty area and Stanford curled his left-footed free-kick around the far post from 20-yards.

Referee Stephen Brown ran over to both dug-outs and a couple of minutes later, both sets of drenched players, management teams and match officials trudged off the pitch, with the clock standing still at 26 minutes and 18 seconds.

“We were getting flooded out in the dug-out, my feet were sitting in a few inches of water,” said Binks.

“You could see the water on the pitch, the puddles on the pitch getting bigger and bigger.

“Disappointed in many respects because there was a good attitude among all the players.  They came off really disappointed that the game was called off and really pleased with the positives that we can take out of those 27 minutes.”

Turner added: “People have made the effort. Actually before kick-off I thought the conditions were quite nice.  We had that little bit of rain just before kick-off and I thought the pitch was going to play that little bit quicker. Those kind of nights you generally get exciting end-to-end games, which I thought it started, unfortunately it’s not going to end.”

This has been a season of struggle and bitter disappointment for Chatham Town.  They started the season with Tony Beckingham in charge but he quit after getting thrashed 7-1 by Faversham Town at Salters Lane on 27 September. He was in charge of 14 games. He won two of them, drew four and suffered seven defeats.

His assistant, Anslow, took the helm and his playing record was similar to Beckingham, winning two, drawing one and losing nine games.

The club are rooted inside the relegation zone, third-from-bottom in the table with 13 points from 20 games, four points adrift of safety.

Chatham Town chairman Jeff Talbot axed Anslow following their 7-0 thrashing at home to Hastings United on Saturday, which extended their winless run to seven, while Faversham Town arrived at Maidstone Road in 15th place in the table on 22 points from their 16 league outings and six games without a win.

Piggott enjoyed a successful seven-year reign in charge of Gillingham based club Hollands & Blair, guiding them from the Kent County League Premier Division to runners-up to Greenwich Borough on their Southern Counties East Football League debut last season, before deciding to part company with the club in May to rest.

Chatham Town’s statement on Sunday said that Binks would be supported by Kevin Watson (who was in charge before Kevin Horlock took the helm during last season), but Watson was replaced by Piggott in the dug-out under the title of assistant, which was listed on the team-sheet handed out to the press pre-match.

When asked about the current situation at the club, Binks didn’t take too long to let it out of the bag.

“We’re looking to appoint somebody as soon as we can so I can’t really give you no more information that that Steve,” said Binks.

“I will as soon as the decisions made but we’ve got somebody in mind. You’ve probably seen him here - he was in the dug-out helping.

“We’ve got a committee meeting tomorrow night, a decision may be made tomorrow night. If it is you’ll be the first person I’ll let know on Wednesday night, alright.”

Reflecting on Anslow’s 12 game spell in charge of the relegation threatened club, Binks said: “It’s been so frustrating.  I feel really sorry for Darren because I’ve got a lot of time for him.

“He did a lot of things right. He took over under difficult circumstances. He brought some really good players to the club and he was in charge of our best performances of the season, a 2-1 win away to Dorking Wanderers, which we thoroughly deserved; a good point away to Guernsey, when we were 2-0 up and they scored in the 90th minute; a good 5-2 win against Ramsgate and yet at the same time some really heavy defeats.  The last two, 4-0 away to Horsham and then a really disappointing 7-0 at home to Hastings.

“He’s been responsible of our best performances and our worst performances – or he’s been in charge of our best performances and worst performances.”

Chatham Town are without a game at the weekend which will give their new manager time to prepare for their trip to 12th-placed Whyteleafe on Tuesday 29 November.

Faversham Town, meanwhile, face two tough games at Salters Lane, third-placed Carshalton Athletic visit on Saturday, before 11-placed Hastings United arrive three days later.

“Two big games, two very difficult games as well,” said Turner.

“Two teams I really rate. We’ve played Carshalton (losing 2-1 last Monday) and I went to press saying they remind  me of the old Dulwich side a few years’ back, where they’ve got a bit of everything, strength and pace and real talent, particularly on the break and I really rate them this year.

“I think they’ve got a shot at the title if they continue their form. They play a good brand of football and they’re difficult to stop.

“We actually played very well against them and made it very difficult for them up at their place.

“Again, going back to the point you made already about losing the lead. We took the lead up there, didn’t manage to keep hold of it for very long. We made it very difficult.  

“We’ve got to be really tough because we’re in a bad spell and you need to be strong mentality and stick together.

“I rate both sides. Hastings, I think they’ve both got aspirations not only get up but potentially win the title and we’ve got to match them because we need to pick up some points in the next couple of weeks.”

When asked about his side’s run of six without a win, Turner replied: “I think there’s always circumstances. There’s no excuses. It’s just down to me to sort it out and lead the group out of it. 

“You can see we’ve still got good individuals here but we haven’t had that consistency this year.  We have had a problem holding onto leads and if we can address those two issues then hopefully we can start looking up again.”

Chatham Town: Alex Hyde, Jerald Aboagye, Javlon Campbell, Freeman Rogers, Jon Difford, Ryan Flack, Moses Ashikodi, Josh Jackson, Luke Medley, Junior Kaffo, Abdul Lyoubi.
Subs: Sam Stace, Kyron Lightfoot, Liam Rosenfield, Caleb Bearman-Dyce, Jordan Friend

Goal: Freeman Rogers 8

Faversham Town: Thomas Benham, Ryan Cooper, Renford Tenyue, Daniel Carrington, Jamie Maxted, Jack Steventon, Kieron Campbell, George Monger, Dean Grant, Luke Harvey, Josh Stanford.
Subs: Jordan Casey, Sam Bewick, Mobolaji Dawodu, Ryan Cheek, Ben Bridle-Card

Goal: Luke Harvey 6

Booked: Jamie Maxted 11

Attendance: 128
Referee: Mr Steven Brown (Ashford)
Assistants: Mr Jamie MacLeod (Welling) & Mr Daniel Doyle (Chatham)

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