Chatham Town took a valuable away point from a hard fought 2-2 draw at Corinthian-Casuals.
The game started quietly. Chatham had the first real attack after ten minutes, and although it was cleared it became apparent that the Casuals defence was rather slow.
Jordan Gallacher’s cross on 18 slid just past the far post, and then three minutes later Chatham were ahead. The ball broke to Ricky Freeman who shot from the edge of the area, and the Casuals keeper got a hand to it but could not keep it out.
Two good saves from Alex Hyde kept Chatham ahead, until on 35 minutes the Chatham keeper had no option but to bring down a Casuals player inside the area. Uzun scored for Casuals from the resulting penalty.
A good run by Gallacher, leading to a shot which was well saved, was the highlight of the closing minutes of the first half.
The second half opened with Chatham winning two corners in quick succession, but soon it was Casuals who had most of the ball and Chatham who were forced to defend. With an hour played, Justin Ascheri’s appearance as a sub signalled the start of his second spell with the club. He was soon in the action too, after a Freeman break gave him a shooting chance which won Chatham a corner.
But on 71 minutes, Casuals took the lead when Uzun’s free kick from close to the corner flag went straight in. Chatham were behind for only two minutes, though. The ball ran loose in the penalty area following a corner, and Freeman was on hand to stab the ball home from close range and put Chatham level.
On 80 minutes, the game was interrupted by a brawl involving most of the players from both teams. No cards were shown by the referee, but there were players on both teams who should not be proud of themselves.
Once order had been restored, a good save by Hyde on 90 minutes and another from a free kick six minutes into added time ensured that Chatham secured the point they deserved.
Unfortunately there was another outbreak of fighting after the final whistle, and a Casuals player saw the red card for his part in it. Incidents of this kind are never welcome, but should not detract from a competitive game between two teams who are more closely matched than their league positions would suggest.
|Chris Saunders||Yellow Card|