Wembley 0 Chertsey Town 1
In a lively and open match on a difficult surface due to substantial rain during the daylight hours, Chertsey Town inched their way to the top of the Combined Counties League table, but Guildford City and Molesey do have games in hand.
The victory was deserved, if nothing, on chances to score alone, but host side Wembley looked far more talented than their lowly league position would suggest.
In far from ideal conditions, and the evening not helped by the one linesman not turning up so delaying the start by 20 minutes for a replacement to be found, both teams played wide eyed football; especially in a first half that could have given a generous helping of goals at both ends.
Wembley had the easiest two of that created. Both were developed by the nimble and dangerous potentially Kobi Osei in breaking through twice with only Craig Bradshaw in the Chertsey goal to beat.
The first was created after a 40 yard, offside beating run, midway through the first half; the second a quarter of an hour later when in space 15 yards out.
Both times it looked like Osei was favourite but both times Bradshaw’s flailing legs saved the day for his team mates.
Chertsey used space on the park to better effect but it did result in loose marking when Wembley broke out from their own patch.
Unchanged Town used the longer ball which paid better dividends than the Lions’ shorter game. The eager Town midfield continually robbed the ball off their Wembley counter parts when in possession and then quickly delivered raking passes into the home penalty area.
Dean Papaili was not afraid to have a go at distance either, and went narrowly wide from 35 yards.
Fifteen yard shots on the angle from Trevor Charlery and Danny Bennett warmed the fingertips of Chuks Aminwe between the Wembley sticks.
A strong run right trough the heart of the home defence by Charlery again caused alarm at the back but the ball just could not be despatched.
A route one pass to the ever mobile Marcus Moody saw him clip the ball narrowly wide from a good position.
So it was good work in progress by half time but with no goals to show for a sterling effort.
However, Chertsey could well have been in deficit too, but for Bradshaw’s deft footwork.
But of course, the sport is all about teamwork and that showed in abundance, even more so after the break when Town tightened up with their defensive duties. Ollie Treacher was again outstanding.
Wembley were only afforded a couple of half chances, with the best coming after Chertsey had already taken the lead, when a ball was flashed across the Curfews goalmouth, but with no red shirts making a connection.
Chertsey’s trademark was in producing a string of probing passes out of the midfield, as well as no nonsense clearances from the back line.
Town continued to play with authority and eventually snatched the vital goal, 67 minutes into the still lively exchange. Moody latched on to a ball that had been chipped though the middle.
Now to the right of the Wembley goal, he played it back to near the penalty spot where Phil Page rushed in and walloped it home through a sea of defenders, giving Aminwe no chance.
A welcome surprise appearance of Jack Francis after an injury gap of a seemingly interminable three months bolstered increasingly tired legs as Town’s quest to hang on to what they held became more pronounced.
The last ten or so minutes saw the ball arriving at the outer environs of their penalty area, to be thumped, without too much direction or ceremony, as far away as possible.
But in conceding territory to the North Londoners, the ball came back all too soon. No significant breakthrough was created out of this though and the game ended with Town running down the clock by the right hand corner flag.
Both teams were congratulated on a sporting contest that was full of endeavour in overcoming the elements and perhaps deserved more than just the one goal.
The Chertsey contingent did not mind being restricted to the low strike rate whilst recording their seventh consecutive victory during which 19 goal have scored and three conceded.
Their more direct approach to play of late is certainly proving that the best form of defence is attack! Chertsey are certainly going in the right direction at the moment.
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