The KM Chatham Town FC 130th Anniversary Trophy
Reporting on the day’s events is Paul Parkinson with photos courtesy of our wonderful club photographer Clare Denness
Chatham Town FC
After three entertaining matches on a sunny Sunday afternoon, the Chats emerged as the winners of the 130th Anniversary Trophy, but on such a great day it was perhaps right that all three competing sides won one of their two games. The good news for the home team though was that we triumphed overall on goal difference!
The Chats celebrating the occasion that the trophy was named in honour of, gained the largest victory of the day, a 5-1 mauling of the Royal Engineers, which would prove to be the difference as each side gained a victory. But it was the Engineers 3-2 win over the Gillingham Development side that arguably was the result of the day, especially as it was their 2nd hour-long match in a row, as each match was played over 30 minutes each way rather than the usual 45!
CHATHAM TOWN 5 – 1 ROYAL ENGINEERS
Referee: Mr Valentine Anekewe
Chats: Tim Roberts, Ali Musa, Mark Lewis, Matt Solly, Sam Groombridge, Sten Mayunga (Kevin Watson 31), Lee Pleasance (Syd Kamara 38), Jamie Lawrence (Roddy N’Diane 46), Jean-Michel Sigere, Roddy N’Diane (Billy Higgins 26), Kelvyn Williams.
Goals: Jean-Michel Sigere 11 & 57, Lee Pleasance 14, Roddy N’Diane 19,
Syd Kamara 48.
Royal Engineers: Dean Love, Dean Ellis, Sean Prince (Justice Glover
31), Alan Brown, Gerwyn Griffiths, Alan Taylor, Scott Roy (Rob Ridley
51), Alex Stacey, Sammy Lawson, James Hubbard, Mark Green.
Goal: Mark Green 42.
Three goals in eight first half minutes were the catalyst for a
comfortable Chats victory against a competitive Royal Engineers side, the only winners of the FA Cup from the county, as the three-way competition kicked off in style. Much travelled forward Jean-Michel Sigere flicked Roddy N’Diane’s cross over the diving Dean Love to give the Chats the lead against the run of play on 11 minutes, before Sigere’s shot 3 minutes later rebounded off Love to give Lee Pleasance a tap in to double the advantage.
The Engineers worked their way back into the game as giant forward
James Hubbard headed over, then the Engineers had a good shout for a
penalty for handball against Sam Groombridge waved away. Even Chats
boss Kevin Watson saw the incident and was heard to tell Groombridge
“you got away with that”. But immediately, the Chats extended their lead
as N’Diane and Matt Solly exchanged passes that freed N’Diane in the RE
area and he calmly opened his body up to slot the ball past Love.
Kelvyn Williams put another Chats effort into the side netting with only the keeper to beat, before right-back Dean Ellis produced a wonderful cross that only just evaded the flying Mark Green as the host ended the half 3-0 ahead.
Early in the second half, both Engineers’ Alan Taylor and Hubbard saw efforts deflected wide before Alex Stacey played a pinpoint ball through the Chats defence for Green to slide home. But this was as good as it would get for the Royal Engineers as Williams saw a header rebound off the post, then on 48, Sigere burst past the Engineers’ defence and cut the ball back for Syd Kamara to coolly curl the ball into the bottom corner.
Green came close on two further occasions, but the game was sealed with
3 minutes left as Sigere knocked in his second. Solly’s free kick was
headed back across goal by Williams for Kamara to head into the centre,
with Sigere in acres of space to nod home.
The Mayor and Mayoress at the opening match kick off with the
two skippers, the officials and Chats chairman Jeff Talbot
ROYAL ENGINEERS 3 – 2 GILLINGHAM DEVELOPMENT
Referee: Mr Tim Burman
Royal Engineers: Dean Love, Dean Ellis, Justice Glover, Alan Brown,
Gerwyn Griffiths, Alan Taylor, Rob Ridley, Alex Stacey (Scott Roy 31),
Sammy Lawson (Mitch Brown 49), James Hubbard, Mark Green.
Goal: Rob Ridley 25, Alan Taylor 28, Scott Roy 56 (pen).
Gillingham: Dan O’Neill (Darren Hawkes 31), Jack Parter, Joe Carter
(Frankie Beale 52), Tom Brunt, Ollie Lee, Josh Maughan (Josh Hare 37),
George Humble (Charlie Webster 40), Alfie Coates (Kane Haysman 37), Ben
May (Aaron Millbank 52), Ashley Miller, Alex Brown.
Subs: Dan Parkinson, Aiden Blanchard, Josh Staunton.
Goals: Ashley Miller 8, Charlie Webster 43.
With only 30 minutes rest before facing Darren Hare’s Gillingham
Development Squad, it looked for the first 20 minutes as though the
Royal Engineers would be on the end of another drubbing. But, two late
first half goals and a late, late second half penalty gave the Engineers
a win that their battling performance fully merited.
From the start, Gillingham’s attacking pressure brought results, as Ben
May’s glancing header brought a wonderful tip-over from Dean Love, then
the keeper had to snatch the ball back from the line to deny Alex
Brown’s effort. But the keeper was helpless as Ashley Miller’s 30-yard
pile driver flashed into the bottom corner on 8 minutes.
Alfie Coates put a shot out of the ground and George Humble was twice denied by Love, the second attempt saw the keeper stand up well as the midfielder broke through one-on-one, before the Engineers found a way into the game. Mark Green volleyed over from 18 yards and James Hubbard glanced a towering header wide, then Green met an Alan Taylor cross but saw his header turned onto the bar by Dan O’Neill.
So it wasn’t really a surprise when Royal Engineers equalised, as Hubbard’s header beat O’Neill and Rob Ridley swivelled to fire the ball into the left corner. And the Engineers took the lead two minutes before the interval with a sublime passing move, as Green released Hubbard into the box. Hubbard’s shot cannoned back off O’Neill’s legs, rebounded off the forward to allow Taylor time to slam the ball home from 8 yards.
After the interval, both number 11’s had chances to score, with Brown
crashing a free kick against the Engineers’ bar, then Green firing past
the Gillingham goal. But Gillingham found their equaliser after 43, as
Charlie Webster swept the ball past Love after a good move involving Tom
Brunt and Brown.
Love did well to save at point-blank range from Webster and then saved
a rasping drive from Brown, before Brown almost gifted the game to the
Engineers. Brown’s sloppy back pass released Green, but Darren Hawkes
stood up well to deny the forward. However, it was a Gillingham mistake
that led to the winner, as Ollie Lee pulled down Hubbard as they
challenged for a long throw, and Mr Burman pointed to the spot. Scott
Roy stepped up and confidently dispatched the kick high to Hawkes’ right
to give the Engineers, celebrating the 150th anniversary of their
foundation, a much-deserved victory.
Tracey Couch MP at the opening match kick off of the second match with the
two skippers, the officials and Chats chairman Jeff Talbot
CHATHAM TOWN 1 – 2 GILLINGHAM DEVELOPMENT
Referee: Mr Chris Myatt
Chats: Ollie Dewey (Aaron Crosby 31), Ryan Laker, Tony Green (Sam Musundi 40), Lee Hales, Charlie Nisbet, Kes Metitri, Jack Jeffrey (Jordan McTigue 35), Steve Prescott (Daniel Ottley 31), Harry Smith, Roddy N’Diane, Stephen Okoh.
Goal: Stephen Okoh 54.
Gillingham: Darren Hawkes, Dan Parkinson (Josh Staunton 31), Frankie
Beale, Tom Brunt (Josh Maughan 31), Josh Hare (Ollie Lee 31), Alex Brown
(Aiden Blanchard 31), George Humble (Joe Carter 31), Kane Haysman (Dan
Parkinson 55), Charlie Webster (George Humble 55), Ben May (Jack Parter
31), Aaron Millbank (Alfie Coates 31).
Subs: Dan O’Neill, Ashley Miller.
Goals: Charlie Webster 20, Alex Brown 30.
Both sides went into the final game knowing that Gillingham would
require a 3-goal winning margin to overturn Chatham’s goal difference,
and by the interval, it looked as though they might achieve their aim,
through goals from Charlie Webster and Alex Brown. A composed strike
from Stephen Okoh with 6 minutes remaining guaranteed that the Chats would win the trophy, although the Gills youngsters claimed the victory.
Chatham, fielding an almost new team with boss Kevin Watson using the opportunity to have a look at several trialists, started quickly with Harry Smith
drawing a good save from Darren Hawkes, the only one of the Development
team who would play the 60 minutes. Ben May, Alex Brown and Aaron
Millbank all had early efforts on the Chats goal, as the Gillingham pass and move game oozed class. Lee Hales drew another save from Hawkes, but Charlie Webster weaved through 3 challenges on the edge of the Chatham box and slotted home to give Gillingham the lead.
Gillingham’s youngsters, the third side with a special anniversary this
season, celebrating the 100th year since the arrival of the name
Gillingham from New Brompton, rode their luck for a few minutes as Stephen Okoh and Smith both went close. But they would double their lead on the stroke of half-time as Brown picked up the ball inside the Chats half, drove 30 yards forward before unleashing a left-foot drive into the bottom corner.
A host of changes at the break disrupted play in the second half and
chances were scarce. The Chats came close from 2 free kicks, before Smith
finally released Okoh behind the Gills’ defence and the winger took one touch to steady himself, before sliding the ball past Hawkes into the bottom right corner with 6 minutes left. Okoh could have equalised in the last minute, but Hawkes stood up well to save two chances to preserve Gillingham’s lead.
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Patron Tracey and Mayor Vaughan pictured with the Officials and Chats chairman Jeff Talbot
Chats chairman Jeff Talbot welcomes club patron Tracey Crouch MP
(in blue Chats shirt) and Medway mayor Vaughan Hewett (in red Chats shirt)
Chats chairman Jeff Talbot welcome Kent FA Chairman Barry Bright to Maidstone Road
Chats Vice Chairman Barry Adams and Royal Engineers director Glen Lishman
exchange commemorative gifts in respect of the Chats 130th anniversary and the Engineers 150th
Chats local councillor Julie Shaw with the match officials after presenting them with their commemorative medals
Chats local councillor Vince Maple presents Gillinghams skipper Tom Brunt with a commemorative salver of the day
Chats local councillor Vince Maple presents Royal Engineers skipper Jay Hubbard with a commemorative salver of the day
Chats local councillor Vince Maple presents Chats skipper Jack Jeffrey with a commemorative salver of the day
Kent FA chairman Barry Bright presents the Anniversary Trophy to the victorious skipper - Chats Jack Jeffrey