Thursday 01st September 2005

Chatham leave it late


Saturday 28th
August 2005
FA Cup
Preliminary Round
Neil Sanders reports from Maidstone Road
Chatham Town 2 Denness 84,
Cass 90 (pen).
North Leigh 0  

Chatham Town progressed through to the first qualifying round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 victory over North Leigh to keep them on the Road to Wembley, writes Neil Sanders.

Chatham controlled the early stages and nearly took the lead after three minutes.  Andy Garrett was first to a poor headed back pass, but saw his shot blocked at point blank range. 

Garrett was again involved as Glen Billinness and Brendan Cass set up Matt Solly, who was only denied from 18 yards by an excellent save by North Leigh keeper Richard Barrett. 

The visitors from the Hellenic League then came into the game more with skipper Joe Burnell going close twice in the space of two minutes.
Chatham brought on teenagers Rob Denness and Byron Walker early in the second half, and later the returning Izzy Armadi, as a Tuesday night trip to Oxfordshire for a replay was beginning to look quite likely. 

The game turned after an unfortunate clash of heads in the 83rd minute.  North Leigh's Mark Lewis sustained a severe cut to his head and taken away by ambulance for treatment.  We wish him a speedy recovery. 
After the long delay the visitors defence had not reorganised. After only half clearing a cross, Tom Binks returned the ball to Denness in the centre of the penalty box and he found enough space to pivot and shoot home from ten yards.  

Chats had one or two late scares including an attempted punch by Louis Green which spun back towards the goal. 

In the closing moments Cass hit the bar and was then presented with a penalty which he converted with the last kick of the game, after Armadi had been bundled over.


Chatham Town: Green, Binks, D.Larkin, Boyle, Bourne, Best, Solly, Brookes (Walker 55), Billinness (Denness 55), Cass, Garrett (Armadi 73).  Subs: Searle, Miles.
North Leigh:  Barrett, Murphy, Helby, Lewis, Huxley, Burnell, Ellis (Massey 79), Hope, Miller (Jackson 79), McCabe, Futcher (Wyatt 45).
Subs: Dennis.