Epsom & Ewell 1 Chertsey Town 4
Junction 11 of the M25 may have been clogged up at the time but Chertsey’s football team were free flowing as they punctured their hosts Epsom & Ewell time and again to extend a straight run of wins to eleven games.
Epsom & Ewell may have edged themselves ahead a quarter of the way through the contest, but it was obvious this was only going to be a blip in Chertsey Town’s progress as a strong positive pattern had already been formed by then.
Simon Cox came back into the side following a muscle strain which put Mark McGibbon back on the bench, but the two later swapped places as substitutions took place after the direction of the league points became pretty well obvious.
Lee Weemes and Miles Smith were the other two that had a run out in the latter stages, replacing Marcus Moody and Tom O’Regan who both covered more than their share of the Moat Farm turf.
Chertsey began as they meant to carry on to continually penetrate the Epsom defence, and it was only some sharp work from second choice goalkeeper Neil Harrowing that kept his side in the game.
Phil Page came as close as you can get without scoring early on with a strong strike that was saved, then hit the underside of the cross bar from distance, with the ball clearing away,
Dan Bennett too looked a likely scorer when again the Epsom ramparts were breeched, but Harrowing was again his side’s saviour.
It seemed only a matter of time before visitors Chertsey would ease into a lead but were mistaken as Epsom & Ewell came back into the game.
Cox, although with comfort, cleared the ball off his line to thwart an Epsom lob at goal, but the home side had better success when a Ramzi Bedj-Bedj strike from 25 yards clipped a Chertsey upright as it went over the line, leaving Craig Bradshaw a spectator.
The 22nd minute goal made no difference to Chertsey’s resolve as they continued to press for a goal of their own.
Bennett had another forceful shot saved before O’Regan put pressure on a defender when he tried to clip the ball back to his keeper. Page showed good anticipation to dart in and meet the ball in mid air before it reached its intended destination and volley a lob into the net.
So on 33 minutes the score was all square, but that state only lasted three minutes.
Chertsey then took their deserved lead when Bennett produced the pass that set up Dean Papali to fire in low for a lead that was then never seriously threatened, apart form one moment just before the break when Kyle Hough skied the ball well over the bar.
There was also a number of awkward looking crosses from the wings to contend with but either a confident fist clearance from Bradshaw or the head of Lloyd Boatang, Leika Saku or Simon Cox ameliorated the situation.
The second half resumed with Chertsey dominant and it was not too long before they thought they had increased their lead.
The ball was bundled over the Epsom line by Cox but a goal was belatedly ruled out although the arm on arm challenge on Harrowing would not have been given a second glance had it occurred between two outfield players.
It mattered little in the final analysis for Town continued to press hard and got what they wanted. Papali shot wide from a good position but another goal arrived on 57 minutes, O’Regan produced a square ball along the deck to Bennett and he fired the ball in low from just outside the penalty area.
Pressure was built even more as Chertsey buzzed about the Epsom penalty box.
A Page cross from the right found Bennett at the point where the penalty area parameter turns 90 degrees. He was given the time to curl a high ball across the face of the Epsom goal and into the top right side of the net.
The success came on 67 minutes and effectively underlined the feeling of ten minutes previous that the game as a contest was truly over.
Although the forward line was dominant, Town’s defence still had to work hard, without taking the limelight.
Ollie Treacher was strong in distribution as well as the tackle. There was hardly an error seen at the back all evening.
The previous weekend’s defending may not have been the best of the season but stubbing out the threat on the flanks seen before the interval, ensured they played their full part in Chertsey’s seemingly relentless march towards the fast looming climax of currently, a very inconclusive season.
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