Blues battle for well earnt point at high flying Chats
Photos by Ray Turner
The Heath travelled to the Medway on Saturday to face promotion chasing Chatham Town on the back of the close fought game against Three Bridges mid-week.
There was one change in the Heath’s starting line up, with Richard Pingling replacing Tom Collins who has been released for pastures new. Loan signing Nic D’Arienzo taking a spot on the bench.
It was a cagey start from both sides, with Chatham looking to move the ball around their back line and the Blues content to let them have it in non-dangerous areas before aggressively closing down as they played forwards.
It was the Heath, playing in their away kit of bright yellow that threatened first, a high ball into the box caused problems before keeper Harvey was able to claim the ball to relieve pressure.
Chatham grew into the game and started to threaten through a series of shots and resulting corners. Billy Collings again in fine form to deny the hosts on a number of occasions. Probably the best chance of the lot coming in the 16th minute when an attack down Chatham’s left saw the ball squared agonisingly close to both the onrushing forward and the far post.
From one in the series of corners that Chatham were putting into the box, a collision of players saw Spike Steggall down and injured and in the ensuing chaos Chatham were able to get a shot away which was expertly turned over the bar by Collings. Steggall was unable to continue with a leg injury and D’Arienzo came on to make his debut.
Although Chatham dominated possession for the remainder of the half, the Blues were able to fashion a couple of half chances with Honore showing composure in the centre of the park to release runners wide, unfortunately we were unable to make these openings pay.
The second half started and Heath were again the first to have a strike on goal, Laing cutting in off the left flank and his drive was narrowly over.
Heath had more of the ball in the sse3cond period and the long throw of D’Arienzo was causing all sorts of trouble in the Chats box. It was from one of these throws that the ball came back to Nic who showed great composure to beat his man and deliver a cross but the resulting shot from Honore was high.
The introduction of Dobell on 53 minutes injected further urgency upfront and his non-stop harrying of the defenders interrupted the flow of Chatham’s build up. He nearly created a winner for Heath when his inch-perfect through ball set away Laing 1v1 with the keeper but unfortunately Harvey in the Chatham goal was able to save and the chance was lost.
The Heath defence put in a fantastic shift to keep the Chatham bombardment at bay, as they ramped up the pressure as time ticked away. Billy Collings making a number of first class saves to keep them at bay on the rare occasion they were able to get shots on target. Collings also demonstrating his bravery in coming for a corner and taking a nasty blow above the eye from a challenging Chatham attacker.
The final whistle signalled a well-earned point on the road for the Blues, as great shift put in by all to battle their way through and not concede. Next up for the Heath is Cray Valley PM.
MOTM: Nic D’Arienzo