Tuesday 7th September
On a perfect night for football and with the pitch looking in excellent condition, all those who stayed indoors to watch the England match missed an enthralling Chats performance, who came from behind to beat a very lively Dulwich Hamlet side 3-2. Manager Paul Foley bought teenager George Mitchell into the back four to replace the injured Dave Hunt and Aaron Firth up front for his first league start alongside Joe Fuller who returned from a one match suspension. It was the visitors who started the livelier and dominated the opening 20 minutes. Assistant Manager Junior Kadi, was barking out orders from the centre of midfield and cajoling the Hamlet into numerous attacks with the lively front pairing of Pinnock and Price seeing plenty of the ball. Sitting in just behind the front pairing Tom Lancaster was also very influential in the opening exchanges. However James Tedder was more than a match making good early saves from Lancaster as early as the 2nd minute and then saving well at the feet of the onrushing Pinnock shortly after. Another pacy break down the left from Pinnock on 11 mins saw his cross converted on the edge of the 6yd box by Price to give the visitors the lead. For the home side manager Paul Foley was sent from the dugout for protesting too vigourously at the linesman for not keeping up with play. 2 corners followed for the visitors with Tedder again doing well to punch clear under pressure. Pinnock then lobbed Tedder but his effort was rightly ruled offside this time around.
Then with centre backs Mitchell and Hogg resolute and Nick Hegley starting to see more of the ball the Chats fought their way back into the game dominating the remainder of the half. Jon Hogg had a header from a corner well saved, then a Ryan Laker cross was headed on by the excellent Fuller only for Hegley to clear the crossbar. Further free kicks on the edge of the box for both the Hamlet and the Chats came to nothing before the equaliser for the home side literally on the stroke of half time. Another excellent forward run from Laker saw his cross just out of the reach of the onrushing Solly only for Hegley and then Solly to combine well to cross for Fuller. Again he won the header in the box and Firth was in the right place at the right time to poach the equaliser.
Dulwich made the first opening of the 2nd half but again Pinnocks effort from Lancaster's cross was ruled out for offside. Man of the match Brad Potter scored the first of two excellent headers only minutes later to put the Chats 2-1 in front from a Hegley free kick out wide. Then a great run wide left from Firth saw his cross blocked from the advancing Fuller and a then Fuller header glanced slightly wide. With the tackles flying in from both sides, and Gary Ward prominent for the home side no quarter was given in a full bloodied affair. Hogg made a great cross field interception from a Hamlet counter attack only for Chatham to reply with 2 further corners with Ward and Fuller again both going close. The 20 min mark was the time to ring the changes. Both Kadi and Price were replaced by Owusu and Wilson resulting in an instant impact. Lancaster's fierce low drive in the bottom corner eluding Tedder. Again not to be outdone the Chats took the lead immediately with Potter repeating his feat from 20 mins earlier this time from Solly's cross. The Chats kept looking for the fourth goal to seal the game with Fuller, Hegley and Firth combining well interspersed with Tedder tipping over a looping cross to preserve the Chats lead. Striker Francis Duku replaced centre half Bangura in the dying minutes with the visitors going all out for the equaliser. It was not to be with the Chats rallying yet again in the dying seconds. Jason Barton's forceful overlap saw his cross just taken off the head of Fuller.
Another exciting game with great character shown and a well deserved 3 points making it 3 wins out of 4 so far.
Team :- Tedder, Laker, Barton, Solly, J Hogg, Mitchell, Potter, Ward (capt), Fuller, Firth, Hegley
Subs not used : - Restell, O'Shea, Winchcombe, Maskell, Cook