Arrived early for this one on a very very wet afternoon.
Depressing news this morning suggested increased cases of Covid across the country and thus a real possibility of an announcement later today of further national lockdown and a suspension of the non-league fixtures. What this would do to our smaller clubs is a real worry.
This looked good be a really close game with both sides having made great starts. Chatham are the country’s leading scorers with 54 in 10 games. Hollands and Blair have conceded less than any other team with only 6 goals conceded in 10. Add to the fact that this was a local derby, with Hollands and Blair playing in Gillingham, and the game had added value.
The sun came out as the game began and it was a close battle for the first 15 minutes. A nice cross was met by Dan Bradshaw for Chatham to open the scoring as Hollands and Blair’s defence crumbled.
Evans doubled the lead on 17 minutes with a lobbed goal from 25 yards to raise the noise in the crowd.
In the 42nd minute Ryan Hayes drove the ball into the stanchion from the right to make it 3-0. At half time Chatham left the pitch to applause after an impressive opening 45 minutes.
The second half started with the sun fading, but on the pitch Chatham started the second half as aggressively, as they had ended the first. Attack after attack came in waves, with Evans always present, leading the assault.
All the pressure paid off with Evans driving in the fourth goal for Chatham from the right hand side, having taken on the ball from a corner.
The fifth goal came soon after, from Rooney as the Hollands and Blair defence, which had only let in six in ten games previously, just seemed to capitulate.
As the 80th minute approached Chatham pushed again and forced an own goal, to make it 6-0. Chatham had three or four more chances to score before the end, but their shooting finally let them down. At the end of the game however it was another great win for Chatham securing their lead at the top of the Southern Counties Eastern Football League Premier Division.