Gardner says Millers are working miracles

First published in Sport

Aveley 5, Chatham 1

NON LEAGUE: AFTER watching his team give Chatham a second-half pummelling, Aveley boss Justin Gardner was quick to sing the praises of his team. He said Millers were “working miracles”.

In what is becoming a weekly demonstration of attacking prowess, made possible by the pace and skill of Junior Dadson and the work-rate and finishing of Jordan Cox, who scored two each, Millers brushed aside their visitors.

It was the third time in as many weeks that Chatham have conceded more than four goals in losing against Thurrock opposition.

But in recent weeks, Gardner’s side have been branded a “surprise package”, a title he thinks apt.

He said: “If you compare us financially, we shouldn’t even be in the top ten or 15 in this league. “I don’t think anyone plays better football than us in this league. You know coming to watch Aveley that we’re going to score goals.”

Millers have now scored 56 in 21 games, an average of 2.6 per game. It was the eleventh time this season that they have scored more than three in a league game.

They were two goals up inside ten minutes on Saturday, with Dadson playing a crucial role in both. It was his cross that deflected in off of Chatham captain Matt Newman to give Millers the lead after eight minutes.

Two minutes later, Dadson burst clear of the away defence. He then rifled the ball into the roof of the net after seeing his first effort saved by Tim Roberto But Chatham were the better side in the second half. They nicked a goal back in the 16th minute, as Lee Hayles bundled the ball over the line. The visitors then missed two decent chances to level just before the break.

That proved costly as Dadson nabbed his second goal, collecting a ball from Billy Holland, before shooting across Hayles to wrap the game up in the 74th minute.

Cox then bagged himself a quick brace, scoring his 15th and 16th goals of the season. The first, coming in the 82nd minutes finished an incisive team move, as he headed in at the back post. A minute later, he raced clear of the Chatham defence and slotted home.

Gardner said: “Junior Dadson’s a top player, probably one of the best in the Ryman One. He could be playing at a higher level, but it’s about getting consistency out of him and we’ve got that in the last two games. “If we stay where we are, it’s a great achievement for us, that was the ambition at the start of the season. But if Maldon slip up, then maybe we can stay in the title race, but, it would be suicidal for them to throw it away now.”

AVELEY: Foster; Sands, Nesbitt, Leader, Thomas; Hopkins (Sellears, 75’), Kamara (Stevenson, 60’), Holland; Appiah, Dadson, Cox (Sonuga, 84’).

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