Thursday 01st September 2005


Saturday 10th
December 2005
Southern League
Division One East
Neil Sanders reports from Cricklefield Stadium
Ilford 0  
Chatham Town 0  

This had the look of a tight battle from the start, with a sticky pitch unlikely to aid the Chats style of play, writes Neil Sanders.

Ilford came into the game as the lowest scorers  and with one of the lowest condeded goals records in the league, and neither looked likely to change much.

The first shots at either end came after 15 minutes. Ilford's Chris Stevens fired over the bar from 15 yards and Chats responded with a Brendan Cass lob which went just wide, with the keeper struggling to get back. 

Chatham were angered on the half hour mark when a crunching late tackle left Andy Boyle writhing in agony, but no action was taken, not even a free kick was awarded. 

Ilford had the only other openings of the first half but didn't trouble Louis Green with a free kick and a deflected shot.

Chatham looked the more likely to break the deadlock after the interval, with Andy Larkin firing  just wide with an overhead kick. 

The best passing move of the match followed soon afterwards.  Chats opened up space switching play from left to right and Matt Solly cut inside his opponent, but saw his shot from 18 yards comfortably saved.

lford brought on top scorer Declan Perkins to liven up their attack but it was Chatham substitute Luke Harvey who came closest to getting on the scoresheet.  From a corner he fired in a powerful drive which Ilford keeper Lee Ward did well to stop, but could not hold on to.  Brendan Cass was alert to the rebound but Ward provided the crucial block at close range to deny Chats top scorer.

After that it was pretty much a stalemate with neither keeper really troubled. Both sides tried switching players and formations, but the opposing defences were always on top. 

Chatham maintain their 6th spot, but with teams around them gaining wins it is now tight around the playoff places. They do not have a game next Saturday as scheduled opponents Harlow Town are involved the FA Trophy, so can now plan for the Christmas clash at local rivals Sittingbourne.


Chatham Town: Green, Binks, D.Larkin, Boyle, Bourne, Best, Solly (Brooks 74), A.Larkin , Denness (Billenness 90), Cass, Finn (Harvey 64). Subs: Miles, Searle.