Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Chatham Town 2 Lordswood 2

Match 92/17/1542 - Tuesday, 13th February 2018 - SCEFL Challenge Cup QF

Chatham Town (1) 2 Osibodu 19 Parker 72
Lordswood (0) 2 Webb 84 Mahon 90+2
After Extra Time. Lordswood won 4-1 on penalties
Attendance: 120

Entrance: £5 Senior
Programme: £2
Mileage: 32/6,585

ElChavvico, the wonderfully self-deprecating title given to this local derby, turned into an ElClassico sting on those of us that had endured the freezing extra time at Erith Town a week ago. Chatham, two goals to the good going into the final 10 minutes, managed to self-destruct and then make a complete pig’s ear of the penalty shoot-out.

Lordswood had an early opportunity, a header from Jordan Wells, before Chatham took the lead after 19 minutes when a cross from Ralique Lawrence teed up a tap-in at the far post for Timi Osubodu.

Lawrence was proving a handful for the Lordswood defence and his fine effort was cleared from the line at the right hand post.

Lordswood hadn’t really offered too much before they had a goal from Jack Mahon disallowed, somewhat controversially, for offside. It wasn’t the first time in the match that the referee had had a moment and it certainly was not the last. His first decision, prior to kick-off, to allow the colour clashing shirts of red/black and orange/black to go ahead was as poor as any he made on the pitch.

The visitors had the ball in the net again after 11 minutes of the second half but, much to the annoyance of the Lords skipper, Gary Cook who talked himself into the book with some colourful language it was one more disallowed.

Chatham put some breathing space between them and their visitors after 72 minutes when Osubodu crossed for Freddie Parker to side-foot home from around 12 yards. As the feet were starting to get their now customary numbness, the goal was a welcome reiief from the prospect of extra time.

But, with seven minutes remaining, the Lords found a way back into the game when a header was only parried by Chats goalkeeper, Ryan Nicholls and, from the melee that ensued, the ball was bundled home by Bradley Webb.

As Chatham made a mess of time-wasting in the corner, the ball was launched downfield for Nicholls to rush from his goal on a fruitless chase as Mahon lobbed the ball over his head and into the unguarded net to frustrate both home supporters and neutrals alike.

To add to the frustration extra time was a non-event that really begs the question why not go straight to penalties? Whilst Lordswood were perfect from the spot, Ryan Chandler saved from Parker and Michael Hagan blasted his wide leaving George Blake to nail to tie.

Tunbridge Wells’ tie with Cray Valley was postponed and has been rearranged for next Tuesday, what price extra time?

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