Hersham 3   Chiddingfold 2 (League)


20th March 2005

‘I hate my neighbour; I shot at him once’


‘That’s the last time I drop a match slip off at your place’


Like last week’s game against Manorcroft, on the surface an excellent result, but one which left us feeling frustrated at not getting the point which was the least we deserved.

Hersham, of course, have been top or thereabouts all season and were favourites to win convincingly, particularly as we were without two crucial players in captain Jon Bk and star goalkeeper Mike.

The boys however, for the most part, played out of their skins, especially joint Man of the Match Jamie, playing at right back for the first time and doing a superlative job, and goalkeeper Richard, his fellow Man of the Match, who kept us in the game with several quite outstanding saves. 

The opening ten minutes were played at a hectic pace with end-to-end action, at one point a superb Rupert cross being laid off by Jonathan Bt into the path of the effervescent Hassie who blazed just over the crossbar. Soon afterwards determined pressure from Jonathan set up Rupert again on the right, to put another pinpoint cross over – and this time Will smashed the ball just over again.

Then on about fifteen minutes the boys’ hard work paid off; this time Scott burst down the right, got a cross in under pressure, it rebounded from a defender and there was Hassie to sweep the ball into the net, 1-0 and looking great.

Unfortunately it wasn’t long before Hersham equalised. We gave the ball away carelessly in midfield, a Hersham striker broke clear and lobbed Richard in goal, but the boys kept going and had one particularly glorious chance not long after, which they failed to convert when it would have been easier to score.

We kept the pressure on though, and Rupert was very unlucky with a free kick not long before half-time, which hit the crossbar and rebounded harmlessly. Chidd were really piling on the pressure at this point and, in fact, thought we were ahead with practically the last kick of the game when it looked for all the world as though Rupert had scored, but the ball turned out to have hit the side netting.

Half-time came and went and the game continued to be a gripping encounter. Then disaster – Hersham went 2-1 up when too many of the boys stood and watched and gave the striker far too much time and respect. It was beginning to look as though we wouldn’t recover when, to the delight of the supporters, Jon Bt took on the usual five opponents – and actually managed to keep the ball this time! Calmly he slotted the ball past the keeper and we were back in it, 2-2.

Hersham were not taking any of this lying down, and continued to give as good as they got - we were fortunate not to concede more the once (but then so were they). At one point they broke clear and, with only the keeper to beat, bore down on goal and let fly. Richard flung himself to his right and pulled off an extraordinary save, pushing the ball round for a corner.

Richard could do nothing about Hersham’s winning goal though – an infuriating free header from a corner – but the boys continue to press forward. As the last seconds of the match died away, Scott broke clear and put a superb lob over and away from the Hersham keeper. Somehow the keeper got a fingertip to it and made a breathtaking save. Practically the whole Chidd team piled into the box for the resulting corner – but a short one was taken, put lamely over the touchline and the referee blew the full time whistle.