Match Report by Scott Bulmer

BECKENHAM TOWN 1-2 CHATHAM TOWN

SCEFL Premier Division

Saturday 4th January

Junior Kaffo’s unfortunate red card proved to be the crucial as Chatham came from a goal down to beat the league leaders late on.

Right from the kick off Chatham looked up for it as they had a chance which was headed over before Becks had even touched the ball.

The first half went as you’d expect from two top teams looking to make a statement in the race for promotion. A hard hitting affair helped by a very lenient referee. Both sides having a chances here and there but the keepers were stopping everything that came their way.

In the 33rd minute the deadlock was broken thanks to Shameek Farrell being left unmarked in the middle to meet Stefan Cox’s low cross from the left and sent it home to give his side the lead.

They was a great chance for Becks to double the lead as a counter attack down the left led to the ball being pulled back but the shot was placed just wide of the post.

Chatham then seemed to have their golden chance go begging as a good cross was headed on to the crossbar.

It took a moment of inspiration in the 52nd minute for the visitors to equalise. Matt Bodkin cut inside from the left, opened his body up and sweeped the ball into the far corner giving the keeper no chance.

Disaster struck for the home side soon after as a slightly late challenge from Junior Kaffo was deemed worthy of a red card by the referee, there was no malice in the challenge as both players missed the ball but the Chatham player took a boot from Junior and that was enough for the ref.

Becks didn’t look like they had a man disadvantage as both sides pushed hard for a winning goal but both defences held firm.

That was until Jon Pilbeam bent the ball into the far corner. Following an initial blocked shot the ball popped out to him unmarked (potentially due to the one extra man) just inside the box and sent the away support into delirium with just nine minutes of normal time remaining.

Becks pushed for a late equaliser but couldn’t find it despite some great pieces of play. The loss has allowed all of Becks’ rivals to close the gap at the top with Corinthian now just three points behind, Sheppey are one point further back and are next to visit the EPA in what should be another top game. Chatham’s win sees them in fourth, six behind Beckenham.