Tuesday 1st June
Lordswood 0-3 Chatham Town
Match Report from Charlie Bradford for Non League Chronicles
With crowds in the strong hundreds at the likes of Rochester United, Chatham Town / Sheppey United, Punjab United and Lordswood throughout the competition, there is no doubt that the Post Lockdown Medway, Gravesham and Swale Cup has so far been a great success and an indicator as to how much we’ve all missed live football in the flesh. Tonight was no different as another good crowd had assembled tonight for Rochester United’s visit to Punjab United of approximately 100-125.
With the greeting from Punjab as warm as the sunshine we’ve all been enjoying of late, it was time to tuck in to the delicious Punjab United speciality of their samosas (I had 4!!) and join Jack Hayman on the touchline for what I hoped would be a good contest with plenty of goals after I personally had seen some terrible 0-0’s of late!
The first big chance of the contest came in the 16th minute when a cross from the right saw an aerial battle take place between Punjab United’s George Goodwin and Rochester’s goalkeeper. With the two colliding, Rochester’s goalkeeper fell to the floor as the ball fell to William Johnson-Cole and his effort towards the goal was cleared off the line and ultimately away from danger.
Punjab went even closer six minutes later when a low cross from the right resulted in a miss-hit clearance by Rochester’s number 2 which forced Rochester’s goalkeeper to come up with a cracking improvised save down to his bottom left to keep his clean sheet intact.
However Rochester’s goalkeeper was helpless to prevent Punjab’s opener on the half an hour mark. Following a free kick being won 30 yards out, George Goodwin stepped up and delivered a blistering strike which any goalkeeper would have struggled to save, with the ball flying into the back of Rochester’s net.
Punjab’s lead however only lasted two minutes with Rochester getting a quick equaliser when a low cross from the right found the feet of Henry Arnold who came up with a tidy finish into the bottom left-hand corner to restore parity in the game.
10 minutes later and Punjab re-took the lead when some tricky wing play by William Johnson-Cole saw him cut in off the left wing and drill a shot into the bottom left-hand corner to give the side one division higher than their opponents a half time buffer.
Punjab continued to keep their foot firmly on the pedal and doubled their lead in the 54th minute when a corner from the right found an unmarked George Goodwin and his accurately placed header found the top left-hand corner meaning that Goodwin now had a brace.
Punjab’s Luke Adams had a decent opportunity to get himself a goal in the 66th minute when a neat through ball saw him one on one with Rochester’s goalkeeper but the latter stood firm to save the centre forward’s shot, with Rochester’s custodian then grabbing the ball at the second attempt.
A couple of minutes after Rochester’s number 10 heading a cross straight at Max Ovenden in Punjab’s goal, Luke Adams again went close when a powerful strike from the right side of the box was met by an equally impressive save by Rochester’s goalkeeper.
In the 79th minute Punjab got themselves a fourth goal when William Johnson-Cole matched his team mate George Goodwin in getting himself a brace when some more tricky wing play resulted in a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner to all but seal the three points for the hosts.
Rochester did go close to getting a consolation late on when their number 12 flashed a shot wide of the left post from the edge of the box and William Johnson-Cole could have had himself a hat-trick late on when a mix up at the back for Rochester saw him one on one, with Rochester’s goalkeeper saving his shot with his feet, but neither chance was taken as Punjab ran out comfortable winners.
FT: 4-1. It’s a big game for Punjab United next against Chatham Town on Saturday whilst Rochester United will be looking to avoid the wooden spoon and gain their first points of the tournament in their next game.
MOTM: A cigarette paper between George Goodwin and William Johnson-Cole but I think just the latter for some great wing play all evening.