There was a carnival atmosphere at Chatham Town on Sunday for the Women’s World Cup final and a first league game of the season for the club’s ladies team.
Chatham Town Women lost the National League South Premier fixture 3-1 against Hashtag United as they failed to capitalise on their first-half chances and let in three goals during a costly 14-minute spell at the start of the second half.
Chats’ interim boss Jesus Cordon took charge after manager Dan Logue had quit days before, following an opportunity to work at a higher level.
Cordon said: “It was great to watch the game all together. There was a great atmosphere at the club, people stayed to watch our game and we are just sorry we couldn’t give them the game they were probably looking forward to but I am sure we will get better.
“We had the better chances first half, three clear chances where the keeper made good saves, we hit the post after a corner as well. In that first half, we restricted them to shots from distance and we blocked them well.
“They probably only had one clear chance in the first half then after half-time is when we didn’t come out with the same intensity and we conceded three goals in 14 minutes.”
Goals were scored on 49, 54 and 63 minutes to put Hashtag firmly in control before Breon Grant got one back for the hosts, to give most of the 478 spectators something to cheer.
The first Hashtag goal came from a quick counter, the second from a wide free-kick which wasn’t defended well and the third following a mistake playing out from the back.
Cordon said: “It was a spell where we weren’t at our best and then we react, we fight and compete, we get a goal after a good combination, but the reaction was too late.
“The effort and intensity was good, they worked really hard, we lacked a little bit of composure and bravery on the ball. We could be braver and try to play more, we went long so many times for no reason with no purpose and that became 50-50 balls that we ended up losing.
“There are definitely things to improve on for the next game, especially in possession.”
Sunday’s 1-0 win for Spain in the World Cup final left Cordon with mixed emotions.
He said: “I am Spanish but I have been here for many years, getting my badges with the English FA and while coaching at Lewes at Championship level we played against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, so I have played against most of those girls in the England team.
“I am happy for Spain, because it is history for them, it is going to be great for women’s football in the country, but whatever happened I was going to be happy, but if I am honest I was focused on our game more than watching the final!”
Cordon has been left in interim charge of Chatham following Logue’s departure – who he had previously assisted - and is happy to carry on for as long as needed.
He said: “At the moment I am taking charge of the team and while it is my team I will work hard as always, preparing sessions and games, it will be like that all the time I am here. If it is for longer, then great, and if it’s not then we will see, it is out of my hands, all I can do is work hard and give everything with what I am doing.”
Up next for Chatham is an away game against AFC Wimbledon in the National League Cup.
“It is going to be a great game,” predicted the interim boss. “Wimbledon have a few players I know from my time at Lewes, six or seven, they are good, they compete, they have quality and last season just before we came to the team, Wimbledon beat Gillingham 1-0 in the FA Cup. I am sure most of the girls in that team will remember it and will look forward to getting a win.
“Our focus has to be to improve what we did last Sunday, raise our standards and play a good game and we have to focus on us, do things right and what we believe and what we want to do.”
Following Logue’s departure, Chats said: “As a club we wish Dan every success with his new venture and will commence the process of finding the right person who shares our vision and values.”