Home   Medway   Sport   Article

Chatham Town Women face Cardiff City in a huge game at the bottom end of the National League Southern Premier Division – Sunday’s game at the Bauvill Stadium kicks off at 2.30pm

Chatham Town Women’s match with Cardiff City this Sunday has grown in significance.

The five-point gap between Chats and safety was extended to eight after opponents Cardiff - who sit one place above them outside the drop zone - picked up a much-needed win of their own last weekend.

Chatham Town Women's manager Keith Boanas knows just how big the next game is Picture: Keith Gillard
Chatham Town Women's manager Keith Boanas knows just how big the next game is Picture: Keith Gillard

Chatham haven’t played in the league since losing 3-2 at home to Oxford United on January 14 and have had two weeks to prepare for this game coming up - one they must win.

Anything other than a victory will leave Chatham’s hopes of escaping relegation from the National League Southern Premier Division looking beyond slim.

Boss Keith Boanas isn’t hiding away from the significance of the match and there’s been plenty going on in preparation with three new signings and two friendly matches to keep the team on their toes.

“It is even bigger now because of Cardiff’s result on Sunday,” said the Chats boss.

“It is a pressure situation for the players and something we are going to have to deal with and make sure as staff and players that we approach the games with enough belief and knowing it is in our hands, that is the bottom line, mathematically it is very, very possible.

“That gap looks ominous but I look around the league and there are teams we can take points off if we play the way we can, that is what is going to be the key factor now, making sure we go into every game with the right mindset and right belief and try and take the pressure off the players so we’re not going out nervous.”

Chatham haven’t won any of their 13 league games to date. They have nine games to survive and retain their place in the third tier of the English women’s game. Following the Cardiff match, they travel to league leaders Portsmouth and then face an away midweek match at Billericay Town - another team they will be looking to haul in.

FA Women’s League Southern Premier Division as it stands

Signing for the club this week has been Ipswich Town forward Holly Turner, following the arrival of goalkeeper Simone Eligon. Another player was set to join before the weekend to boost the attacking options.

On the pitch, Chatham have played a boys’ team before claiming a 1-0 victory over London City Lionesses Development Squad on Sunday, courtesy of a goal from Otesha Charles.

Boanas said: “We have had new players coming in and there has been a good tempo and attitude at training. The mood in the camp is quite strong.

“We played the game on Sunday against a side I had watched play Charlton’s development team and I had a fear factor that we would batter them, because they are a young squad.

“I made the mistake before the game of telling the players to take it easy, to not bully them, or be over physical, and literally we were too nice and didn’t dominate or impose ourselves enough. They are well organsied and could play, it made it an even game when it shouldn’t have been.

“We won it 1-0 but created so many chances and my constructive criticism at the end was that we have to score goals. We are putting in great delivery from crosses and set-pieces and it is something we needed to focus on in the week, building up to the Cardiff game.

“It’s always nice to keep a clean sheet in any game, even a friendly, so I was happy with that, but I think on the chances we created in both halves, we probably should have scored half a dozen more.

“What you can’t coach is bravery and courage and that willingness to get hurt against bodies, feet and heads. We know we can create but we have to get end product.”

On new signing Turner, the manager said: “She definitely has the capability to put goals away and I think forward line-wise on paper we look scary, we have pace and power and we have six or seven players vying for three slots.

“Last week’s game against the boys went exactly as I would have hoped, the scoreline was irrelevant, but the pace of the game and what we wanted to get out of it, we definitely got out of it.

“We gave loads of players minutes who hadn’t had playing time, that was good to watch and the experiment is always to get the pace of the game up and test ourselves at that level and physicality wise and to be fair the girls coped really well.”

Kick off on Sunday at the Bauvill Stadium is at 2.30pm.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More