Deep into stoppage time with the score even, points shared, Chatham Town forward Danny Kedwell tumbles in the box as the referee points to the spot.
2nd hosting 3rd – indeed, this seems to be a familiar story in this league that seems to give so much. Whitehawk this time moving away from the comforts of their own surroundings, they welcomed Panamanian midfielder Andres Rodriguez to the starting XI, taking the place of the absent Charlie Harris.
A fabulous crowd a few shy 1,500, Chatham’s Bauvill Stadium is a fine example of where non-league is heading: sumptuous surface, professional bar, passionate supporters. And, as the full time whistle sounded across Medway, Jack Evans would be firing his side to the top of the table.
He’d given his side the lead early in the first half, too, after rifling one through Luke Glover’s gloves from 20-yards out. It had been the game’s first shot on target, yet as the hosts pressed high up the field like they did in the reverse fixture a few week’s ago, the Hawks’ backline began to brood.
That is, until the 42nd minute, when Shaun Saunders’ side had their first real chance of the game: Joel Daly heading the ball back to O’Toole on the byline, who slammed the ball across the face of goal. Ben Bridle-Card parried as far as Khris Oti, who recorded his fourth goal in a Whitehawk shirt.
Half time arrived and so did the restart, with this a 45-minute period of backs to the wall, resolute defending. The Hawks would rarely threaten, but as the game grew old the hosts forced their way forward, Kedwell clipping the crossbar as we entered the final stages.
And as Saunders seemed a point was assured, Kedwell used his experience to fall down under the contact of Leon Moore’s legs, who protested his innocence.
Evans slammed home and the Chats celebrated late into the afternoon. They go top, for now, as both Ramsgate and Whitehawk look to bounce back on their respective travels this evening.