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Updated:  16 April - 11:44 AM

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Abbey Rangers V Chertsey Town

League

Monday 17 April - 7:45 PM

Chertsey Town V Farnham Town

League

Saturday 22 April - 3:00 PM

League Table

Team P W D L F A Pts
Hartley Wintney 42 34 5 3 127 38 107
Westfield 41 25 9 7 95 49 84
Walton & Hersham 42 21 14 7 68 39 77
Hanworth Villa 42 22 9 11 70 46 75
Epsom & Ewell 42 21 10 11 85 54 73
Camberley Town 42 22 6 14 82 54 72
Horley Town 42 20 7 15 84 65 67
Abbey Rangers 43 17 12 14 71 72 63
Spelthorne Sports 41 17 9 15 74 69 60
Knaphill 42 18 5 19 79 76 -1
Sutton Common Rovers 41 17 5 19 60 63 56
Bedfont Sports 40 15 11 14 70 75 56
Windsor 42 15 10 17 75 70 55
North Greenford United 40 15 10 15 73 71 55
Colliers Wood United 42 13 11 18 66 75 50
Guildford City 41 14 7 20 73 81 49
AFC Hayes 41 13 9 19 62 77 48
CB Hounslow United 42 14 5 23 54 79 47
Farnham Town 42 13 7 22 58 80 46
Chertsey Town 42 13 7 22 54 90 46
Badshot Lea 42 10 5 27 59 112 35
Bedfont & Feltham 42 9 6 27 54 116 33
Raynes Park Vale 42 7 9 26 42 84 30

News....

Latest Match Report

Chertsey Town  0 v 2  Camberley Town
Date:  Saturday 15 April Competition:  League

Match Report being written.....

Fixtures and Results

Date Competition H/A Opponents Report
Sat 23 Jul Friendly A Eversley 2 0
Sat 30 Jul Friendly A Dorking 2 2 Match Report. Click to open
Tue 2 Aug Friendly H Farnborough 1 3 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 6 Aug FA Cup H Hook Norton 2 0 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 13 Aug League A Sutton Common Rovers 2 0 Match Report. Click to open
Tue 16 Aug League H Westfield 0 3 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 20 Aug FA Cup H AFC Hayes 3 0 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 27 Aug League A Camberley Town 2 1 Match Report. Click to open
Mon 29 Aug League H Abbey Rangers 1 0 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 3 Sep FA Cup A Thamesmead Town 0 1 Match Report. Click to open
Wed 7 Sep League A Guildford City 1 6 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 10 Sep FA Vase H Lydney Town 1 2
Tue 13 Sep League A Knaphill 0 5
Tue 20 Sep League H Hanworth Villa 1 2
Tue 27 Sep League A Raynes Park Vale 0 4
Sat 1 Oct League H AFC Hayes 3 2
Tue 4 Oct League Cup H Camberley Town 1 2 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 8 Oct League A Horley Town 0 1 Match Report. Click to open
Tue 11 Oct League A North Greenford United 0 8
Sat 15 Oct League H Spelthorne Sports 2 2 Match Report. Click to open
Tue 18 Oct League A Walton And Hersham 1 1 Match Report. Click to open
Wed 26 Oct League A Colliers Wood United 1 2 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 29 Oct League H Guildford City 1 2 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 5 Nov League A Hanworth Villa 0 3
Tue 8 Nov Aldershot Snr Cup A Godalming Town 4 1
Sat 12 Nov League H Bedfont & Feltham 2 2
Sat 19 Nov League H Windsor 1 3 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 26 Nov League A Bedfont Sports 2 2
Tue 29 Nov Surrey Senior Cup H Abbey Rangers 2 1 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 3 Dec League A Farnham Town 2 2 Match Report. Click to open
Tue 6 Dec League A CB Hounslow United 2 1 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 10 Dec League H Knaphill 0 1 Match Report. Click to open
Tue 13 Dec League A Bedfont & Feltham 2 2 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 17 Dec League A Epsom and Ewell 1 2 Match Report. Click to open
Tue 20 Dec Sthn Combination Cup H Molesey 0 1 Match Report. Click to open
Tue 27 Dec League H Horley Town 3 4 Match Report. Click to open
Mon 2 Jan League A Westfield 3 1 Match Report. Click to open
Tue 10 Jan Surrey Senior Cup H Kingstonian 1 0 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 14 Jan League H Bedfont Sports 2 1 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 21 Jan League A Hartley Wintney 1 5 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 28 Jan League H CB Hounslow United 1 0 Match Report. Click to open
Tue 7 Feb League H Walton And Hersham 1 2
Sat 11 Feb League H Epsom and Ewell 0 3 Match Report. Click to open
Sat 18 Feb League A Windsor 2 1
Tue 21 Feb Aldershot Snr Cup A British Army 1 3
Tue 28 Feb Surrey Senior Cup H Dorking Wanderers 0 3
Sat 4 Mar League H Badshot Lea 1 4
Tue 7 Mar League H North Greenford United 4 2
Sat 11 Mar League A AFC Hayes 2 0
Sat 18 Mar League H Raynes Park Vale 2 1
Tue 21 Mar League A Badshot Lea 1 3
Sat 25 Mar League H Colliers Wood United 2 0
Sat 1 Apr League H Hartley Wintney 0 0 Match Report. Click to open
Tue 4 Apr League H Sutton Common Rovers 0 1
Sat 8 Apr League A Spelthorne Sports 1 2
Sat 15 Apr League H Camberley Town 0 2
Mon 17 Apr League A Abbey Rangers
Sat 22 Apr League H Farnham Town
Dorking  2 v 2  Chertsey Town
Date:  Saturday 30 July Competition:  Friendly

Seventeen players took off for our match against a young and lively Dorking side that initially won the battle for possession. However, our confidence grew but then, on the half hour, we conceded in a half where we rarely threatened.

Interval changes put us then on the front foot but even so, we went two down ten minutes into the half the side but then started to play more controlled football and were rewarded with two successes. The first came through Scott Sherwood to Jamie Ross who took on a defender and won a penalty. Scott Sherwood slotted us back to the game just after the hour. The equaliser was again set up through good football that found Lewis Wade wide on the left. He took a touch before crossing for Jay Middleton to convert at the back post. A positive outcome.

Chertsey Town  1 v 3  Farnborough
Date:  Tuesday 2 August Competition:  Friendly

The score line could have been more even but that was fine because the performance was the thing, and the thing was good. We had he first half hour and the last fifteen minutes, Farnborough had the rest as far as possession and dominance was concerned.

We took the lead on the half hour after a throw in to John Pomroy was slotted across to Shelton Gooden who smashed the ball into the top of the net. Farnborough struck back five minutes later with a low shot from Sam Shabam into the corner of the net.

Our visitors had the better of exchanges after the break and hit two goals, both being slightly deflected en-route. The first of the pair was hit on 59 minutes from outside the penalty area by Jack Barton when in plenty of space. The second, in the 73rd minute was from a similar distance and effect, but from a direct free kick struck by Nic Ciadini.

We came back well in the latter stages and might have reduced the arears, at least, after two stinging shots were delivered by Gooden but good work by Melvin Minter in goal managed to keep the ball out.

Jack Ogle, Kershawn Sergeon, Ben Geraghty, Tommy Batten, Joe Blendell, Meddie Nsuguba, Joel Thompson, Joe Jones, Sheldon Gooden, John Pomroy,

Jamie Ross. Emmanuel Akiotu, Steve Newman, Dan Bademosi, Chris Aldridge, Ridge Mataka, Otis Taylor

Chertsey Town  2 v 0  Hook Norton
Date:  Saturday 6 August Competition:  FA Cup

Chertsey Town opened their 2016-17 campaign with a deserved FA Cup win against Hellenic Division One West opponents Hook Norton. A debut goal from Emmanuel Akiotu on the stroke of half-time and a late penalty from John Pomroy set up another home tie in the next round against either Abingdon United or AFC Hayes.

Starting the season with an FA Cup fixture for the first time since 2005, Chertsey missed several opportunities and should have recorded a greater margin of victory. They dominated the majority of proceedings on a stifling hot day, save for a 15 minute spell after the break when Hook Norton showed some attacking intent.

The hosts had the first shot of the season on target as early as four minutes in, but the tame effort from Joe Jones was easily scooped up by Kurt Fox in the Hook Norton goal. Chertsey started brightly and Fox had to be alert to turn away a Joe Blendell header from a corner before Pomroy flashed an effort across the face of goal after being set up by Ben Geragthy.

Chertsey really should have taken the lead with 14 minutes on the clock. Akiotu found space on the edge of the area and his effort thudded back off the post; the ball fell to an unmarked Geragthy who looked certain to find the empty net but somehow his shot struck a Hook Norton player and deflected agonisingly wide. Chertsey continued to dominate so much so that the visitors’ had to wait until the 26th minute for their first attempt, Joe Eyre’s shot causing no problem for Jack Ogle.

More chances came Chertsey’s way. Thompson’s angled drive was turned away by Fox and from the resultant corner Blendell headed wide. Geragthy was once again a threat down the left and he set up Akiotu whose overhead kick narrowly missed the target. The breakthrough finally arrived on 45 minutes with a fine piece of individual skill from Akiotu, who danced around a defender in the box to finish well into the corner.

Spurred on by a noisy visiting support and a vociferous bench, Hook Norton looked like a different team after the break and pressed Chertsey further up the field. The home side lost possession too frequently in the opening exchanges with Kim Harris imploring his side to raise the tempo. Despite Hook Norton’s period of dominance, Chertsey had two more chances to increase the lead but a couple of fine saves by Fox denied Akiotu and then Thompson. Hook Norton also had chances; Steve Newman headed a goal bound effort away for a corner before an acrobatic save from Ogle denied Niall Higgins.

Chertsey however weathered the storm and gradually regained control of the tie. Pomroy’s long range effort flew narrowly over before Joe Jones missed a sitter, clipping the bar with the goal gaping after great work by Thompson and Geragthy. Chertsey were missing regulars Jamie Ross and Jack Wadmore through injury, but debutants Luke Gardener and Akiotu did a good job filling in. Kim Harris introduced two more debutants, Otis Taylor and Ridge Mataka, and the changes freshened things up for the hosts. Fox saved well from Akiotu and Pomroy had a couple of shots that were just off target.

Matters were sealed in the 88th minute when a shirt tug on Pomroy gave referee Simon Maynard little choice but to point to the spot. Pomroy sent Fox the wrong way to top off what was an accomplished start to the season.

Chertsey team: Ogle, Newman, Geraghty, Wade, Batten, Blendell, Gardener (Mataka), Nsuguba, Jones, Pomroy, Thompson (Otis Taylor), Akiotu. Subs not used: Sergeon, Lewis Taylor, Bademosi

Sutton Common Rovers  0 v 2  Chertsey Town
Date:  Saturday 13 August Competition:  League

With Mo Farrell attempting a double, double at the Olympics, on his way to create another Super Saturday, Chertsey Town fashioned an alternative version for a Superb Saturday at Sutton Common Rovers, and in doing so recorded their own double double with a pair of two – nil wins. Last week it was FA Cup progression, this time three Combined Counties League points; the first of the season on offer, and the first bagged. In fact this was the first time The Curfews had won their opening league game of the campaign since 2010.

The goalless first half set up closely fought second half, on that the visitors set up their deserved win. It was not all plain sailing though on Sutton United’s 3G artificial surface. Sutton Common Rovers came close to taking a 13th minute lead when Hamilton Antonio beat Jack Ogle in goal but not full back Kernshawn Sergeon wo cleared the ball inches from the goal line. That situation arrived on the break after two efforts were blocked in a crowded Rovers’ penalty area.

The home side’s winged crosses towards the Chertsey goalmouth frequently looked dangerous but tidy interventions at the back gave Ogle easier mopping up duties. At the other end, Joe Jones and Emanuel Akiotu both delivered shots from distance, but wide. Rovers had a long distance shot themselves; a free kick that also failed to bother the goal keeper.

Ogle was forced into a full length save off a full blooded header on the half hour, a moment of potential success that was matched two minutes later by a Ben Geraghty strike that was blocked on its way to goal as both sides cancelled each other out when the interval arrived.

Andy Crossley came for the start of the second half for Sergeon and took a midfield position which resulted in Geraghty swapping flanks at full back and Lewis Taylor moving to left back. It did not stop Geraghty making his signature forward runs as he had yet another fierce shot blocked as the pace of the game increased even further despite the heat of the unrelenting sunshine.

The break though for Town occurred in the 76th minute when Akiotu forged into the Sutton penalty area. A forlornly late tackle in the area by centre back Owen Davies set up a spot kick that Crossley put away by sending Aaron Bogle the wrong way. This did not settle the game for the home side mustered two glorious opportunities to equalise.

Danny Fernander looked to have broken through and was honing in on goal. He managed to get a shot away but the recovering Geraghty did enough to interfere with the release and Ogle had an easier task of saving than might have been the case. Soon after, Fernander’s team mate Liam Holden fired into the Chertsey side netting on the far post from just a few yards.

The hard working Joel Thompson was replaced late on by Jack Wadmore on his return from injury. Earlier, Scott Sherwood took over from John Pomroy who had been playing just behind the two man front line, and had a lively quarter of an hour in the attack.

After three good goal attempts, all off target, Sherwood was the architect of the nerve soothing second goal two minutes from time by cutting in from the right as the home side ran out of steam and knocking the ball back for Joe Jones, some fifteen yards out, to hit the ball first time past Bogle to provide extra shine on Chertsey Town’s sunlit start to the new season.

Ogle, Sergeon (Crossley), Geraghty, Batten, Blendell, Jones, Akiotu, Nsuguba, Pomroy (Sherwood), Thompson (Wadmore), L Taylor. Other subs: O Taylor, Mataka

Chertsey Town  0 v 3  Westfield
Date:  Tuesday 16 August Competition:  League

Westfield stole the show in our first home league game of the campaign as they eased their way to a comfortable win. Two goals to the good by half time, the Woking based visitors added a third in the second half to underline their dominance.

We were barely at the races in this one-sided affair with ex-Curfew Gary Ross having probably one of his quietest games between the Westfield sticks. His opposite number, debutant Harvey Cheadle, signed from Walton Casuals, had a nervy game in goal. Westfield’s attacking intent was evident as early as the third minute when an unmarked Aaron Watson shot narrowly over. Watson would go on to create havoc down the right and cause incalculable problems for the Chertsey defence.

Westfield almost broke the deadlock on 16 minutes. Steve Newman hesitated when dealing with a high ball, letting in an alert Adam Bellmaine whose close range effort flashed inches wide. The visitors look far more composed in their approach and Watson was presented with another chance after good build up play, but his scuffed shot was dealt with easily by Cheadle.

Resorting to a long ball game, we rarely tested a solid looking Westfield defence. Our first half-chance of note, after half an hour, was the result of a high ball pumped into the penalty area; Joel Thompson challenged for the ball with Ross and just as it looked as if the Curfews forward had won the battle, he appeared to be pulled back by Ross for a decent penalty shout. The referee waived away the home side’s appeals and less than five minutes later, Westfield were ahead. Watson reacted quickest to a knock down on the edge of the area and swept home beyond a flat-footed Cheadle from the edge of the box.

We had looked as if we could hold out to the break, so the opening goal was a real blow. Six minutes later Westfield, and Watson, had doubled their tally. With 41 minutes on the clock, Watson rose unchallenged to head home a pin point cross. Westfield were now in full control and were unlucky not to increase their lead before the end of the half, Max Blackmore spurning two good chances.

Westfield kept their foot on the gas straight from the restart; Joe Blendell did well to clear off the line at the near post less than two minutes into the second half. Andy Crossley enjoyed a rare sight of goal from a free-kick, but his effort was straight at Ross. Watson meanwhile exploited far too much space on the right and we struggled to cope with his regular raids. Our clearest chance of the game fell to Shelton Gooden after 62 minutes; a scuffed clearance left him in a one-on-one situation with Ross, but the Westfield ‘keeper was out smartly to block an attempted chip.

Westfield’s reaction was to score a third goal and seal the contest. Cheadle flapped at a telling deep cross and Dale Burnham was allowed to squeeze the ball home at the far post. Despite the comfortable lead, Westfield continued to press and harried us into giving up possession cheaply. Ryan Marklew thumped a header against our bar before the same player rounded Cheadle only to see his shot cleared off the line by Blendell.

With the result beyond doubt our lads, to their credit, found a modicum of attacking intent. Joe Jones tested Ross from distance before a rising strike from Emanuel Akiotu struck the bar. Not to be outdone, a thunderous strike from 25 yards by Blackmore rattled the Chertsey bar as Westfield finished the game stronger.

Chertsey Town  3 v 0  AFC Hayes
Date:  Saturday 20 August Competition:  FA Cup

Chertsey Town advanced to the FA Cup First Round Qualifying for the first time since 2013 with a comfortable victory over AFC Hayes. These sides had never met in the FA Cup before, but the tie was settled with goals from Ben Geraghty, Emanuel Akiotu and John Pomroy.

Playing into the face of a strong wind, Hayes struggled most with the conditions in the first half; both sides had a fair share of chances, but it was the hosts who took theirs and led at the break. It was the visitors however who had the first shot on goal, Shane Brown forcing Jack Ogle into a low save. Twice they managed to get behind the Chertsey defence with single passes, releasing Rhys Rabess who failed to control the ball and then Bradley Hand, whose shot was half-blocked by Ogle allowing Joe Blendell time to clear from danger.

Chertsey slowly started to control the game and after 20 minutes Akiotu met a Lewis Taylor cross, but his free header was straight at Hayes ‘keeper Bobby Khiara. Five minutes later Chertsey opened the scoring. The hosts had won a corner and following several failed attempts to fully clear, Hayes were punished when Ben Geraghty’s strike from distance clipped the inside of the post, possibly taking a slight deflection off Khiara, and nestled in the corner of the net.

The Curfews doubled their lead just passed the half-hour mark. Steve Newman crossed from the right but Joe Jones failed to make full contact with the ball and it bobbled through a sea of legs to Akiotu, who made no mistake from a few yards out. Chertsey finished the half stronger, John Pomroy finding the target following a quick counter involving Akiotu and Taylor.

If the first half had been fairly even in terms of possession, the second half belonged to Chertsey. The strong wind that had hindered Hayes dissipated a little during the interval and appeared to have little effect on Chertsey’s game. They were presented with a couple of chances to increase their lead further; a neat one-two set Taylor free but with Khiara rushing out of goal he blazed over when perhaps he should have done better. Almost immediately Akiotu found space in the box and his shot thudded back off the foot of the post; the follow up shot from Jones was blocked and Pomroy’s effort was cleared off the line.

Chris Aldridge made way for Andy Crossley who added even more impetus to Chertsey’s attacking intent as Hayes defended deeper and deeper. An unmarked Taylor again failed to find the target, skewing wide from a good position before the same player fired over after good work by Crossley. Crossley then set up Akiotu whose strike was well held by Khiara, and then Pomroy whose goal bound shot was blocked. Crossley continued to torment the Hayes defence and almost scored when he fired across goal, missing the far post by a matter of inches. Khiara had to react sharply to turn a Crossley shot around the post in what was becoming a one man show.

Chertsey were finally rewarded for their dominance with a third goal on 84 minutes. Khiara parried a Joel Thompson effort and Pomroy adjusted well to hook in a ball from shoulder height, clipping the inside of the post on its way in. Further chances for Taylor, Thompson and Jones came and went as Chertsey eased their way through to the next round.

Team: Ogle, Newman, Geraghty, Batten (Ross), Blendell, Nsuguba, Aldridge (Crossley), Jones, Pomroy, Akiotu (Thompson), Lewis Taylor. Subs not used: Otis Taylor

Camberley Town  1 v 2  Chertsey Town
Date:  Saturday 27 August Competition:  League

We confounded home team aspirations with our first win at Krooner Park in eight attempts stretching back ten years against a well fancied Camberley Town to take all three league points back to Alwyns Lane. This was not a fluky win, far from it, but having deservedly gone two goals down, Camberley did all they could to retrieve the situation but were thwarted by our rock solid defending.

Having Andy Crossley, Joel Thompson, John Pomroy, Jamie Ross and Kernshawn Sergeon all on the bench illustrated the strength of town’s starting line-up for the day. The initial eleven players did not disappoint. It was primarily the defence that ‘dun’ it, but a splendid overall performance from throughout the side won the accolades. Camberley Town is not a side that rolls over and it took some determination to hang on to the victory.

The first half action centred mainly in the middle of the park and any promising attacks were snuffed out by two organised defences. We may have had the edge and looked more organised in possession but there was insufficient penetration to be able to say anything more than we were slightly ahead on points at the break. Shelton Gooding, on ten minutes, with a firm header that just cleared the cross bar after an attractive assault on the left, was as near as anyone came to breaking the deadlock.

It took just five minutes after the interval though for the score sheet to be employed. A deeply disputed corner kick was awarded on the Chertsey right. The cross from Lewis Taylor went just beyond the penalty spot where Joe Blendell connected with a looping header that dropped behind Camberley keeper Stuart Norman and into the net.

This encouraged us to take command of the exchange and the second goal was not long in coming, a further eight minutes in fact. This time the ball was cut in to Meddie Nsuguba who let fly from over 30 yards with a rising shot that no goalkeeper would have stood an earthly chance of stopping. Camberley were stung and created the first serious signs of fighting back.

Moments after Taylor’s ankle was clipped after he forged into the 18 yard area, but with no reaction from the referee, action quickly switched to the other penalty area where the same official did react, by pointing to the spot when the ball flicked up off the boot of Ben Geraghty and ran up his arm. Us visitors considered that justice was done when Jack Ogle in goal went the right way to parry Nathan Turner’s strike. It looked odds on that a follow up chance for fellow striker Marcus Cousins would find the net until Geraghty appeared on the goal line to force the ball clear for a corner kick.

Geraghty then headed the ball off the line soon after Camberley had forced he issue from a break, following a Chertsey attack. They had just previously renewed their ambitions for parity, at least, by reducing the gap to one goal on the 74 minute mark after Matt Bunyan steered home his shot from the edge of the 18 yard line, low, and with precision.

The home side pressed harder for an equaliser and it took some stout back line defending to keep out the marauding red shirts, including a point blank range block by Ogle and a further line clearance from Geraghty together with a similar feat by Steve Newman. This time last year might has seen a collapse but the side is showing greater maturity and team effort these days. Self control and belief right up to the last minute was germane in stopping any further Camberley incursions.

Team: Ogle, Newman, Geraghty, Batten, Blendell, Nsuguba, Aldridge (Crossley), Jones, Gooden, Akiotu (Thompson), Taylor. Subs not used Pomroy, Ross, Sergeon.

Chertsey Town  1 v 0  Abbey Rangers
Date:  Monday 29 August Competition:  League

A single John Pomroy goal after only 43 seconds was enough to secure all the points for Chertsey Town. In this first ever meeting between the two close neighbours, there was very little to separate the teams on the pitch. Abbey Rangers, who struck the woodwork twice in the second half, will feel they probably did enough to make the short trip home with a share of the spoils.

Pomroy’s goal was a sublime effort. A lob from 35 yards had ex-Curfew Liam Stone back-peddling, but the Abbey Rangers ‘keeper could only touch it on its way into the net to shock the visitors and those fans still taking their seats. Within minutes, Abbey almost levelled when a crisp rising strike from Danny Hartlebury narrowly missed the top corner with Jack Ogle well beaten.

In a closely fought first half, dominated by midfield tussles, Chertsey had a slight edge in terms of chances in front of goal. On 12 minutes, Joel Thompson evaded the offside trap for a one-on-one with Stone, but his heavy first touch allowed Stone to block and clear. Andy Crossley then fired a free-kick just over as the hosts looked to double their early advantage.

On the half-hour mark, Abbey’s Hartlebury dragged a shot wide before Jamie Ross headed off target from another pin-point Crossley delivery. However, clear cut chances were at a premium in the opening 45, the best of the lot falling to the hosts after Ben Geragthy had somehow squirmed his way through numerous bodies to the dead ball line; his cut back was struck by Crossley straight at Stone when he looked odds-on to score.

Chertsey were presented with a very similar chance just after the interval, with Joe Jones the culprit this time as his scuffed shot, from a good position, was easy for Stone to collect. That was as good as it got in the second half for Kim Harris’s side as Abbey went on to control the remainder of the contest. After 49 minutes a well struck Hartlebury free-kick had Ogle beaten hands down, but Chertsey survived by the width of the post. The Abbey striker had another shot well blocked by Tommy Batten as the visitors looked the more likely to score.

Chertsey were now losing the key midfield battles, missing influential players Meddie Nsuguba and Jack Wadmore, and conceded possession far too easily. Abbey’s Paul Hodges was unlucky not to level when his shot on the turn was touched onto the post by Ogle. The Chertsey stopper then denied Hodges with a smart save.

With the clock ticking down, Chertsey weathered the Abbey storm with some solid defending and hard work. Substitutes Ridge Makata and Emmanuel Akiotu injected some fresh legs into Chertsey’s forward play, and this relieved a degree of pressure as Abbey slowly ran out of ideas. In a nervy end to the contest for the home support, Chertsey hung on despite late off-target efforts from Abbey and secured maximum points from their Bank Holiday fixtures.

Chertsey team: Ogle, Newman, Geraghty, Batten, Blendell, L Taylor (Aldridge), Ross, Jones, Pomroy (Makata), Thompson (Akiotu), Crossley. Subs not used: Sidibe, Campbell

Thamesmead Town  1 v 0  Chertsey Town
Date:  Saturday 3 September Competition:  FA Cup

This was perhaps, our best performance for quite a few years but it was not quite enough to overcome Ryman League hosts Thamesmead Town in our Emirates FA Cup tie, played in North Kent. The horrendous traffic conditions on the M25 ensured that we had a most unpromising preparation session but this did not deter them us hitting the ground running.

There was only ten minutes of neutral play before the first chance of the game opened up; and it was a good ‘un. A through ball from Lewis Taylor sent Chris Aldridge on his way. He still had work to do in creating good position but his 12 yard shot with only debutant Tyler McCarthy to beat was fired straight at the goalkeeper. An off balance snap shot that skewed wide from the home side’s Adrian Stone two minutes later further opened up the game to more scoring possibilities.

This notion was confirmed on 18 minutes when Shelton Gooding delivered a well struck shot at an angle but the ‘keeper had it covered. A minute later, it was Emmanuel Akiotu’s turn to break through. Although unsuccessful in his final act, it still left us looking the more dangerous of the two sides.

However, somewhat against the run of play, it was the home side who found the net on 20 minutes when Christian Nanetti cut in from the right. He then delivered a short range cross that was met by Stone on the near post to head the ball strongly just inside the upright. The goal did not upset our rhythm as Akiotu headed over the Thamesmead cross bar just four minutes later. Not long after, a spinning ball out foxed Gooding when about to pull the trigger and another promising effort by the same player left the North Kent side looking relieved to hear the interval whistle.

Any worries that the break would take the steam out of our positive display was swiftly dispelled although ironically, it was Thamesmead who created the best two chances of the second half; both looked odds on goals. Firstly when a close range header off a corner kick on 54 minutes was instinctively saved by an assured Jack Ogle. The other generated a ground level full length fingertip deflection from him late in the game.

In between times, we looked confident when going forward and although we almost laid siege to the Thamesmead penalty area at times we were unable to finish the job in an increasingly frantic end to the tie. In fact, the home goalkeeper was not actually called upon to make a telling save despite the pressure. A battery of shots fired off were either just off target or presented comfortable collection opportunities. The closest an equaliser came was when a cross spun uncontrolled just past the Green’s far upright off a defenders’ deflection.

Our defence had a tight game with Thamesmead only finding space in wide positions to create any promise but found the going hard once entering the box. Their slender lead allowed more men back when defending and although they found Gooding in particular, a handful, numbers creating congestion near their goal stopped us in our tracks more often than not. Three tactical substitutions were introduced in the last half hour with Crossley, Wadmore and Ross to increase intensity in attack resulting in Aldridge, Newman and Jones being side-lined.

Despite the failure to find the net, Kim Harris must be pleased with the overall performance. The starting line-up may only have been tweaked from that put out last term but the end product now displays far more gravitas, particularly in defence. Excellent marks for presentation maybe, with something only slightly above average in the final execution on this occasion; but still a very encouraging overall performance.

Chertsey: Ogle, Newman (Crossley), Geraghty, Batten, Blendell, Aldridge (Ross), Jones (Wadmore), Nsuguba, Akiotu, Gooden, Taylor. Subs unused: Pomroy, Sidibe, Thompson.

Guildford City  6 v 1  Chertsey Town
Date:  Wednesday 7 September Competition:  League

It has to be said that most of this Combined Counties League encounter at Guildford City was a disappointment. We rarely looked likely to take anything home and thought ourselves lucky to only have been two goals down at half time. A double substitution and, no doubt some choice dressing broom advice, saw a rejuvenated side begin to repair the damage of the first half.

However, that moment of renewed spirit died midway through the second half when a dubious offside decision allowed Perry Coles behind the back line to slot past Jack Ogle with precision. This deflated our cause and thereafter reduced resistance was offered to Guildford City’s speed in attack that set up a fully deserved comprehensive win. Ironically, the last goal of what could hardly be called a contest, was hit by a Chertsey man in stoppage time with a well hit strike by Emmanuel Akiotu.

The Coles goal was a perfect example of how a split second sequence can alter games in football but in truth, any reversal in the balance of this match would have produced, for Town, a substantial gold plated platinum ‘Get Out of Jail’ card as Guildford City did look the better side. Our cause was hidebound from the start with four forced changes from the previous weekend’s positive outing; all key players.

Ben Geraghty and Joe Blendell had back strains. That, combined with Meddie Nsuguba and Andy Crossley being unavailable due to work pressures added to Kim’s woes. The defence, therefore, was greatly disrupted and in consequence numbers were pulled back initially with just Shelton Gooden playing a lonely roll at the front.

The formation did not deter Guildford City’s own attack who used speed and width as their main ploy which produced a goal after just 11 minutes when Matt Glass picked up a rebound after a stranded Ogle had done well to block the first strike but had no chance with the second. Guildford continued to take the initiative and only misfired shots and another agile performance by Ogle in goal kept us in touch. Too often he was called upon after the high line back four had been by-passed.

In surviving by the merest thread, a golden opportunity to equalise was presented but no connection was made as the ball flashed low across the Guildford City goal face off a sharp Jamie Ross cross from the left. It looked like we were just about going to get away with conceding just the one goal by the break and perhaps reform after the interval when Coles struck again right on the 45 minute mark when he again took advantage of a parried ball after Ogle had again made a fine block.

The side was indeed reformed after the break, headed by a double substitution, and neutralised Guildford City’s dominance but the unfortunate 69th minute reverse collapsed our resolve allowing the home side to resume normal service. This time they made sure to punish with speed and movement being ably rewarded. Glass further shattered our defence on 76 minutes when a lobbed effort looked destined to settle into the Chertsey net but bounced up and on to the bar. However, the attempted nodded clearance by Tommy Batten, then with his head swathed in bandages, only fell to the home striker who planted back where he thought it belonged in the first place.

A fifth goal from Jason Thompson on 82 minutes, and a sixth by Rob Wickenden three minutes later illustrated how performances can fall off the precipice, especially late in the day. However, what could hardly be called a consolation goal was secured by Akiotu in the last minute which at least showed some intent and afford thoughts of quickly putting this game to bed, ready for another day.

Chertsey Town team: Ogle, Newman, Ross, Surgeon (Pomroy), Batten, Taylor, Aldridge, Wadmore (Thompson), Gooden, Jones, Gardener (Akiotu). Subs not used: Lennon

Chertsey Town  1 v 2  Camberley Town
Date:  Tuesday 4 October Competition:  League Cup

Although there was, through circumstance and not choice, a far from a premium line up for this League Cup tie with well-placed Camberley Town, the style of football played was clearly an extension of that seen success three days earlier against AFC Hayes. It did not win us a place in the next round but it did illustrate a new found confidence on the ball shown throughout the squad.

This highlighted an ascent from the side’s seemingly nadir performance of the season previously at Raynes Park Vale where the game plan was aimless. Camberley Town came out on top by the odd goal in three and, having constructed a two goal lead, a revenge win for them looked a near certainty. That was until the 83rd minute when we struck back to set up a nervy conclusion to the tie.

The opening gambit saw the us knocking the ball about the park with verve and probably with the better possession for the first half hour. But it has to be said that Camberley looked, with an eagerness to have a go no matter how improbable the chances, the more likely to score, especially in the final minutes leading up to the break.

Nathan Motley for the visitors was the first player to get a shot away that was on target. It came on 34 minutes but was in truth a powder puff effort that Jack Ogle gobbled up. He had a more nervous ten minutes towards the interval as shots from Zak Hawker, Matt Bunyan and Daniel Jewell looked more dangerous but without a fatal blow being delivered.

We were missing their two key defenders Ben Geraghty and Meddie Nsuguba for this encounter but the reformed defence performed well and the desire to play the ball out of from the rear with crisp passing was evident, even if it did not always work. The side lost its way for a while midway through the second half.

Whether if it was because play became lose at this point or as a result of two goals being conceded inside a three minute spell was unclear, but that short passage of time ultimately decided the tie. The first of the brace was struck on 57 minutes when a throw from the left touchline was delivered flat and like a bullet by Hawker into the heart of our goalmouth. The ball took a deflection to divert straight to Matt Bunyan who gratefully headed it home from close in.

Bunyan cut another notch into his considerable goal scoring record a few minutes later for it was he that collected the ball outside our box and roamed across from the left to find a gap and plant the ball into the bottom corner of Ogle’s net from 15 or so yards.

Undaunted, we plugged away with the short game plan of crisp passing. The lack of width that resulted in congestion through the middle was eventually overcome. Goal scoring attempts though were still thin on the ground but the game then opened up towards the end. We survived a goalmouth melee before Connor Cullen popped up at the other end but his attempt sailed over.

Although it was not enough to completely turn the tie, the Chertsey goal make things very interesting in the final minutes. Andy Crossley moved the ball on and fired across the goalmouth from just inside the penalty area. Camberley goalkeeper Stuart Norman did well to get down and fingertip the ball onto his post, but Cullen was lurking for the rebound on the opposite side and fired the ball in low. Defender Matt Humphry made contact with the ball on the line but not enough friction was applied to stop it crossing into the net.

The final seven minutes, plus almost as much again with stoppage extras produced hope for a Chertsey equaliser but so often they seemed to over complicate their passing and frankly tried the impossible in dangerous areas that gave the visitors bonus possession and relieved their obvious nervousness when, instead, the ball might have been played at the other end.

The result was that the game played out for a Camberley win, perhaps deserved for the higher number of goal scoring attempts, but we will have gained comfort in seeing the side recover from the series of profound reverses of the previous month with some bright football.

Team: Ogle, Newman, Cartwright, Batten, Blendell, Wadmore (Sidibe), Ross, Jones, Pomroy (Sherwood), Cullen, Crossley.

Horley Town  1 v 0  Chertsey Town
Date:  Saturday 8 October Competition:  League

Following two reasonable performances, it was a step back for Chertsey Town in their away Combined Counties League encounter at Horley Town. The side never seemed to get going until the final ten minutes but by then a well versed cliché regarding small portions of potential success and time running out in delivering it, came to mind as the home side’s only goal was just enough to secure the points.

Wracked with injuries, manager Kim Harris was again forced to change the side round but once more, opted to pack the midfield with a back line of three, sometimes four as sentries. The tactic was not a failure as Horley only broke sporadically through in the second half but virtually never in the first. The problem for Town was they too found possession in the oppositions heartland an equally elusive task. This situation was mainly of their own doing as so many passes went astray giving Horley far more possession than they deserved.

Neither side made much headway at the start and it took 17 minutes before a shot of any kind was set up. It was a weak effort from Horley and although it did herald a period of momentum for the home side, nothing dangerous was generated. The sequence ended ironically with a chance to Chertsey. A poor clearance saw Connor Cullen gain possession some 35 yards out and George Hyde in goal well out of position. The speculative lob at goal from Cullen looked promising at first but the ball eventually cleared the crossbar.

A minute later Chertsey’s afternoon looked like to be improving when Horley’s leading marksman, Kyle Hough had to be substituted through injury but as it turned out, the change made little difference as it was the substitute, Ayden Richards, who set up his side’s moment of victory. It was no doubt a personal relief for him, having earlier missed a golden opportunity to score with the goal at his mercy but instead screwed the ball well wide.

The score came on 65 minutes from a break progressed along the left wing. The ball was swiftly crossed, low and close in, by the number 15 where midfielder Conrae Ceepedes slid in to bundle the ball home. But before that, Chertsey were lucky to survive the second of two quick fire corners just after the interval restart when the ball made contact with Jack Ogle’s cross bar off forward Richard Wetton’s head.

Chertsey’s game became anxious subsequent to the goal and badly needed direction. Simple passes again too often found a claret shirt instead of one of stripes and an air of desperation gushed through the side. Two substitutions were made on 69 and 78 minutes that introduced new signing George Peterkins into the midfield. It may have made a difference but it was difficult to tell as too many Chertsey players were now off their game.

However, a late rally did arrive as the final whistle ominously loomed and the home side looked a little rattled for the first time in the encounter. The renaissance was insufficient to snatch an unlikely draw with the two shots, one a direct free kick, both delivered by Andy Crossley being too accurate in that they flew at pace straight at the Horley goalkeeper.

Team: Ogle, Newman, Cartwright, Batten, Nsuguba, Jones, Ross (Akiotu), Pomroy (Peterkins), Thompson, Cullen, Crossley. Sub not use. Campbell

Chertsey Town  2 v 2  Spelthorne Sports
Date:  Saturday 15 October Competition:  League

It has taken until mid October and seventeen outings before Chertsey Town has been involved in a drawn match this season. Circumstances sometimes make draws feel like failures, or worse, a perception of defeat. In hauling back a two goal deficit, this Combined Counties League home fixture of theirs against mid table Spelthorne Sports, Chertsey Town did the opposite. Not only did it arrest a mini run of reverses, but also put faith back into the ability of the side.

The encounter was positive all round as three half chances, two to Chertsey, had been created inside the first ten minutes. Town played with four across the back which was mirrored in midfield. It created a narrow formation but some useful looking crosses were engineered from both wings but too frequently there was only one striker on station as a target man.

Emmanuel Akiotu was busy in the first half and might have opened the scoring from a good position but was blocked off when teeing up his strike. But it was a positive sort of game emanating from Town’s short passes that sometimes became too elaborate and less successful as the game went on. Even so, it was a blow to the home side when Spelthorne took a lead midway through the first half with a ball on the left that George Moore advanced and, from an acute angel a dozen or so yards out, cleverly despatched the ball over Jack Ogle in goal and into the far side of the net.

Undeterred, Chertsey continued in a positive vein and were unlucky not to force an equalising goal as the interval approached when a desperate goalmouth scramble, inches from the Spelthorne line, was somehow cleared. The let off was probably due to numbers in defence rather than any finesse of footballing skills. Then a minute later, Conner Callan let fly a really potent strike that Bailey Mulhall in the visitors’ goal acrobatically deflected wide with a strong hand.

Another near miss occurred soon after he second half started. A Mulhall clearance was fired straight at Jack Wadmore almost 30 yards out. The rebound off his body shot back towards goal but the goalkeeper’s blushes were saved by about 18 inches as the ball screwed narrowly wide. The open and entertaining contest continued.

Neither side could be said to be charge but the Middlesex side had their best period of the game during the middle segment of the half. It was still a shock, however, to Chertsey to in conceding another goal. It came on 55 minutes with a right wing raid that set up Moore who, unmarked, was able to hook the ball into the top corner of the Chertsey net.

The goal put more energy into Spelthorne’s play and Town found themselves shut down too often resulting in misplaced passes and a lack of space on the park. But that all changed on 80 minutes when a move through the middle found Jack Wadmore who capped his positive contribution with a fierce shot from well outside the box that entered Sports’ goal, low and to the right.

It was now Chertsey’s turn to have their batteries recharged and a spirited and more promising scenario was created in contrast to the previous air of resignation that was starting to pervade. The resurgence was rewarded just four minutes after the first Chertsey goal with another, again from Wadmore’s boot, and again from an unlikely launch pad.

It was a left side corner kick that was curled high and straight into goal. The ball was hooked away but the eagle eyed linesman had spotted a gap between ball and post to signal the equalising goal. The remained to the match resumed its open nature but no great crises was forthcoming at either end of the park. But it will be Chertsey Town who will have gained most from the draw.

Manager Kim Harris’ player injury list is at last diminishing. Wadmore’s prominent display underlined this situation and with the lengthy suspension of Ben Geraghty now lifted some optimism for a return to the sort of form seen at the start of the season can be achieved.

Team: Ogle, Newman, Cartwright (Ross), Batten, Nsuguba, Wadmore, Geraghty, Jones, Akiotu, Cullen, Crossley. Subs not used: Pomroy, Young, Peterkin, Thompson.

Walton And Hersham  1 v 1  Chertsey Town
Date:  Tuesday 18 October Competition:  League

We secured another useful league point, this time at Walton & Hersham’s Stompond Lane ground; never a happy hunting ground for us over the years. The draw was well deserved and although it was a good all round performance, the side had most to thank goalkeeper Jack Ogle for two magnificent second half saves in order to keep us in the game.

The exchange was a good advert for Step Five football as either side would have surely have been buried had concentration or energy levels been dropped for a moment. Our quality passing was again a sign of us emerging from the doldrums. Walton’s use of the right wing was also a positive feature as far as they were concerned. However, the end product did not produce all that much goalmouth action. The game a spectacle did not suffer though as a result.

For a change, we had almost our strongest team on display which made such a difference to past midweek outings. Swans might have had a slight advantage in possession at the start but the best opportunities, abet they were half chances at best, fell to us with a couple of wild strikes going nowhere plus, an effort by Emmanuel Akioti that was tipped aside at full length by Liam Beach.

A Tommy Batten header off the resultant corner kick also looked promising until headed over the crossbar by a defender with, this time, Beach beaten. Ogle was not idle either but in the first half was only called upon for routine duties which were well performed. ‘Well performed’ would not have done justice to the save he was required to make from a stinging shot fired by Louis Taylor at quite some distance soon after the break to keep the score line in neutral. It was super, and matched the strike.

Walton took a lead on 62 minutes with a well-constructed and rapid move through the middle for TJ Nkoma to emphatically to finish it off with a fierce 15 yard strike. The goal pepped the home side who looked in command for the following 15 minutes, but with our players looking far from deflated, the team again began looking more of a force as time progressed instead of just reacting to the home team’ initiatives. This self-belief was rewarded on 87 minutes with the equalising goal.

A shirt tugging moment a few feet in on our right flank, some 20 yards out, set up a free kick that was perfectly placed in front of the crowded Walton goalmouth by Andy Crossley. From there, Joe Jones rose and firmly headed the ball home. A further nine minutes of play was allowed by the referee during which Walton tried to raise their game for an anticipated winner, for the home crowd at least, but were unable make an impression other than adding further names into the referee’s book for yellow card misdemeanours, for a total of five. We unusually conceded two in the first half which underlined how competitive both sides were in this busy encounter.

Team: Ogle, Newman, Geraghty, Batten, Nsuguba, Rose, Jones, Wadmore (Peterkin), Pomroy (Thompson), Crossley, Akioti (Young). Subs not used: Cartwright, Aldridge.

Colliers Wood United  2 v 1  Chertsey Town
Date:  Wednesday 26 October Competition:  League

Sometimes, there is a desire to put blame on referees for adverse results. There was a case in point in Chertsey Town’s narrowest of defeats at Colliers Wood United when both home goals would not have been generated without highly debatable decisions going the way they did just prior to the net being twice found. But in truth, it was the side’s own undoing that that led to defeat in a game that they lost rather than the home side won.

Laudable that it is, Town’s almost overwhelming desire to play short balls out from the back can be overdone. It resulted in the opening goal, scored around the hour mark. Three times previously in the encounter, possession had been forfeited just outside the penalty area when the last man attempted to round an attacker after had just received a short pass. The side got away with it on three occasions but not the fourth, leaving Jack Ogle with no chance of retrieving the situation.

The ball might not have been in the vicinity in the first place had a ball despatched by the Chertsey defence that clearly clipped off a Colliers Wood attacker been noted by either nearby official. The ball was thus returned to the danger area and seemingly dealt with until the self-inflicted disaster struck.

Chertsey thought they had retrieved the situation a minute into stoppage time with Jamie Ross striking the ball low past a phalanx of players from just outside the box. Celebrations over, the referee announced there where two more minutes of play remaining. Three and a half later, with no further stoppages, Colliers Wood United re-established their lead. It was another case of and opportunity being set up outside the team’s control but then not making the best to counter it.

Not content with snatching back a point that looked out of reach by that stage, a gung ho attitude of over confidence swept through in an unrealistic attempt to hit a winner. This led to a dearth of defenders when the home side pushed forward in revenge. Ogle dug out one near certainty strike but lessons were not learned and a second opportunity was created for the home side and Jake Hill took it with virtually the last kick of the game.

It was an even contest throughout. Chertsey had the best share of opportunities in the first half but not the second. However, they should have taken the lead with the best chance of the game on the hour when Joel Thompson cleverly turned on his marker on the break, by-passed the advancing goalkeeper, but then contrived to loft the ball high and wide on the run with the outside of his boot with a gaping net at his mercy.

Although a broadly standard sort of contest as far as competitive spirit was concerned, this was another game when the referee turned it into a yellow themed occasion. The flourishing of cards after the break did nothing to enhance the game, if anything it encouraged involvement of players to seek further retribution on the opposition. Chertsey performed well for almost all the game with continued encouraging signs of something good to come but, overall, in the final analysis, it was not a good evening for the disgruntled travellers who had to acknowledge that their opponents had the edge where it counted.

Team: Ogle, Newman, Cartwright, Batten (Peterkin), Blendell, Ross, Aldridge (Young), Gardener, Thompson (Cullen), Akiotu, Crossley. Sub not used: Pomroy

Chertsey Town  1 v 2  Guildford City
Date:  Saturday 29 October Competition:  League

This was another frustrating exchange for Chertsey Town as the promise of victory was apparent from time to time in their home Combined Counties League match with Guildford City. But two City goals, scored in a manner you rarely see at this level of football, missed opportunities by Town and a controversial offside flag all contributed to more points lost.

Town started brightly enough and looked more than likely to take an early lead with a very bright opening 15 minutes. Jamie Ross had the best of the chances but failed in front of goal, with only goalkeeper Luke Badini to bypass. Guildford’s shaky defending then became more coherent and the balance of play became less one sided even if they did get in plenty of heading practice with Chertsey forcing corner kicks throughout the half.

With play mainly centred well away from the Chertsey penalty area, blue shirted players pushed well up field, leaving space for Guildford to counter attack but goalkeeper Jack Ogle was not backward in coming forward to act as sweeper well outside of his domain. This situation became undone six minutes before the break.

Ogle was given too much to do and, of all people to be involved, it was Guildford City’s new signing and prolific striker, Mario Embalo who did everything right with a clinical finish in what seemed an impossible angle and with defenders on the line after the attacker had been forced wide.

The interval deficit hardly seemed fair to the home support but those watch adorning different colours might have agreed at that moment but not by the time an hour had elapse for their side then enjoyed a much better share of the exchange. This was not saying an awful lot for the contest seemed to go into a torpor with the Alwyns Lane atmosphere as leaden as the Autumn sky.

Guildford City were slightly less guilty of the two sides in giving away possession. It gave them an edge which was exploited on 67 minutes when a long headed clearance from Tommy Batten came to Shawn Clement-Peter. He returned the ball goal wards from 30 plus yards. It dipped under the bar giving Ogle no chance. The strike looked spectacular but there was a question mark over the striker’s real intentions. However, a goal is goal and it proved to give enough of a cushion for his side to withstand a late Chertsey surge.

New signing Sam Taylor came on at centre back for limping Joe Blendell to give an assured debut. But it was the double replacement made just prior to the second Guildford goal that pepped up Chertsey’s energy levels. Emmanuel Akiotu and Jack Wadmore injected much needed pace and more potent signs of cutting down the Guildford lead became apparent.

But it was Connor Cullen, also a pacey forward, who had a great chance to pull one back when he beat the back line, but not the exposed goalkeeper. Nevertheless, it was Akiotu that looked the more likely lad and indeed helped to set up Chertsey’s goal on 82 minutes by heading on the ball into the path of Joe Jones who surged through from the midfield. Jones then showed maturity on the ball to fire it past Badini to set up a furious finale.

Town piled on late pressure. Batten’s far post header of a corner kick went just wide; an Akiotu shot had the sting taken out of it by a defending toe when in good position and defender Ben Geraghty, as usual looking potent when in attack mode, forced a one handed save from the pressured goalkeeper through a forest of Guildford legs.

Town then felt really hard done by when Cullen was put away and found the net with a fierce drive only to discover that the linesman’s flag had suspiciously been lifted. Although Akiotu was a culprit, he was well away from the long pass forward collected by Cullen who appeared to have raced past his marker after the delivery had been launched.

It was another hard luck story for Chertsey but had earlier ample chances been taken it might well have been a completely outcome. Not more than one goal has separated sides in twelve of Chertsey’s last seventeen games. It is no wonder that the Alwyns Lane dressing room believe that a climb back up the table is sure on the cards.

Team: Ogle, Newman, Geraghty, Batten, Blendell (S Taylor), Nsuguba, Ross, Jones, Pomroy (Akiotu), Cullen, Crossley (Wadmore). Sub not used Cartwright

Chertsey Town  1 v 3  Windsor
Date:  Saturday 19 November Competition:  League

We again presented another frustrating afternoon of disappointment. Our home venue is becoming something akin to a rehabilitation centre for visiting sides, struggling to kick start their own season. Only one league success has been achieved since August. Despite this prolonged run there was still some expectation that things could have been turned with the visit of Windsor who arrived without a league win in their last eight games, but it became quickly apparent that another uphill task was in the making.

Windsor pressed from the start and looked the keener to make an impression. Although they scored high for effort, attainment was another matter making it that there were decidedly two moderate sides on show! The visitors were given a greater licence than should have been the case because of panic defending that constantly gave the ball away. This state of affairs lasted for some ten minutes before we gathered ourselves and started to look like a coherent force.

Hugo Sobte in the Windsor goal may have been forced to handle the ball more often than his opposite number but it was Jack Ogle who had to make the first save of the game, even if it took almost 20 minutes before it arrived and went straight to him. But it did not take long for a more telling situation to arise for the first goal; another weird one, to add to the Alwyns Lane collection.

Our attack broke down which generated a long clearance to the Windsor right with next to no home cover being provided. Rob Lazarezuk was challenged near the touchline, some 30 yards out but broke free. Ogle rushed out in sweeper mode. He has often been previously successful in such situations but not this time. The ball was steered past him and rolled agonisingly on a diagonal trajectory towards the far post, to just sneak home over the line with two opposing players honing in but were a split second too late to make a contribution.

A glimmer of hope was turned into a full flame as half time approached as we started to press. Useful looking corner kicks were being delivered by Jack Watmore, putting Sobte under pressure. From one of these, on 41 minutes, the goalkeeper, in attempting to flip the ball over his crossbar, merely smacked it against the woodwork. The ball rebounded out into a gaggle of players but Joel Thompson was quickest, and headed the ball home.

The revival hardly lasted any time, two minutes in fact. A through ball, this time of the left side of the pitch, was pumped into the Chertsey penalty area. Ogle tried to make first contact but was beaten to the ball by Ricardo Cannon although his foot was suspiciously high as he prodded the ball home. That was not end of Ogle’s woes as he also collided with Joe Blendell and was unable to resume his place after the interval. His replacement was Sam Taylor who make a good fist of his revised role.

Statistically, we had the better of the game in terms of possession and corner kicks but overall looked decidedly second best, especially after the break with a monotonous succession of misplaced passes and lost possession, especially when attempting to capture the so called, ‘second ball.’ Windsor were just too active for us.

A one goal deficit was perhaps retrievable but the contest was truly over when Windsor’s third went in on the hour. Harry Tucker was the scorer, a real rip snorter of a shot from five yards, but why had he been left in such isolation? A corner kick from the left flank was deflected past the goalmouth straight to Tucker who make the best of things, even if the angle was not the best.

As so often seen this season, a late Chertsey revival was mounted. Shelton Gooding and Ben Geraghty both had decent attempts at goal but no one was convinced that the late rally would produce anything more than thoughts of what might have been had the side come close to matching up to its known potential.

Chertsey Town  2 v 1  Abbey Rangers
Date:  Tuesday 29 November Competition:  Surrey Senior Cup

Ourselves and Abbey Rangers have only met twice at first team level, both times this season, both times with Alwyns Lane as the venue. Our visitors from the other end of town must, after these two encounters, wonder what they need to do to get some sort of success against us. It was a goal after just two minutes of play that done for them in the first meeting and this time, two in stoppage time that had the same effect, emphasising the need to be switched on for the whole game.

This Surrey Senior Cup tie was a full on affair, played on an unpredictable pitch with two degrees of frost to make conditions even more difficult. Both sides had their problems in controlling the ball but it did not stop them making the best of the conditions with no quarter given all round. Rangers were more purposeful of the two sides in attack in the first half but we set up the better chances.

Indeed four home team corner kicks were won in the first half without, so called reply. Goal attempts from Jamie Ross, two from Connor Callan and another from Ben Geraghty all counted for nothing come half time because the one chance created at the other end resulted in a goal. It came in the 33rd minute from a free kick delivered into our goalmouth by Elliot Frith. Jack Ogle in goal was unable to secure possession of the ball and it was spilled out into the fray where Patrick Ruzicka struck it into the back of the net.

Spurred on, Rangers pressed harder for the ball for the remainder of the half but it was a different story after the break with us pushing hard for an equaliser; the ball hardly leaving the visitors half for nigh on 15 minutes. But once again, Rangers looked the most likely to score on one occasion until Ogle pulled off a thwarting high class save.

Jamie Ross was forced from the game, to be replaced by Shelton Gooden who equipped himself much better than his previous outing. Ross had come off decidedly second best in the first half, having been bundled into the spectator barrier with his back taking the brunt of the impact. He was then toppled when just outside the box with an errant defender falling on his already bruised body.

Young Connor Young came on for John Pomroy but then both sides were reduced to ten men in a confrontation between Ruzicka and Tommy Batten towards the end of the contest. Soon after, with time desperately running out, but with it, equally desperate play in the Abbey penalty area, it looked like the visitors might hold out for a single goal win.

Stoppage time was now being recorded the referee’s watch when a lifeline was thrown out. A surging run by Young was terminated by a late tackle just inside the box. Andy Crossley took the spot kick and fired past Liam Stone for the equaliser. Just it might seem that a penalty shootout was then on the cards, Gooden’s arm was then inexplicably yanked in front of the referee who was given no option but to award another spot kick.

Crossley was again took the limelight but once more measured up well by beating Stone for the second time inside three minutes, to put us into a lead that only needed to be defended for a further two minutes. It has to be said that it made a real change to see profit from the opponents pressing the self-destruction button, something with which we have been found guilty ourselves too often this season.

Farnham Town  2 v 2  Chertsey Town
Date:  Saturday 3 December Competition:  League

It was difficult to know if Chertsey Town lost two Combined Counties League points at Farnham Town or gained one. In a topsy turvey exchange, both sides squandered opportunities to make a strong claim on a full pot of gold, so perhaps a draw might seem the fairest result. The host side were fortunate to only be a goal adrift at the break but the same could be said of the visitors at about a quarter to five that afternoon. The prime plus for Chertsey though was that they again kept going in adversity to win a late reward, something that had been eluding them during dispiriting late reverses.

Chertsey Town started the more lively of the two by pressurising the Farnham penalty area but although looking dangerous were unable to set up a worthy strike at goal. The home side recovered and eventually won more first half possession but failed to show any penetration. Although with less co-ordinated attacks, it was Chertsey that was still the more dangerous. Number nine Shelton Gooden found a great spot to receive Andy Crossley’s delivered free kick but the ball would not drop conveniently for a strike right in front of goal.

That chance came on 13 minutes but the 21st saw better potency. Collecting the ball on the left, Connor Cullen worked inside and sent a square pass across the Farnham penalty area. Joe Jones ran in at speed and hit the ball first time into the net from 15 yards. Farnham came closest to equalise prior to the interval when an 18 yard poke from Jon Cacashire went narrowly wide.

Town had a glorious chance to put their stamp firmly on the game three minutes before the break when defender Doug Ford held on to a darting Gooden when prone on the deck inside the box. Andy Crossley set up his third spot kick inside four days but unlike the previous two successes, fired his strike high enough for goalkeeper Richard Ossi to palm the ball away.

Farnham doubled their efforts after the interval and pushed Chertsey back. Their increase in tempo upset the visitors who were harried into poor passing options and a tendency to lose the ball when in possession. It was unsurprising therefore that they conceded an equalising goal. It came just six minutes after the restart when the ball was worked through the middle of a split Chertsey defence so that Sam Slater had a relatively easy opportunity to slam the ball home.

Cacashire for the host side put his side ahead just after the hour after the ball had been squared across the penalty area, nicely for him to plant the ball into the back of the net. It did not look good for Chertsey during the following quarter of an hour. Incidences of lost possession and wayward passes increased raising the percentage possibilities to go further behind. Chico Ramos was forced into two telling saves, one particularly noticeable off a strike from an unmarked Elliot Cardona, just a few yards out from the line.

However, two late substitution moves by Carl Taylor put on John Pomroy and Connor Young on the park. Young was only in action for two minutes when he was fed with a flicked pass by Pomroy on the far right. Teenaged Young forged forward to outstrip the defence and stroke the ball past Ossi for a stoppage time equaliser that looked far beyond Town’s capabilities only moments before.

Team: Ramos, Newman, Geraghty, Wadmore, Nsuguba, Cartwright, Cullen (Pomroy), Jones, Gooden (Deverill), Crossley, Wade (Young). Subs not used: Kershawn, Montague.

CB Hounslow United  1 v 2  Chertsey Town
Date:  Tuesday 6 December Competition:  League

The Combined Counties League win at CB Hounslow United on Bedfont & Feltham’s ground saw Chertsey Town extend their unbeaten run to four games. A modest figure maybe, but it did follow a string of nine league outings that had generated just two points. The side had battle hard for the win against just about the most robust side met this season. It was little wonder that their opponents played with ten men for most of the game, but more of a conundrum why it was not nine!

A clash around the half hour mark between Marcus Mealing, in his first game for Chertsey this season, and United’s Stuart Bamford could have seen both players being given a red. The benefit of the doubt was given which ironically worked in Chertsey’s favour as the home defender was instrumental in Town’s equalising goal soon after.

Chertsey began brightly and looked full of promise in attack but the final telling pass when buzzing around the opposition’s penalty area meant that goal attempts were low in ratio as well as quality. Their defence was also compact and looked solid enough as both sides played good football. It was therefore, a jolt when the home side took a 25th minute lead.

The ball was played out to the left. Stef Nor in the number three shirt stole up the flank to receive the ball, enter the penalty area before firing in a well placed shot that clipped the far post before going in. Appetite for the ball increased immediately after. The Chertsey players responded well to the set back even if CB Hounslow United took a slim advantage in play for a while.

Fortunes changed inside a five minute spell before the break. Firstly, Nor who had previously received a dissent fuelled yellow card then committed a very late foul in the middle of the park. It earned him another yellow and dismissal from further participation. Then three minutes later, the 42nd, a free kick was awarded to Town on the left, in effect, a short corner kick. John Pomroy flashed the ball into the goalmouth where a glancing near post header from Bamford saw it skid decisively into the net.

Despite operating with ten men, CB Hounslow United came out with all cylinders firing and in classic form adequately made up for the man short, taking the game into Chertsey’s territory more than was comfortable for the blues. But, of course, this left gaps at the back which was exploited in the 53rd minute curtesy of a typical explosive Ben Geraghty foray.

He collected the ball just inside his own half on the extreme left, beat a succession of defenders on his journey into the home side’s box, and just kept on going until planting the ball into the net from some ten yards to push his side into the lead. This should have been the beginning of the end for Hounslow but to their credit they fully exploited Chertsey’s tendency of making life difficult for themselves.

The ball was played too deep and too often in the Chertsey half for comfort, with their trade mark poor clearances being the culprit. The status quo came closest to being shattered arrived late in the exchange with a desperate goal mouth scramble that was somehow cleared. Otherwise, back line defending was good enough to stop real chances being opened up.

A more luxurious cushion might also have been fashioned for greater comfort had Town’s counter attacks been given a fairer chance to develop. Geraghty was clearly held as he ran in on goal with the ball on the break. A very late tackle on Steve Newman as he approached a thin looking penalty area was punished with a free kick but the perpetrator, Bamford was lucky in the extreme not to have received another yellow card for the act.

Connor Young came off the bench late on in the game and probably wished he had not, for within a few minutes was being chaired off and away to hospital in great pain with stud marks showing just below his knee in an off the ball moment that would have set up a penalty kick had the referee seen the attack.

Increased resilience with the Chertsey Town squad was again in evidence. Going behind has resulted in a succession of deflating collapses but this match saw a third successive recovery after going behind. The short term reward was a climb of two places out of the relegation zone prompting a notion that a mid table place can be achieved if such attitude and resolve can be retained.

Chertsey Town  0 v 1  Knaphill
Date:  Saturday 10 December Competition:  League

Chertsey’s poor record against Knaphill continued as the visitors made it a sixth win in seven competitive meetings. Knaphill left it late, Charlie Postance netting in the 86th minute, to settle a fixture short on goal mouth action and the hosts will feel aggrieved not to earn at least a draw after twice striking the woodwork.

Despite the large difference in league positons between the two teams, there was barely anything to separate the sides on the pitch. Both enjoyed spells on top, both worked hard in the midfield and both defended well. With chances at a premium, the match didn’t tick many entertainment boxes but the healthy crowd would have appreciated an intriguing contest full of endeavour and another purposeful performance from the Curfews.

Knaphill started the brighter. Jimmy Norman turned smartly to earn a corner which Chico Ramos punched as far as Arafat Kabuye whose crisp volley flew high over the bar. The visitors won a series of corners that were comfortably dealt with before Chertsey had their first shot on target, after 18 minutes; Alex Harris collected John Pomroy’s effort with Shelton Gooden threatening to pounce on any rebound. Pomroy’s chance had been set up by Ben Geragthy who started to enjoy much of the ball down the left; he fed Gooden who, only a couple of yards out, somehow contrived to miss the target in what should have been the game’s opening goal.

Norman tested Ramos from distance before Gooden delivered a dangerous ball across the Knaphill box, a box that was unfortunately devoid of any Chertsey players. Chertsey began to regain control of the game; Tommy Batten headed a corner against the post from a narrow angle before an unmarked Gooden met a lofted Jack Wadmore delivery, but could only find the side netting. Knaphill then responded, but only with off-target attempts from Josh Watkins and Postance.

The pattern of the second half matched that of the first as both teams had to work hard to grind out opportunities. Brad Thomas blasted over for Knaphill shortly before, on 55 minutes, the visitors were unlucky not to break the stalemate. A scramble in the six yard box ended with a fine double save from Ramos before Wadmore cleared off the line. Up at the other end, Connor Cullen found space to set up Joe Jones but his shot, in keeping with the rest of the game, drifted wide.

As the clock ticked down, the game developed a scrappy feel as both sides wasted possession. Pomroy and Wadmore made way for Jamie Ross and debutant Juan Montiban as Chertsey looked to gain the upper hand. Soon after, Andy Crossley replaced Cullen and the changes had an impact; Gooden spurned another chance from close range, failing to control the ball in a goal-scoring position. Following another Knaphill corner, a quick Chertsey break ended with Ross slamming a shot against the post.

It was therefore slightly against the run of play when Knaphill scored the only goal of the contest. A deep cross to the far post was headed back across goal where Postance was on hand to convert to claim all three points, much to the delight of the Knaphill bench.

One of the afternoon’s main talking points was the young referee’s puzzling performance, who presented a flurry of yellow cards in a game without a bad tackle. Chertsey’s acting manager Carl Taylor was sent to the stands for his vocal protestations directed at the man in the middle, this only a few minutes after Knaphill’s goal, rubbing salt into Chertsey’s wounds.

Chertsey team: Ramos, Newman, Geraghty, Wadmore (Montiban), Batten, Nsuguba, Cullen (Crossley), Jones, Pomroy (Ross), Gooden, Wade. Subs not used: Cartwright, Deverell

Bedfont & Feltham  2 v 2  Chertsey Town
Date:  Tuesday 13 December Competition:  League

Although the two sides are wallowing in the nether regions of the league table, the quality and entertainment value belied the modest status of the fixture which provided an edge of the seat experience from beginning to end. Indeed, the game was only two minutes old when the home side were awarded a penalty kick for a lazy Meddie Nsuguba leg that felled a Bedfont & Feltham forward.

It came after an intense flurry of activity in our penalty area as our host flew out of the starting blocks. The fact that Cyrus Vanterpool blasted the spot kick a yard over the crossbar did not stop the impression that a goal would not be long in coming. On loan goalkeeper from Ashford Town Tyler Tobin did extremely well to palm away a near post point blank clipped attempt by Vanterpool a few minutes later.

But the pressure then told when a pass out by full back Steve Newman put Nsuguba under pressure. Possession was lost allowing Bilal Aglouche to exploit space in front of the penalty area then release a well-aimed shot past a naked Tobin for an 8th minute opener. Past performances earlier this season might have spelled the end of the match as a contest but not nowadays and we soon regrouped. An Andy Crossley 25 yard free kick was tipped over by Tristan Thomas for the first of what became a succession of saves to keep his side in the game as our game came alive with ambition.

He was again called upon minutes later when a Mealing-Crossley combination on the left set up a headed effort by Connor Cullen that was kept out, but only just. We pressed further with Joe Jones, not for the last time in the game, clearing the Bedfont & Feltham bar from a good position. Another promising moment came when Ben Geraghty put the increasingly lively Cullen away. He by-passed Thomas, only to see the ball run away too far to kill off the situation.

It seemed that, just as it was inevitable that the home side would take that early lead, so would the visitors equalise. The expected goal arrived on 38 minutes when a less than convincing Cullen shot was diverted sideways by Thomas. Marcus Mealing was on the case straight away and, from what seemed an impossible angle, lashed the ball into the roof of the net. One of football’s attractions is how often the unpredictability factor frequently kicks in. It did so in this open encounter for, against the run of play as they say, Bedfont & Feltham regained the lead, taking just four minutes to reverse the direction of fortunes. It was another well taken effort, exceptionally so, when Aaron Morgan struck a swerving shot that flew away from Tobin from all of 35 yards for an interval advantage.

If anything, we increased our attacking prowess after the break, and although the home side had chances, it was us that took the lion share of the many openings that appeared. All from creditable positions, Juan Oviedo skidded a shot wide, Crossley hit the inside of the far post with a curling strike from distance and Jones again hit over; these being a selection of chances that went a begging.

At last though, the game’s default ‘inevitable’ position returned with their second equaliser. The goal came with 84 minutes quickly gone. John Pomroy, off the bench, was in tight possession on the Bedfont goal line, he managed to thread the ball back to Jamie Ross who forced it over between the posts. Seven minutes of stoppage time was played during which both teams looked capable to delivering the death strike but somehow the ball was kept in play.

After a shaky start, our defence was subsequently highly effective. Better movement off the ball in midfield when in possession might have provided more options but these are nit-picking observations on an evening that gave us further comfort and expectation of sustained improvement on entering the second half of the season.

Team: Tobin, Newman, Geraghty, Cullen, Cartwright (Wadmore), Nsuguba, Oviedo (Gooden), Jones, Mealing, Crossley (Pomroy), Ross. Subs not used: Montague, Deverill

Epsom and Ewell  2 v 1  Chertsey Town
Date:  Saturday 17 December Competition:  League

Another barnstorming second half performance once more failed to hit the inner, nor on this occasion, the outer gold and so more league points were missed in an active and entertaining visit to Epsom & Ewell. Plenty of mist swirled about the Chipstead park throughout the exchange but it was always plain to see that our woes centred on failing to put the ball away despite dominating the home penalty area for most of the second half.

A containing first half was the order of the day. It led to Epsom & Ewell having far greater share of possession but they hardly made it count as probes at the back line were met with stubborn resistance and hardly any danger was created. However, in valiant attempts at playing the ball out of defence we were guilty of losing possession too often; a common trait.

So it was a case of re-acting to Epsom’s direction, but react we did well. It took until 17 minutes before any sort of direct attempt at goal was mustered. Epsom’s Jordan Gallagher delivered a shot that was weak in flight which Chico Ramos comfortably cuddled. An off target Connor Cullen header at the other end was about all that could be fashioned in reply. A low rasping strike from Matt Tanton just before the half hour may have made the defence quiver for a moment but the ball fizzed narrowly wide.

It was a warning for, despite covering the back well, the mere attritional nature of the Epsom attack suggested that some sort of success might well be achieved. It was ironic then that their opening goal could hardly be said to been the product of their frequent neat passing forward movements. It came on 38 minutes when a far post cross by Matt Farrell set a moment of ping pong football in the six yard box with the ball eventually popping up in front of the sticks for the handily available Rob Hendry to tap it in with his forehead.

It might well have looked like a repeat of the first half might be on the cards after the break as Ramos was called in to deflect a strike from Hendry, this time at distance. Then the next goal was notched in the 52nd minute. Off a free kick, 20 yards out by the right touchline, it was Hendy again who provided the irritation as he feathered the ball towards the near post. Gallagher raced across the first defender and clipped the ball into the corner of the net.

It did not look good for us but a more attacking stance, with full backs Steve Newman and Ben Geraghty advancing along the wings, resulted in a turnaround in the balance of play. Another profound feature was the double substitution that brought the fresh legs of Joel Thompson and Shelton Gooden into the attack. The effect was quite remarkable and paid dividends almost immediately so that we were back in the game within ten minutes.

A goal was generated from a right wing corner kick. The ball went to Jack Wadmore on the edge of the penalty area. He fired forward and on its way, Thompson glanced the ball off his head enough to fool Michael Eacott in goal. Traffic from then on was almost exclusively one way and it was Epsom’s turn to defend in depth. The ball spent quite some time in the home penalty area, but as just seen, the side on top just could not make a further break through.

Ramos was far from redundant though and made a telling save off an Epsom break. Some pretty desperate Epsom tackles were executed, particularly against Newman when foraging forward with gusto that earned a couple of yellow cards but he earned one for himself with an overacted crash to the ground. It all made for a nervy climax that might have given us further reward right up to the last action of the game, a free kick delivered into the home side’s penalty area, but not good enough to force the constantly threatened equaliser.

Chertsey Town  0 v 1  Molesey
Date:  Tuesday 20 December Competition:  Sthn Combination Cup

It came across as a similar story to that three days previous. If you don’t put the ball in the back of the net, you will not find success. And so it was in our home Southern Combination Cup tie against Ryman League Molesey. Chances were created, golden ones in the first half in particular, but all were squandered. Meanwhile, the visitors snapped up their only opening in the first half to prise apart a lead that looked increasingly slender as the tie progressed, but in the end proved sufficient for their passage into the next round.

Team changes were effected for the tie with Connor Callan and Meddie Nsuguba being rested. John Pomroy dropped back deep in the midfield and a new signing was introduced, defender Isaac Olorunfemi on duel registration with Maidenhead United. He made a competent debut. In fact there was little to criticise throughout the side, abet from a couple of glaring misses that would have brought the side back on terms.

Molesey began the brighter and knocked the ball around with ease despite the sticky surface. No real gaps were opened in the Chertsey defence and eventually that department provided the foundation for some forward movement as the game showed more equilibrium. That situation was broken down on 16 minutes when the goal arrived. A diagonal cross from the left found Ross Chalke unmarked at the far post and he fired in at close range.

Soon after, the increasingly influential Joe Jones showed persistence on the ball in the Molesey penalty area and worked his way to a good position but his angled strike was saved by Liam Allen in goal. We increased the pressure with some flowing football and it was not long before the ball was fed in from the right to Shelton Gooden in the number nine shirt. Although only a few feet out and in front of goal, he was unable to create any purchase on the ball and it was scrambled away from his boot.

Joel Thompson then had his moment spoilt by Allen. A long high ball was fired through the middle. Thompson out distanced his marker to take charge of the ball on the 35 yard run in to goal. He almost rounded the keeper but a hand got to the ball and by the time it was back under his control a posse of Molesey defenders had surrounded him and he was crowded out of the situation.

The second half saw the Chertsey team grow in stature, short order passes were effective, especially in tight situations and a succession of promising moves were generated and shots at goal were delivered. Pomroy hitting the bar with a 25 yard free kick and a Jones rasping strike that was palmed away at full length by Allen were the closest coming to an equalising goal.

Other half chances came and went but the big positive in an otherwise arid evening was the side’s composure and burgeoning confidence on the ball which became strikingly evident. Thus, only a goal or two was missing from an otherwise spot on performance.

Chertsey Town  3 v 4  Horley Town
Date:  Tuesday 27 December Competition:  League

Never was a victory so near, yet so far. Our home Christmas league serving exemplified such a statement for, having overwhelmingly deserved to be cruising towards a two, almost three, goal interval lead, the side suddenly floundered on an outcrop of well marked rocks to fall well behind in the race for three desperate points. Repairs to the good ship Curfew were later effected and the journey resumed for a late revival but as seen so often this season, time ran out for any sort of reward.

This was the eleventh time we have lost a game this season by just one goal; the third in succession, but given the circumstances, this must rank as the most frustrating. It was the first time since August that more than a one goal advantage had been achieved. But having at last made such a break through, it took just six minutes to come clattering down, and a further twenty for victory to disappear out of sight.

It was a shame for we had built a lead with some of the best football seen this term. In fact both sides contributed to an open and entertaining morning fixture despite being played on a sticky pitch with overnight frost still oozing out of the surface. There were plenty of chances created at either end but the first did not come until the 14th minute with a Horley shot at distance that went well wide. That effort opened the gates, as it were, for just two more minutes had elapsed before the next moment of danger, this time at the other end when Joel Thompson, playing a double spearhead with Shelton Gooden, took a stab at the ball over the advanced goalkeeper but the effort also went wide.

We looked the more likely side at this stage with Shelton going wide at distance before Marcus Mealing, playing deeper than usually seen, opened the scoring on the half hour. Ben Geraghty intercepted the ball on the halfway line, took it forward to the edge of the Horley penalty area then crossed to the other side where Mealing had stolen in. He hit it first time behind the scrambling George Branton. Chico Ramos was forced into smothering a Horley attempt at close range but then we struck again. Again it was Geraghty turned the provider with a high raking pass on the left, delivered from well inside his own half into the centre. Thompson ran round the back of his marker and one touch later found the forward beyond Branton for the simple task of rolling the ball into the net on 39 minutes.

Soon after, Thompson robbed the ball from a Horley defender to set up Joe Jones but a boot just saved the day as he looked odds on to virtually wrap the game up. It all looked so easy but then everything went wrong for moments later, a raking clearance to the right flank left the defence stretched. Ramos rushed out to act as sweeper but Kieran Bowlan beat him to the ball leaving a wide open net for the forward to side foot it from the side of the penalty area. If that 41st minute strike was not bad enough, another arrived in stoppage time off a corner kick that came off Bowlan’s head by the far post after Ramos had tried to finger tip away. The goal stunned the Chertsey camp which took too long to recover. The interval break did nothing to settle nerves and we were lucky not to go behind soon after restart when Kyle Hough found the inside of Ramos’s left stick but the ball was cleared.

Our first half composure and confidents had by now evaporated like the frost and Horley took control for a good half hour. A high ball into the heart of the penalty area was knocked down to Tate Greenaway to put it away from just a few yards out. That goal, just beyond the hour, was followed a couple of minutes later with another into the same net. A clumsy, more than cynical, challenge on the marauding Ryan Smith set up a penalty kick that at first looked harsh but on reflection was the right decision. It was put away by Hough for a seemingly unassailable lead. In desperation, a treble substitution move was made with fresh legs being introduced with the two Connors, Callan and Young, along with Jack Wadmore taking up the challenge.

We did enough to shore up the leaks despite concocting one suicide back pass that left Ramos dead in the water but not terminal and a Steve Newman header off the line. Gaps at the back may be explained as a return to a furtive attacking mode was achieved in the final quarter of an hour, but without the previously experienced cutting edge. However, some return for efforts made was scantly rewarded with another goal from Marcus Mealing. This time it was a 22 yard free kick that hit the raised arm of Bowlan in the wall that took a deflection past Branton that otherwise would have been a stone cold penalty kick but the narrowing of the score line came too late to return the game to equilibrium, which perhaps would have been the fairest result.

Westfield  1 v 3  Chertsey Town
Date:  Monday 2 January Competition:  League

At long last, we had the comfort of seeing us play with a two goal lead in the final stages of a Combined Counties League encounter for the first time since the opening day of the current season. The situation was even sweeter because the win came at the expense of a side sitting second in the table, and in their own lair. Although hosts Westfield might have appeared to be perplexed, come the 90th minute, our followers were not so bemused and had a strong inkling for quite some weeks that something like this was coming.

We are beginning to turn its season around and the win at their high flying hosts eventually rewarded this renaissance. Westfield started confidently enough but it was not too long before the Chertsey side provided the more crisp football and potential danger in attack. Even so, not much in the way of shots at goal were forthcoming from either side for almost a half hour.

Chico Ramos in goal was forced into a fairly routine save and Callen Cullen fired a 20 yard strike wide. But then we might, even should, have had a penalty kick when the ever hard working Joel Thompson seemed to have evaded his marker in the Westfield penalty area. Nonetheless, the meeting of ankles as the attacker strode forward earned nothing more than a tumble to the ground and a deal of frustration.

The let off spurred the home side who had their best spell of the first half but tight defending dampened the glow of expectation. It was finally extinguished on 38 minutes when another attempt at weaving a route through the heart of the home ramparts was eventually successful with John Pomroy ripping open the defensive cloak by threading a pass to Joe Jones who was able to choose which part of the target he wanted to find from the edge of the penalty area to give Gary Ross in goal no chance.

Our side, so often this season, has wilted quickly after the interval but the opposite occurred and the thin lead was actually increased. The goal came on 55 minutes with Cullen on the left centring the ball. Thompson let it run past to Andy Crossley who had time to steady himself and fire his side further ahead with a low strike past Ross.

Not to be outdone, Westfield struck back 14 minutes later with a goal, set up and completed in similar style to the Jones effort in the first half. This time it was Karle Calder-Andrews who pulled the trigger. Although the ball did flash past our goalmouth as Westfield strived to find an equaliser, it was nothing less than fair that we were able to kill off the challenge, even if it involved more than an ounce of good fortune.

Cullen collected the ball in a central position some 40 yards out and made good progress. He made space for a shot but the 20 yard strike lacked any sort of venom and Ross took the ball with apparent comfort. Maybe it was too easy and he literally took his eye off the ball for it was not cleanly taken and it spun over his shoulder to drop over the line. The Chertsey delight in securing the form book upsetting victory was balanced by Westfield’s troops who were plainly disappointed with the day’s outcome.

Chertsey Town  1 v 0  Kingstonian
Date:  Tuesday 10 January Competition:  Surrey Senior Cup

Never was a victory so near, yet so far. Our home Christmas league serving exemplified such a statement for, having overwhelmingly deserved to be cruising towards a two, almost three, goal interval lead, the side suddenly floundered on an outcrop of well marked rocks to fall well behind in the race for three desperate points. Repairs to the good ship Curfew were later effected and the journey resumed for a late revival but as seen so often this season, time ran out for any sort of reward.

This was the eleventh time we have lost a game this season by just one goal; the third in succession, but given the circumstances, this must rank as the most frustrating. It was the first time since August that more than a one goal advantage had been achieved. But having at last made such a break through, it took just six minutes to come clattering down, and a further twenty for victory to disappear out of sight.

It was a shame for we had built a lead with some of the best football seen this term. In fact both sides contributed to an open and entertaining morning fixture despite being played on a sticky pitch with overnight frost still oozing out of the surface. There were plenty of chances created at either end but the first did not come until the 14th minute with a Horley shot at distance that went well wide. That effort opened the gates, as it were, for just two more minutes had elapsed before the next moment of danger, this time at the other end when Joel Thompson, playing a double spearhead with Shelton Gooden, took a stab at the ball over the advanced goalkeeper but the effort also went wide.

We looked the more likely side at this stage with Shelton going wide at distance before Marcus Mealing, playing deeper than usually seen, opened the scoring on the half hour. Ben Geraghty intercepted the ball on the halfway line, took it forward to the edge of the Horley penalty area then crossed to the other side where Mealing had stolen in. He hit it first time behind the scrambling George Branton. Chico Ramos was forced into smothering a Horley attempt at close range but then we struck again. Again it was Geraghty turned the provider with a high raking pass on the left, delivered from well inside his own half into the centre. Thompson ran round the back of his marker and one touch later found the forward beyond Branton for the simple task of rolling the ball into the net on 39 minutes.

Soon after, Thompson robbed the ball from a Horley defender to set up Joe Jones but a boot just saved the day as he looked odds on to virtually wrap the game up. It all looked so easy but then everything went wrong for moments later, a raking clearance to the right flank left the defence stretched. Ramos rushed out to act as sweeper but Kieran Bowlan beat him to the ball leaving a wide open net for the forward to side foot it from the side of the penalty area. If that 41st minute strike was not bad enough, another arrived in stoppage time off a corner kick that came off Bowlan’s head by the far post after Ramos had tried to finger tip away. The goal stunned the Chertsey camp which took too long to recover. The interval break did nothing to settle nerves and we were lucky not to go behind soon after restart when Kyle Hough found the inside of Ramos’s left stick but the ball was cleared.

Our first half composure and confidents had by now evaporated like the frost and Horley took control for a good half hour. A high ball into the heart of the penalty area was knocked down to Tate Greenaway to put it away from just a few yards out. That goal, just beyond the hour, was followed a couple of minutes later with another into the same net. A clumsy, more than cynical, challenge on the marauding Ryan Smith set up a penalty kick that at first looked harsh but on reflection was the right decision. It was put away by Hough for a seemingly unassailable lead. In desperation, a treble substitution move was made with fresh legs being introduced with the two Connors, Callan and Young, along with Jack Wadmore taking up the challenge.

Chertsey Town  2 v 1  Bedfont Sports
Date:  Saturday 14 January Competition:  League

In recording a third successive victory, Chertsey Town nonetheless began their home Combined Counties League encounter against Bedfont Sports in charitable mood. It was as if they wanted to give their mid table opponents a fighting chance with a bonus goal by snoozing from the very first whistle. The result was that the home penalty area became as busy as Piccadilly Circus. The crossbar was rattled, corner kicks were conceded, and then the inevitable goal arrived with only five minutes on the clock.

The ‘clock’ turned out to be fitted with a rather effective alarm bell for the blue and white stripes of Chertsey Town shed their pyjama image and donned far more vibrant sporting tones to take control of events for the remainder of the exchange. Their dominance was especially marked in the first half when all the game’s goals were scored, but still looked comfortable in the latter stages despite a late attempt by the Middlesex side to snatch a point, similar in vein to the pattern stablished in the reverse fixture a month or so previous.

The opening goal came from the boot of Bradley Wilson some 20 yards out that sent the ball into the corner of Chico Ramos’ net without any opportunity for any timely intervention. The goal had a remarkable effect on Chertsey as the side suddenly began to play a confident short game despite the sticky conditions. It was not all tip tap football though for a series of raking passes to sparsely defended flanks, more often to Andy Crossley on the left, that soon paid dividends.

Although these space eating forays created thrusting danger, and Town’s equalising goal game came from that direction, the Bedfont Sports defence well set. After collecting the ball from a short throw, Crossley turned, cut inside to the furthest corner of the penalty area and lofted the ball high over goalkeeper Harvey Cheadle, but low enough to the find the inside of his net. The Success came on 12 minutes.

Ben Geraghty was also dominant on the left flank when going forward and these wide attacks were causing problems for Sports. However, it was traffic through the middle that opened the way for Chertsey with the speed of Shelton Gooden providing another concern for the visitors’ defence. He broke through on 16 minutes but hurriedly fired wide, then saw a skimmed header at distance also fly off target.

Another run behind the defence set him up with a second one on one situation but his first touch was too heavy and the otherwise stranded Cheadle was able to comfortably collect. Bedfont’s defence was now rattled and became prone to hurried errors when in possession. To be fair, both sides had issues on the difficult surface but the Chertsey side always recovered more effectively.

One exception came in the 31st minute when the ball was lost in trying to ping it between two defenders on the half way line with no sweeper back up as insurance. Simo Mbonkwi took control, rushed forward alone but Ramos managed to smother the attack and disaster was averted. Movement towards the Bedfont Sports goal quickly resumed after that interlude with John Pomroy putting Geraghty through, but this time Cheadle demonstrated that he too could dampen point blank range situations.

Gooden again showed how he could out run his marker but at last, his 20 yard effort was totally effective and the low strike put Chertsey ahead with two minutes of the half remaining. Manager Carl Taylor thus enjoyed his side’s interval lead but the pleasure would have been greater had Joe Jones managed to steer the ball a foot or so further to the right in another break through .

The second half was not as potent but the football was still entertaining and had its moments. A 22 yard Gooden strike going narrowly wide, a Jack Wadmore lob into the net that was ruled out with an offside flag and more discomfort for the travellers’ defence when Connor Cullen joined in from the bench most took the eye. The Bedfont Sports number six, Joe Goodman conjured the best second half effort of his side just after the hour but shot wide leaving Ramos in relative comfort.

The Chertsey passing became too subtle and short at times on this surface but that perhaps was a good fault to address. Overall a far greater maturity was shown than seen earlier in the season as Bedfont Sports tried to wrest back some sort of initiative. But the home side was wide awake to the situation and were happy to let the passion of the encounter fade by running out the final minutes playing games round the corner flags to collect another thoroughly deserves three points.

Hartley Wintney  5 v 1  Chertsey Town
Date:  Saturday 21 January Competition:  League

ley Wintney 5 Chertsey Town 1

A five goals to one reverse and man sent off might have spelt out a day of disaster for us in our league visit to Hartley Wintney, but the sun soaked afternoon was far from being a write off to a very encouraging start to the new year. The clinical finishing power and self-belief oozing from the host side in building a remarkable 21 point lead at the top of the table, and racing towards a successive championship season, should not detract from our spirited display despite falling short on the day.

The dismissal of defender Meddie Nsuguba midway through the second half for a borderline alleged, and out of character, stamping offence when trying to collected the ball after being fouled obviously did not help our cause but it was not decisive in the general order of things. It came at a time when the visitors were in ascendency, having snatched a goal back, but it did not halt the direction of play at the time. It did, though, give just enough space later in the encounter for two late goals to add extra zest to the performance of the men in orange.

The frost affected surface was barely playable and had players skidding in the shady areas on the ground’s far side touch line but the decision to start the game was correct. It did not stop either side from free movement that resulted in some attractive football. We gave as good as we got; almost. The difference was in the finishing which was where Hartley Wintney excelled.

This was demonstrated after just five minutes when Sam Argent, the competition’s leading goal scorer by a comfortable margin and 30 yard distant from the Chertsey goal, beat reasonably well placed Chico Ramos with a precision lob that dropped under the bar for a potentially devastating opening to the encounter. An early goal down maybe, but we stuck to our guns with our new found confidence on the ball and still attempted to weave through the tightest of gaps offered by the home defence in reply.

Limited success was achieved but no telling end product with Shelton Gooden, as one of the two strikers, causing most consternation. Meanwhile though, Hartley Wintney’s Luke Perkins, working primarily on the right flank was even more effective and was unlucky not to have hit goal number two when his shot hit the inside of the far post, to be cleared by a relieved defence.

A clever through ball to George Hallahan on 35 minutes opened up enough space for him to set up a 15 yard shot and establish a two goal gap. That was followed a minute later with a tactical substitution on our bench to provide width with Andy Crossley, who arrived at the ground too late to start, coming on for the sacrificed John Pomroy, and to make a significant impact.

A two goal gap might have seemed a little harsh on the balance of play, come half time, but that opinion was even in sharper relief when by 47 minutes, the gap had increased to three, with another threaded ball through the middle. This time it was to Perkins who had little difficulty in swiping the ball wide of Ramos from just a few yards.

A reply was mounted just five minutes later when Crossley hooked the ball diagonally from the left into the top right corner of the Hartley Wintney net from 25 yards with Jake Maddox in goal merely spectating. The goal heralded a vibrant Chertsey period that might have ended during a ten minutes spell that saw another piece of precision finishing by Argent putting away the ball for number four, followed two minutes later by the Nsuguba dismissal.

This combination might have dented our ardour but instead we shared the better of the exchanges, abet without unduly bothering Maddox, until Argent converted his personal silver streak into gold by completing his hat trick during the last ten minutes to put a cruel score line on an otherwise bright Chertsey performance.

Joe Jones, missing due to a bout of flu, was sorely missed in the centre of defence but one squad bright spot was that key man, Joe Blundell, had ten minutes on the park for his first outing for almost two months. He will be needed when Nsuguba serves his three match ban.

Chertsey Town  1 v 0  CB Hounslow United
Date:  Saturday 28 January Competition:  League

Andy Crossley scored a stunning free-kick in injury time to grab a dramatic winner for Chertsey Town against CB Hounslow United. The visitors had a penalty saved just before half time but the hosts deserved the win in a game that was otherwise low on quality.

In terms of entertainment, the first half was marginally the better of the two. Chertsey started brightly with Connor Cullen an early threat. With only four minutes on the clock he forced his way into the area at speed, but no one was able to capitalise on his delivery into an empty penalty area. Soon after he sliced a shot wide after Joel Thompson had set him up. Hounslow meanwhile were happy to keep possession and play the ball mainly sideways, causing the hosts little concern. On 23 minutes, a pinpoint centre from Crossley found Shelton Gooden who headed home, only to be denied by an offside flag.

Hounslow’s first foray up field, on the half hour mark, ended with Simon Mur firing wide having lost his marker. Chertsey responded when Crossley cut inside from the left and his dipping shot was smartly tipped over by Hounslow ‘keeper Alex Wines. A couple of minutes later, Crossley’s clipped cross found Joe Blendell who couldn’t quite adjust his feet quickly enough to find the target with a crisp volley.

The biggest talking point of the half occurred in the final minutes. Jamie Ross, just inside the Chertsey box, was seemingly tripped by a Hounslow player but to the astonishment of the home support, referee Jack Ohene awarded a penalty to Hounslow; Ross had handled the ball assuming he had won a free-kick. Andrew Juett had the opportunity to open the scoring, but Chic Ramos saved well to deny the visitors. In a heated end to the half, Chertsey manager Carl Taylor and assistant Gary Jenkins were sent to the stands for remonstrating with the referee about the penalty decision.

The second half began in scrappy fashion, and slowly got worse. Neither side could keep possession, misplaced passes and poor control had become the order of the day. Hounslow appealed for another penalty when Juett was halted unceremoniously by Tommy Batten but Juett recovered well to force a fine save from Ramos. The game descended into stalemate as play became bogged down on a sticky pitch with neither side looking like scoring. With 67 minutes on the clock, Gooden’s shot was easily held by Wines before a stinging drive from Crossley was tipped over the bar. Chertsey used all their substitutes in an attempt to introduce some impetus, but when Jack Wadmore was set up by Ben Geragthy in a good position, his shot high and wide was met with a sigh of resignation by the home support.

Against the run of play, Hounslow almost scored with less than ten minutes to go; Rashid Obbadi was put through on the break but an excellent block by Ramos saved Chertsey’s blushes. With the clock ticking down the home side upped the pressure, Crossley and Connor both going close. Into added on time, Chertsey won a free kick on the left just outside the penalty area. Crossley stepped up and, in what is quickly becoming his trademark, curled a delightful effort into the top right-hand corner, leaving Wines glued to his line and Chertsey with all the points.

Chertsey team: Ramos, Newman, Geraghty, Gooden (Nsuguba), Batten, Blendell (Wadmore), Cullen, Jones, Thompson (Young), Crossley, Ross. Subs not used: Cartwright, Deverill

Chertsey Town  0 v 3  Epsom and Ewell
Date:  Saturday 11 February Competition:  League

A leaden sleet sky perfectly matched our league performance in all respects; dank, languid and dispiriting. The only straw available to clutch was that literally half the normal team was absent, mainly due to recently acquired injuries. How come exactly half in a team of eleven? Meddie Nsuguba is on suspension. Injuries sustained to key players Jo Blendell, Andy Crossley, Connor Callan, Chico Ramos made it five. Making it up to the 50 percent was Steve Newman who started the game, but should never have participated, and had to limp off at half time.

The absence of four defenders had a marked effect on performance, and must have taken its toll mentally as we were never able to generate the new found confidence seen of late. The afternoon had echoes of the events of last October and November. Outfield attacker Marcus Mealing took the role between the sticks and did a remarkably good job. None of the goals conceded could be attributed to him. In fact his strong hands helped keep the score line respectable.

We had a couple of early free kicks awarded in dangerous places, but they came to nothing. There was a desire by the team to do the right thing but too many ‘cleaver’ passes went astray when a more simple approach was favourite. The first profound crack in our afternoon came on 15 minutes when, with the defence spread further than could be done with a tub of Flora, a basic over the top ball to Jordan Gallagher set up what looked and easy scoring chance. However, Mealing blocked the initial shot, only for Dayryl Cooper-Smith to follow up and even he had two goes at finally putting the ball away with the goalkeeper doing all he could to save the situation.

We were still in the game but two ineffective strikes, by Shelton Gooden and Joel Thompson, was not going to redress the balance. The greater potent opportunities looked more likely to emanate from Ben Geraghty’s signature left flank forays, but nothing came of them this time round. The defence at that stage seemed to be holding up despite, in general, the Chertsey machine not working well.

Newman was called upon to head away after Mealing was beaten but the respite last but a minute as, from the 34th minute corner, we went further behind. The ball dropped near the far post where Cooper-Smith seemed to be afforded too much hospitality for he was able to trap the ball, turn, then prod the ball home, all done inches from the goal line.

The game was by then falling away from our grip. An escape was somehow effected only a minute after conceding the second goal. Meanwhile, Epsom & Ewell’s defence looked comfortable with their passing better executed. In contrast, we increasingly looked like a side in the position they are in the league table; just one place away from a relegation spot. Unnecessary corner kicks were given away, just inviting pressure out of nothing.

An Epsom forward got in the way of his own team mate’s goal bound shot towards the interval but chances of retrieving the situation with a rousing second half revival, were effectively dashed three minutes into stoppage time. A simple pass to the left wing that had wide open spaces available, a 10 yard run with the ball, a controlled tap in wide of the lonesome Mealing rung the death knell for the Curfews.

We began the second held with more heart. A Joe Jones shot that at least elicited a save from Michael Eacott, his first if the exchange, then another off target effort from Gooden gave an impression for ten minutes that we might make a game of it, but that notion slowly became forgotten. The second half in fact was pretty well a non-event. Our game was much improved, but the visitors only needed to hold what they had, and did so without causing any palpitations on their bench.

The three goal margin might have increased towards the end when the cross bar came to the rescue; a headed effort from a corner kick that was generated after Mealing saved again. It was one of the few highlights of a second half that was one of process rather than invention. No-one was sorry when the final whistle was blown.

Chertsey Town  0 v 0  Hartley Wintney
Date:  Saturday 1 April Competition:  League

Hartley Wintney secured their second successive Combined Counties Premier League title with this draw but were made to work hard for their point by an in-form Chertsey Town, whose battling performance demonstrated that they can compete with the best.

Following a 5-1 reverse at Hartley Wintney in January, with the visitors cantering away at the summit of the league, few would have expected anything other than an away win in this fixture. The fact that Chertsey matched the champions elect on the pitch, with little to show between the teams, shows how much the hosts have improved in recent months under Carl Taylor’s management.

Chertsey started with confidence and had a glorious opportunity to take an early lead. With only eight minutes gone, a long ball forward from the left caught the Hartley defence flat footed, allowing Joel Thompson all the time in the world to bear down on goal. The striker however needed several touches to control, allowing a Hartley defender to execute a last-ditch block. From the resultant corner, Jack Wadmore’s shot was also blocked and Tommy Batten knocked the rebound wide.

Chertsey applied much pressure in an even opening period and were able to restrict the visitors to only a few chances in the first half, none of which were on target. On the 16th minute, Liam Eagle headed wide from a corner before Luke Perkins dragged a shot wide after a good Hartley move. Dean Stow’s shot was then deflected away for another corner and Louie Paget’s powerful drive thundered wide. Up at the other end, Hartley ‘keeper Paul Strudley had to be alert, tipping over a free-kick whipped in by Jack Wadmore. Chertsey finished the half on the up with Jamie Ross, Shelton Gooden, Emmanuel Akiotu and Ben Geragthy all prepared to run with the ball, making life uncomfortable for the visitors.

Hartley understandably upped the tempo in the second half and enjoyed more of the possession but Chertsey continued to work extremely hard to close down the space, frustrating their opponents at every opportunity. The best chance of the game fell to Adam New whose powerful close range header was tipped over by Jack Gannon, an excellent point blank reflex save by the Chertsey ‘keeper. On the hour mark Perkins crossed to an unmarked Stow but the Hartley man should have done much better in heading off target. Gannon then kept the hosts in it again, saving a Stow free kick as Hartley turned the screw.

But Chertsey held firm and defended resolutely. Their outlet was substitute Connor Cullen and Ross, the speed and trickery of both young players providing a counter attacking option that at times made the Hartley defence look uneasy. Full back Tom Walsh started to look uncomfortable dealing with the pace and received a booking for a clumsy challenge on 73 minutes. Chertsey continued to frustrate as Hartley struggled to find a way through, but perhaps also knowing that a point would suffice to realise their ambitions. As the clock approached 90 minutes, Cullen raced clear of a high back line, only to be pulled down by Walsh; a second yellow followed and Walsh received his marching orders.

Chertsey battled to the end and were almost rewarded when Strudley fumbled a high cross, but gathered at the second attempt, much to the relief if his teammates. Hartley’s title this season is richly deserved, but Chertsey’s upturn in performances and league position is just as pleasing.

Chertsey team: Gannon, Newman, Geraghty, Wadmore, Batten, Akiotu (Adoo-Peters), Gooden (L Taylor), Jones, Pomroy (Cullen), Thompson, Ross. Subs not used: Young, Cartwright