GRANT IS ON 7th HEAVEN
By Chris Pinn
1st hat-trick for the Red Army
The Red Army arrived at Mill Meadow knowing the tough task ahead of them, the Saints have always been a bogey team having beaten us at Honeycroft earlier in the season.
On arriving at the ground we were handed the match day programme which had a picture of The Reds old boy Craig Tomkins front and centre. The teams walked out onto the field shook hands then got down to business.
Unlike most matches this season The Reds were put on the back foot in the 2nd minute when a cross from the right wing was met by Paine Who saw his free header rustle the net, 1-0. For the next few minutes Chalfont looked like a team on top of the Central Division driving forward and creating numerous chances. On 24 minutes the pressure told with Dave Thomas receiving a caution for a reckless challenge, Wayne Carter then got his team working, on 30 minutes Dave Thomas delivered a pin point cross onto the head of the skipper, he nodded it down to Reece Grant who bundled the ball over the goal line for the equaliser, 1-1, three minutes later Reece Grant received a caution after earlier being spoken to by the referee. The Reds were then attacking as a team with Chalfont going forward as individuals, on 36 minutes another sweet left footed cross by Dave Thomas was again nodded down by Wayne Carter to Kevin Warner, his shot soared just over the cross bar, the only other meaningful chance of the first half for Chalfont was well saved by Paul McCarthy, on 45+5 Dave Thomas struck a slide rule pass to Reece Grant, he skinned the defender chipped the goalkeeper then saw his shot strike the upright, Jon-Jo Bates following in was unable to bundle the ball over the line. We then went into half time all square.
The momentum then continued for The Reds, Dave Thomas had seen off his attacker, crossed another ball into the area from where Jon-Jo Bates shot over the bar, the referee then took a back seat allowing some challenges go unpunished which everyone in the ground felt should have received disciplinary action.
On 75 minutes Reece Grant again pounced on a through ball, he travelled into the penalty area before beating the keeper down low to his left, 1-2. Chalfont were reduced to long range shots none of which troubled Paul McCarthy. With the referee looking for his hospitality Jon-Jo Bates nudged the ball forward to Reece Grant, the offside trap was beaten again and we all held our breathe, he marauded into the goal area before chipping the on-rushing keeper for his third of the game and his first hat-trick for The Reds, 1-3.
The final whistle then went and we had gained 5 points from three of the top four teams in the Central Division, we had also knocked the Saints off the top spot, next up AFC Rushden and Diamonds at Honeycroft who went top after beating Hanwell Town.