In choosing this weekend’s match it was fairly simple. Chatham Town are top of the Southern Counties East Premier League, after 9 matches and averaging 5.5 goals a game. Erith are 7th and having scored 5 in their last home match, I figured this game would produce a high return of goals.
The ground is situated adjacent to the leisure centre and parking is free. The ground also serves as an athletic stadium and there is one large covered seating stand in the style of 1970s and 1980s athletic stands. Staff at the ground were helpful on arrival and the clubhouse and Oiler’s are situated behind the main stand up a flight of stairs in the leisure centre. The day was a typical late Autumn one, with strong wind causing sthe last leaves to fall, relatively warm weather and the threat of imminent rain as the game began. The pitch was grass and in good condition with no apparent slope.
As the players warmed up, I overheard a club official from Chatham talking about the racist incident that caused the Glebe game to be abandoned. If guilty the FA may ban the player and dock the club points. Hopefully by taking strong action everyone will realise there is simply no place for racism in the game.
Once the game began, Chatham played a free flowing style. They had an early chance and then this… the first goal.
Then Erith battled back into the game and drew it to 1-1 with a free kick which appeared to slip through the wall. Just before half time having taken a lot of Chatham pressure Erith had a chance and on the volley the tall left back, Jomah, volleyed Erith into the lead. Reports of Corinthian FC leading Croydon 2-0 at half time meant Chatham were no longer leading the table. Chatham went on attacking hard with top scorer Jack Evans going close.
Then just as the referee went to blow his whistle for half time the midfielder Jordi Robbins let fly from 25 yards out and it flew in for 2-2. At half time I saw how loud the Chatham fans were as they settled in the bar!! They were in full voice as Bradshaw put Chatham 3-2 up straight after the break.
As the second half progressed Chatham put their foot on the gas and went two goals clear with this Jack Evans’ penalty.
Erith’s Obasa brought them back to 3-4 with a nice finish and then immediately Chatham went 5-3 up as if to cement their place at the top of the league with a goal the wind helped blow in from a corner!
The lack of social distancing in the stand was a bit of a worry so I stood in the rain for the second half. – not sure about how hygienic the Erith Stadium cleaning routines are too, by the look of the seats?!!
As usual I left just before the end as it was wet and cold!! I missed a late Chatham goal as they secured a 6-3 win. Despite the rain a good afternoon’s entertainment.