It won't be easy, warns Binks - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Sunday 15th January 2006
Chatham Town manager Steve Binks insists Potters Bar Town won’t be easy to beat as the Medway side aim to reach the quarter-finals of the Southern League Errea Cup on Tuesday night, writes Stephen McCartney.

Since beating Barton Rovers 3-2 at Maidstone Road on 26th November, the Kent side’s form has dipped due to several injuries and Binks’ side have collected only four points from their last six games.

And although Potters Bar Town are bottom of the Southern League Division One East table, they have collected seven points from their last three games.

Looking ahead to the cup game, where kids can watch the action for just £1, Binks said: “I’m expecting a really tough game unless they don’t want to take the game seriously.  I imagine they do, as we are three games away from the final.”

Binks, however, will be taking the game seriously, and added: “It’s a long time since Chatham Town have been near a final so it will be a great achievement if we made it.”

”However, it’s a big challenge, although I’m not expecting to make it through to the final, but we’ve had some excellent away results in the competition.”

Chatham have defeated Dartford (1-0), Barking & East Ham United
(3-2) and Wivenhoe Town (4-1) – all on their travels to get this far.

The long-serving stalwart is currently suffering from a “horrendous run of injuries at the moment.”  Youngster Matt Solly (broken leg) will be out for the rest of the season, Andy Larkin (hip), Ross Finn (foot), Luke Harvey (knee) are missing but midfielder Steve Searle (calf) is included in the squad and Jason Long is nearing fitness following his hamstring injury.

Chatham lost their 8th defeat of the season yesterday, losing 1-0 at Berkhamsted Town – who completed a smash and grab raid on the Kent side.

”Had to be there to believe it,” recalled a stunned Binks.  “We were much the better side against them for most of the game, dominated long spells and played some of the best football we’ve played all season – apart from sticking the ball in the back of the net.

”They admitted they got out of jail and we were the best side they’ve seen this season.

”I can’t criticise the players at all,” he added.  “The desire was there but we lost to a very unfortunate penalty – yet again.

”That was their first penalty in 36 games, the 8th against us in 24 league games, which cost us points dearly.”

Binks, with his side three points below the play-off positions in 8th place in the table, insists they will qualify for the end of season lottery.

”I am more than convinced.  We are more than capable of getting in the play-off’s if we play like we did yesterday,” he said.
Chatham, however, do have two games in hand over Saturday’s visitors to Maidstone Road.

”Stamford are six points above us but we’ve got two games in hand – a real six pointer,” said Binks. 

”If we carry on like we played yesterday, after winning five and drawing one in November we then went on a bad run.  We are capable of pushing on from here and getting injured players back.  There are three or four players missing every week, which is not helping.”

Chatham Town v Potters Bar Town
Southern League Errea Cup Fourth Round
Tuesday 17th January 2006
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Maidstone Road, Chatham