Chatham Town Win the Kent Senior Trophy!
Beckenham Town FC 0-1 Chatham Town FC - AET
Supersub Michael Hagan won Chatham Town their first silverware for more than two decades as his scrambled effort in the opening period of extra time sealed a Kent Senior Trophy triumph over a frustrated Beckenham Town who were left convinced that a major incident in the ninety minutes had gone against them.
With the score at 0-0, a right wing throw found its way into the Chatham net only for match referee McKay to award a goal kick after a deep conversation with one of his assistants. Beckenham coach Ricky Bennett told KSN after the game, “it’s a goal all day long! We say Ellis (Dan Ellis the Chatham keeper) swipe at the ball and then it was in the net – how did he not touch it?” Bennett went on, “Obviously we’re disappointed! Whether it was the occasion or not I’m not sure but we just had the chances but just didn’t work the keeper.”
Chatham boss James Collins on the other hand was jubilant after securing the first trophy to Maidstone Road this century. “We knew how important today was for so many people at this football club – we knew what he had to do and they may it tight for us. But when you’ve got players like Michael on the bench, I knew we always had a chance.” Collins who had lost in the same Final two years ago when in charge at Cray Valley PM added, “I’ve lost here before and when Vinesy (Paul Vines) missed the penalty I did think that it may not be our day. But we had to win it for so many people and I’m just so happy that we have!”
Vines had an early chance from a Jon Pilbeam cross that was cleared off the line before Beckenham keeper Michael McEntegart was bravely off his goal-line to deny Matt Bodkin, before the keeper made a terrific save to deny the same player from a free-kick.
Just past the half hour and the game’s best chance fell to Chatham as Bodkins pin point cross saw Vines’ free header go wide of the post!
Tom Fitzgerald then stung the Beckenham keeper’s hands and from the resulting cross back into the box Bodkin’s downward header was brilliantly block. In Chatham’s next attack, Walker was left on the seat of his pants by a challenge which the referee waved away as a foul!
The second half began with Pilbeam curling a shot onto the top of the Beckenham bar. In their next attack, Pilbeam was unceremoniously bundled over on the corner of the box and referee McKay pointed to the spot. However, Vines duly sent the spot kick into the car park!
Chatham had the upper hand and Walker then sprinted clear and although Bodkin’s shot was blocked, Reece Butler’s drive was brilliantly held by McEntegart.
Beckenham had a golden opportunity to go in front eleven minutes from the end and only Richard Atkins will know just how close he actually was to meeting Luis Medina’s driven cross.
In stoppage time, Beckenham went even closer when Archie Johnson went sprinting down the left and his centre was met by Medina, who drew a smart save out of Ellis.
The extra period began in bizarre fashion as a throw from Nathan Daly bounced through the Chatham box before nestling in the corner of the net. Despite howls of protests from Beckenham, referee McKay correctly waved away claims for a goal.
The goal that Chatham had been threatening for what seemed an eternity finally arrive in the 99th minute when Bodkin didn’t give up what appeared a lost cause and Hagan did well to firstly get on the end of the cross but then to steer the ball beyond McEntegart into the net.
The second period of extra time started with the ball fizzing across the face of the Chatham goal – again no blue shirt being on hand to convert! And when Billy Bennett did put the ball in the Chatham net after a clever knock down, the offside flag had long since been raised!
Bennett thought he’d beaten Ellis again on 118 minutes but the keeper made a terrific block and then somehow was able to claw away Atkins header.
The final whistle brought joy for Chatham and sent the Senior Trophy up Bluebell Hill for the first time in more than two decades.
Beckenham Town FC – Michael McEntegart, Nathan Paul, Archie Johnson, Nathan Daly, Jez Hammond (Ike Robertson 105), Carlos Branco (Joe Healy 55), Jimmy Rogers (Brogan Britten 105), Billy Bennett, Luis Medina, Richard Adkins, Stefan Cox
Subs – Luqman Adesina, Jack Hope
Chatham Town FC – Dan Ellis, James Fray (Danny Grant 111), Matt Parsons, Reece Butler, Ben Wilson, Marcus Evans, Jon Pilbeam, Tom Fitzgerald, Paul Vines, Byron Walker (Michael Hagen 74), Matt Bodkin
Subs – Danny Grant, Corey Walters, Wright, Michael Jenner, Harry Newcombe
REFEREE – Joe McKay
ASSISTANTS – Billy Woods & Ryan Chantrill-Smith
FOURTH OFFICIAL – Joe Dann-Pye