After a day Christmas shopping at Bluewater I came the short distance to the Bauvill Stadium to watch Chatham Town play their Isthmian League (South East Division) rivals in the Velocity Trophy. The winners of the tie would earn the chance to play against Carshalton Athletic in the quarter finals.
Chatham Town’s first season at this level since promotion from the Southern Counties East Football League has been led by Dan Bradshaw and Jack Evans, both of who are top scoring with nine goals. Wise signings by manager and owner Kevin Hake, have seen players with the calibre of Billy Bennett from Sheppey United and Fabio Saraiva from Kingstonian, join the Chats this season to bolster their squad depth.
Sevenoaks Town have had a recent fine run of form, which has seen them fly up the table, after a slow start to the season. Manager Harry Hudson has been able to rely on Ryan Gondoh (nine goals) and Freddie Parker (six goals) up front, this season and would relish a quarter final opportunity in this competition.
The match started with both sides shaping to attack, whenever the opportunities arose. Hudson’s well organised Sevenoaks Town side pressed largely down the left side through Bohui, Parker and Wilson. Chatham Town’s Robins and Evans were continually feeding Oloyede and Saraiva as they attempted to secure an opening for the home side.
In the 39th minute, a well rehearsed routine from a corner, led to Chatham Town’s opening goal, when Centre half Butler headed home at the far post.
The remainder of the half saw Chatham pushing for a second and Sevenoaks playing more on the counter attack. However at the break it remained 1-0 to the home team, as the 342 who had braved the December weather, looked forward to a second half with everything to play for.
Sevenoaks opened the second half making their intentions clear, striking the bar and having a headed chance from a corner in the opening ten minutes of the half. Chatham responded with a Saraiva shot being blocked on the line by the body of McCarthy, the Sevenoaks keeper,
Just as Sevenoaks looked to be forcing their way back into the tie, Chatham won a series of corners, the fourth of which resulted in a second Reece Butler headed goal, on 77 minutes, to make it 2-0.
At the final whistle it was Chatham Town who progressed to the quarter finals of the Velocity Cup. Sevenoaks return to the Bauvill on Boxing Day in a league fixture, where plenty is at stake, knowing that tonight they had their own chances and with a bit of luck the score could have been closer.