Chatham Town 0-1 Worthing - We haven't done enough tonight, admits Chatham assistant Peter Hawkins

Tuesday 04th November 2014

The FA Trophy First Qualifying Round Replay
Tuesday 4th November 2014
Stephen McCartney reports from Maidstone Road

CHATHAM TOWN assistant manager Peter Hawkins says his side failed to adapt to the rain lashed conditions and paid the price by being knocked out of The FA Trophy by Worthing.

The two sides played out an uninspiring 1-1 draw down on the Sussex coast at the weekend and The Rebels booked a trip to Ryman Premier League side Hendon (at Harrow Borough FC) on Sunday 16 November thanks to Omar Bugiel breaking the stalemate with a free header to score his fourth goal of the season with eight minutes left.

This First Qualifying Round Replay had limited clear cut chances for the 123 fans that braved the rain-lashed conditions at Maidstone Road. 

“Obviously we’re disappointed to go out of the cup,” said Hawkins after the club’s interest in the cup competitions came to an end tonight.

“I think overall defensively we were good today. We limited them to long distance chances.  I thought we were comfortable defensively.

“I think we were disappointing going forward. We didn’t make their keeper work. We haven’t tested them and in that respect when you don’t test the keeper you don’t win games so we’re obviously disappointed on that front.

“Conditions weren’t the best. The rain did come down for most of the game so the conditions were quite difficult so that was for both sides, who had to deal with that.

“We didn’t make use of that slippery surface with shots on goal. You never know, they could’ve dipped in under the keeper or defensive own-goals in these conditions.

“You have to make use of them and we didn’t so there’s no excuses in the conditions really, but you have to make use of what they are at the time.”

Chatham Town went into the game sitting in fourteenth-place in the Ryman League Division One North table with 20 points from 18 games, six points clear of the relegation zone.

Worthing arrived in Kent sitting in thirteenth-place in the Ryman League Division One South table with 22 points from 16 games.

Chatham Town’s best chance of the first half arrived with only 181 seconds on the clock.

Striker Austin Gacheru swept a fine diagonal pass to release winger Joe Loft down the left flank but his left-footed drive stung the fingers of Worthing keeper Jack Fagan from 20-yards.

“We had a couple of good moves,” said Hawkins.

“Lofty’s got a shot away but I think it was straight at him (to make a) pretty comfortable save.

“Sometimes in these conditions if you hit them low and hard across the goal then you never know, the keeper might fumble it and get a rebound or if might to in the corner.

“Those chances didn’t come very often and you need to take them.”

Chatham Town started well and another chance was also created by Gacheru, whose fine diagonal pass released Greg Benbow down the right and his cut back was drilled wide by Gacheru.

Chatham Town defender Liam Hickey clipped a free-kick into the Worthing penalty area, which was headed away by Worthing defender Corey Heath and Matt Solly clipped the ball back into the penalty area but Gacheru steered his shot into the foot of the side-netting from a tight angle.

Worthing manager Adam Hinshelwood clearly instructed his players to pop shots off from distance and they did this on a number of occasions, most high and wide and one nearly sailing into the window of the tea-bar!

Bugiel’s progress down the left flank was ended and the ball ran free to striker Trevor McCreadie, whose left-footed drive sailed high over the bar from 25-yards.

Worthing midfielder Brannon O’Neill swept the ball over the top of the Chatham Town defence to put McCreadie through on goal but his shot went horribly wrong and sailed wayward from just inside the corner of the penalty area.

Worthing were closer in the 25th minute when Sparks progressed down the left and whipped in a cross towards the far post where the unmarked Curtis Gayler cracked his right-footed hooked volley, which screamed just over the top of the near post.

The heavens then opened and both sides continued to struggle to create clear cut openings.

O’Neill swung in a left-footed free-kick from 35-yards, which was caught by Chatham Town keeper Wellham, who was the busier of the two goalkeepers.

But Worthing were within inches of breaking the stalemate following their first corner of the game after 40 minutes.

O’Neill cut his left-footed corner back to Gayler, who was given time and space to crack a right-footed drive from 25-yards, which sailed past the diving Wellham and crashed against the crossbar and towards safety.

Hawkins added: “I think they had quite a few long distance shots from outside (the box).”

Solly, Chatham Town’s longest serving player, swung a left-footed free-kick into Worthing’s penalty area and the ball was cleared out to Benbow, who looped his left-footed shot over the crossbar.

A run by Bugiel resulted in Worthing creating the last chance of the half. Dodd stroked his left-footed drive towards goal from 25-yards, which skidded off the soaked turf for Wellham to make a low save.

When asked his thoughts at the interval, Hawkins said: “We just told them really to keep it nice and tight, take care, move the ball quick. The quality of deliveries have got to be better and just try to keep them going really.

“It weren’t a bad first half. It was pretty tight for both sides really, not loads of chances.

“We said make sure we keep switched on, keep it tight and we might nick a goal.”

The conditions were not ideal for playing football and the second half was a scrappy affair.

Chatham Town were gifted an early opportunity when Worthing keeper Fagan picked up a back-pass by Heath, but Gacheru set up Laurence Collins and his left-footed driven shot was blocked by the wall.

Worthing continued to be wayward in the final third, when Hayward played the ball into Bugiel, whose right-footed effort from 25-yards failed to trouble Wellham.

Chatham Town’s best chance of the game, however, fell to Gacheru at the halfway point.

Loft, Solly and Corey Holder linked up well down the left and Gacheru cut inside and drilled a right-footed shot from sixteen-yards, which drifted past the far post from sixteen-yards.

Hawkins admitted the striker should have scored his tenth goal of the season.

He said: “It was a good move again. He’s done all the hard work. He’s cut inside, done a great touch and to be honest he’s got to do better. He’s got to be, what, eighteen-yards out. He must hit the target at least. He’s done all the hard work and if he side-foot’s it at goal you never know it goes in.  Obviously it didn’t and that’s another chance gone.”

Worthing immediately went up the other end and went close to scoring when Gayler looped a right-footed drive towards the top corner from 25-yards, which forced Wellham to dive high to his right to claw the ball to safety.

Hawkins said: “Tom dealt with them pretty comfortably in these conditions. I think there were a couple second half when they did hit them long distance, which skipped up off the surface and Tom’s fumbled and we dealt with them defensively from the rebounds really.

“That’s what we need to be doing in front of goal down at our end – test him but we didn’t and they obviously got a goal.”

Worthing’s central defender Heath ventured further forward in the final 20 minutes and unleashed a right-footed drive from 35-yards, which zipped off the soaked turf and bounced up and off Welham’s body and Knight was on hand to clear the danger away after tracking back into his penalty area.

O’Neill unleashed a left-footed free-kick towards goal from 35-yards, which dipped narrowly over the Chatham Town crossbar.

But with extra-time looming, Worthing won it with eight minutes remaining.

Gayler swung in their third corner from the right towards the far post where Bugiel planted his downward header into the bottom near corner from the edge of the six-yard box.

“It was pretty tight out there. There weren’t loads of chances,” said Hawkins.

“I thought the build-up to the goal, we should have had a free-kick. We didn’t get that, the ref didn’t see it!

“Obviously the marking from the corner, we just switched off for that five seconds and they get a free header back post and they score and you’re up against it then.

“One goal was probably going to win it and it did.  We didn’t do enough going forward, whether it was the quality from wide, getting our shots away, hitting the target when we could. We didn’t test their keeper and that’s probably the most disappointing thing.

“When you’re at home you need to shoot to score goals and if you don’t do that you don’t win games and we haven’t done enough tonight to maybe win the game.

“I think we didn’t deserve to lose the game. Extra-time probably would have been the ideal situation and then you never know in extra-time, it goes either way. A bit of luck goes your way and you get a goal. It wasn’t to be and we have to move on.”

Chatham Town manager Kevin Watson threw on a couple of substitutes but the home side failed to create a clear cut chance and Worthing edged the victory.

Hayward, who was pulling the strings for Worthing in the first half where he was sitting in front of their back four, played the ball inside to substitute Ben Pope, whose right-footed drive from 35-yards was initially spilt by the Chatham Town keeper at the end of this second uninspiring affair between the two sides.

Chatham Town have scooped £2,500 in FA prize money this season and the club are now surveying the damage.

“Obviously that’s disappointing for the club,” admitted Hawkins.

“We had a good run last year but we’re out of these cups now. We can’t change that. We can’t do anything about it now.” 

Chatham Town welcome fourth-placed Brentwood Town to Maidstone Road on Saturday, before a trip to Ilford to tackle Barkingside, who are in the bottom four, next Monday night.

“We’ve now got to do a job in the league and get as high as we can and you never know, play-offs could be a chance, could not be a chance. We need to go on a run and finish as high as we can and that’s all you can ask.”

Chatham Town: Tom Wellham, Brad Potter, Laurence Collins (Jamie Taylor 85), Matt Solly, Liam Hickey, Lewis Knight, Joe Loft, Corey Holder (Craig Hewitt 85), Austin Gacheru (Austin Edwards 77), Junior Kaffo, Greg Benbow.
Subs: Peter Hawkins, Kevin Watson

Booked: Austin Gacheru 57, Corey Holder 80, Lewis Knight 90

Worthing: Jack Fagan, Will Hendon, Harvey Sparks, George Hayward, Corey Heath, Matt Hurley, Curtis Gayler (Jaz Rance 86), Brannon O’Neill, Trevor McCreadie, Terry Dodd (Ben Pope 77), Omar Bugiel.
Sub: Tariq Richards

Goal: Omar Bugiel 82

Booked: Corey Heath 55, Terry Dodd 61

Attendance: 123
Referee:  Mr Rick Bloy (Basildon, Essex)
Assistants: Mr Josh Rudd (Dartford) & Mr Scott Rudd (Dartford)