Saturday 23rd July 2016
Chatham Town 2-2 Merstham
This may have been pre-season, this may have been a friendly, but never the less this was still an entertaining encounter between two evenly matched teams that shared the spoils in a keenly contested game.
The old cliché of a game of two halves was never more apt as Chats dominated the first half with some good attacking moves and deservedly took the lead when a swift counter attack and some slick passing resulted in a cross from which Ade Yusuff produced a powerful header that gave the visiting keeper no chance.
The home side doubled their lead midway through the half with a ‘team’ goal. Building from the back, some quick interpassing led to Ricky Gundry finding himself free in front of goal and as usual, made no mistake to put The Chats two up.
Merstham, from that point gradually began to get a foothold in the match and despite being denied on a number of occasions by Chats keeper Henry Newcombe who is on a season long loan from Gillingham, they deservedly reduced the deficit with a well taken volley from the edge of the box just before the half time whistle.
The second half belonged to Merstham as they attacked with renewed vigour right from the off and Chatham found themselves with their backs to the wall for most of the 45 minutes.
The game turned in their favour, however when Ambrose Kamara, who had had a great game up until then, was adjudged to have committed a foul as last man and despite the majority of the spectators disagreeing with the referee, was harshly dismissed. The resulting free kick led to the equaliser as despite the efforts of Newcombe the ball managed to avoid his efforts to save and went in off the post.
The visitors spent the remainder of the half virtually camped outside Chatham’s penalty area in an effort to get the elusive winner, but The home defence in their best pre season performance so far managed to hold firm.
All in all a fair result and a lot of positives to come out of the game with some solid performances all over the pitch.
On a lighter note, spotted at the ground on Saturday; Was this Claudio Ranieri on a scouting mission for Leicester City? And was he happy with what he saw?
Many thanks to the gentleman concerned for giving us permission to use the photograph.