Chessington & Hook United 0 Chertsey Town 1
This was another far from aesthetically pleasing display but Chertsey Town showed that they can still grind out results, despite the blip suffered three days previous, an important consideration, come this stage of the campaign.
Chessington & Hook United made it hard in packing the midfield. This resulted in few home attacking moves where it counted; in the opposition’s penalty box.
Chertsey’s win coincided with the defeat of one of their two main rivals, in this case Camberley Town.
That may have strengthened a runners up spot but the real goal of overhauling Guildford City, without a game on the day, for the Combined Counties League title was still a tantalising distance away.
There seemed precious little space on the park with Chessington & Hook United putting a lot of energy into shutting down any Chertsey initiative.
Town had the grand share of the opportunities and although only one strike was successful, it was always going to be enough with the home side being blocked out entirely at the other end.
Manager Spencer Day reverted to his winning run side with defender Trevor Charlery and Mark McGibbon returning to the side to good effect.
In fact it was the resolute defending that was the key to success for Chertsey with the aerial battle in the centre being won, hands down.
Chessington was never given much of chance to break through. Only one clear header was afforded to the home side, coming in the last minutes of the first half from a corner kick that was steered wide.
Had the Town forwards been slightly better placed, the final score line might have been increased as, more than once, Richard Webber in the Chessington goal had understandable difficulty in holding on to shots but the rebounds were hustled away.
Phil Page also had a clean headed goal ruled out for offside and Tom O’Regan saw a volley go a foot wide before the break.
It was more of the same after the interval with Chertsey looking the more enterprising in attack and too solid at the back to concede.
The telling difference from the first 45 minutes was that a goal did arrive for Chertsey, just after the hour.
Movement by Page on the right got him to the by line from where he skewed the ball back to the penalty spot for O’Regan to volley the ball home.
As ever, a one-goal advantage is never completely comfortable but it became increasing clear as the minutes passed that only a fluke would deny Chertsey the full points.
A controlled last ten minutes with the ball being holed up into the corners of the park made sure that there was to be no last minute jitters.
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