Rochester United 2-0 Punjab United
Saturday 19th June
Rede Court Road
Match Report from Non League Chronicles
In the final matchday of the Post-Lockdown Cup Rochester United claimed a first victory with a 2-0 win over a much-changed Punjab United side.
With the final of the tournament now decided, this was fairly threadbare of attendees but not quite a ghost town, with 117 seeing The Spartans’ pick up their first win of the competition.
Rochester began on the front foot with a couple of good early chances, just not quite finding the required connection though to test Max Ovenden in the visitors goal.
Talk as a touchline meanwhile turned to previous results in this cup with one set of results being entered incorrectly on the ‘Futbology’ app and this being much to the chagrin of one member in particular. He recounted a tale of a fictional trip to watch Gillingham in a 5-1 defeat to Rotherham at Millmoor. I’m sure The Chuckle Brothers were delighted in a fictional kind of way.
Anyway, back on the pitch the patchwork Punjab side were just about holding Rochester at bay and an effort from the edge of the box dipped just wide of the post.
Not long after this The Spartans were in front – a great corner from the right hand side was flicked on and poked home by the Rochester right winger for 1-0. A goal that had been coming and arrived much to the relief of the assembled crowd, many of who had recently sat through England v Scotland on Friday Night.
Punjab did come close to a reply when a great Will Johnson-Cole delivery brought the best out of the Rochester keeper who had to palm the ball over the top of the bar and away for another corner that was hooked clear.
However moments after this Rochester were 2 to the good with a great ball over the top being controlled well by the number 10 who fired home through the keepers legs, producing a nutmeg on the keeper that Heston Blumenthal would have been the proud of.
Punjab presumably having had a bit of a talking too at half time started the second half brightly and Will Johnson-Cole’s shot was well saved by the keeper before the ball dropped to a Trialist striker who fired straight at the sprawled out goalie. Perhaps he’d left his shooting boots elsewhere?
Rochester pushed for a 3rd on the pitch and the two goalscorers combined before the winger fired over the top from close range, a chance he should have taken in the circumstances.
As the game wound down talk turned to Thursday’s Final which should see a veritable who‘s who of the SCEFL attending and is sure to be a really good match up between 2 quality sides!
Equally, next weekend beckons the beginning of the pre-season schedule with K Sports entertaining Hythe Town at 11AM, an interesting match that presumably has been pencilled in at that time in the day as it’s a bit cheaper to hire out the excellent facilities that K Sports provide!
A good win for Rochester who are sure to be among the contenders for promotion from the First Division. For Punjab United, expect them to have their best season ever at Step 5.
Photo: Jim Case
Match VLOG – Ben Brown
Match VLOG – Mark Davison