PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE
SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION
SATURDAY 28th JANUARY 2023
UXBRIDGE 2 CHERTSEY TOWN 0 (HT 2-0)
It would appear a cure for the Fa Trophy hangover has been found! Saturday’s victory over The Curfews made it four games unbeaten for the Reds, subsequently this has seen them close the gap on the teams chasing a top five finish. There was one enforced change from the side that defeated Southall, Jordan Ireland replacing the unavailable David Sota. This was the third meeting between the two sides this season and honours were even with one victory each from the two games played at Alwyns Lane. A 3-1 FA Trophy win for the Reds and a 1-0 league victory for Chertsey Town.
A cagey opening saw both sides vying for the upper hand and it wasn’t until the 18th minute that the home side fashioned the first chance of the afternoon. Mark Bitmead’s corner was met by the head of centre half Luke Paris and the ball smashed against the crossbar and bounced down just shy of the goal-line. The Curfews were being well marshalled by the Reds defence and shots from long range were the only efforts that troubled Tobin’s goal. Uxbridge broke the deadlock in the 27th minute with a well worked team goal. Callum Woodcock and Kensley Maloney won the ball in midfield with the later finding Alan Hedley in space. Hedley took one touch and played a slide rule pass into the path of Anthony Mendy who calmly beat the advancing Nicholas Jupp with a low shot under the body of the Curfew’s keeper. Within ten minutes it was 2-0. Mendy and Hedley involved once again. Hedley, finding pockets of space, played a ball into the feet of the talisman striker, his first-time flick round the corner found Eitel Goueth, who expertly held off the attentions of a Chertsey defender, before producing an exquisite finish into the top-corner. Bitmead almost made it three two minutes before the break, combining well with Goueth he was through on goal with only Jupp to beat. As Jupp spread himself “Bits” attempted to lift the ball over him, the shot striking the Curfew’s custodian in the face and was cleared. Paris made a superb block to make sure the Reds took their two goal advantage into the half-time break, sliding in to deny Sam Murphy from eight yards. Half-time 2-0.
Whatever Manager Dave Anderson said to his troops at the interval it certainly had the desired effect. As soon as referee Thomas Kelly signalled the start of the second period Chertsey Town took the game to their hosts. Substitute Jordan Hamilton-Olise tested Tobin with a low shot and ten minutes into the second half the Curfews had the ball in the back of the net following a corner. Tobin in attempting to catch a deflected header was impeded by Jake Baxter and the goal was disallowed by Kelly. On the hour mark Goueth’s trickery in the box led to a chance for Ireland. Unfortunately, the midfielders side-footed attempt flew high and wide of the mark. The visitors were dominating possession and Paris did well to deflect a dangerous cross over the bar and Baxter was unlucky to see his shot on the turn smash against the upright. Tobin gratefully clutching onto a header from the rebound. With three minutes of normal time remaining, Chertsey’s comeback chances were dealt a massive blow. Baxter and Andy O’Brien challenged for the ball as it was played dangerously into the box – Tobin spotting the loose ball quickly fell onto it just before Trevan Robinson arrived with an outstretched leg, catching Tobin in the head as he lay on the ground. Both sets of players reacted to the situation and following a melee referee Kelly produced a red card for Robinson and a yellow for Osobu for his apparent aggressive reaction. Ten minutes of stoppage followed, during which Dan Williams, on for Bitmead, went close to adding a third. His header from Ireland,s cross rebounded back off the post and struck Jupp before going behind for a corner. Full-time 2-0.
This was a classic game of two halves, Uxbridge had the better of the opening forty-five but Chertsey Town certainly gave it a go in the second half and credit must be given to the Reds back-line for their resolute defending against a determined Curfew’s side. The Reds have a busy February in front of them, seven games in twenty-four days, which will have a big say in their promotion ambitions.
Uxbridge Line-up: Tobin, Woodcock, Ireland, Paris, O’Brien, Jackson, Maloney, Hedley, Bitmead, Mendy, Goueth. Subs Used: Jarra for Woodcock, Osobu for Mendy, Williams for Bitmead. Not Used: Simmo & Witham.