A fine early spring day which emphasises the attractive setting of The Meadow, home of Chesham Utd. The 'Generals' are 14th in the League with 41 points from 34 games and among their ranks are former Saints Dwayne Clarke, injured today, and Richard Hurst, absent today. City are 3rd in the table and cannot afford to drop any points while hoping that 'Shots and the Islanders slip up more than once.
From a squad depleted by injury, Cookie selected White in goal; 4 at the back: Evans, Moran, Campbell and Naylor(C); 4 in the middle: Young, Challinor, Kean and Lodge; and up front: Crawshaw and De Souza. On the bench: Martin, Deacon and himself. My Ryman League forms did not reach me in time for the match.
This was a strange one. After an uneventful first half hour, notable only for an injury to Crawshaw after 15 minutes, replaced by Martin, and a couple of shots well stopped by White in the visitors goal, the game was wrapped up by the 40th minute.
First Martin challenged the home keeper, Delroy Preddie, to a high cross, spilled by Preddie, and recovered by Martin who tapped the ball home unchallenged. 0-1. Minutes later a back pass by Chesham skipper Neill was underhit, Martin pressed Preddie whose clearing kick ricocheted off Martin's boot and the striker gathered the loose ball to tap in the empty net for the second time in as many minutes. 0-2. Just before the break, Kean found Martin on the left side of the area who beat his man and delivered a cross to be volleyed home by De Souza. 0-3. H.T.
The Saints were in control for the rest of the game against a poor Chesham side who seemed to have little to offer. Half chances were created, and City had at least 3 penalty appeals rejected, one a certainty when Martin was brought down in the box but received only a yellow card for his trouble and two more doubtful appaels when first Young took a tumble and then when the ball struck a defenders hand. Chesham scored midway through the half when the on-loan Paul Fewings smartly converted a cross from the right. It was only ever going to be a consolation providing the referee didn't allow too much injury time. Deacon came on for Challinor for the last 10 munutes. F.T. 1-3.
Chesham were poor today, showing little initiative or invention against a City side side who rarely got out of 3rd gear. Cookie will be delighted with 3 goals for the 4th consecutive match and 3 points but he will know that it has to get better. It could have been a hat-full. My Motm was Kean followed closely by Campbell and Moran. The official attendance was 320 with 120 or so Travelling City Faithful.
Entertainment 6/10. Atmosphere 4/10. Technical Merit 4/10. Referee 3/10.
Report by Awayday