Egham march on in the Cup
By Chris Pinn
From the Egham Town website
Egham Town’s good run of results at Honeycroft continued tonight in the first round of the League Challenge Cup. Since promotion these short trips up the road have seen Egham prevail 5-0, 3-1, 7-0 and 1-0, the latter in this competition last season. That goal, Danny Bassett’s last for Egham, was a gift from home keeper Paul McCarthy, who is clearly a generous man because he gifted the Sarnies the first goal this time round as well.
Both clubs fielded much changed starting XIs. For Egham the changes included several new faces, all with the sort of experience that should help Gary Meakin get his charges up the table and back into promotion contention. Alongside Shaun Smart, who made his debut in August but has not really featured yet, and Mitchell Gutteridge, back after a long injury break, Meakin fielded Lee Grant at centre back (all I can find is a 31 year old who has played for York City, Aston Villa and Southport; if that is this guy then that’s promising) and he had the quietest of debuts as Uxbridge were toothless. In midfield Jordan Berry (Plymouth Argyle, Harrow Borough) fitted in immediately with the experienced Peter Dean and up front Gareth Chendlik (Dorking Wanderers, Walton & Hersham, Tooting & Mitcham United, Hemel Hempstead and Harrow Borough) slotted in nicely enough to be one to capitalise in the 64th minute when McCarthy failed to deal with a cross from the right by Zak Joseph. On the bench another former Harrovian, Ethan Sennett, replaced skipper-for-the-day Reece Yorke at half-time. Sennett also has Aylesbury United and Northwood on his CV. Anthony Tyson, also on the bench, was in the Egham squad for pre-season friendlies before signing for Holmer Green.
Even with these changes Egham settled in well and should have been out of sight at the break. Dean curled an early free kick for McCarthy to touch away for a corner and later hit the foot of the right post with a free kick after a foul on Callum Webb. Kofi Boateng must have thought he had scored when his shot found a way past James Reading but Joseph executed a superb, and magnificently acrobatic clearance off the line with his left foot. A Dean corner for a Reece header should have seen the net bulge, Chendlik took one touch too many before a shot as the defence opened up in front of him and Webb’s cross found Aaron Berry head wide from a crouching position.
Chendlik came close at the foot of the right post as he tried to steer in a cross from his fellow striker but finally Egham had the lead they deserved just past the hour. Joseph ran 20 yards before firing narrowly wide from the same distance. Uxbridge offered very little up front and the second Sarnies goal was no more than the visitors deserved. The construction was sublime, Jordan and Aaron Berry combining well with a lovely one-two, the midfielder’s through ball opening up a gaping hole in the home defence and the forward did what he had yet to do this season. It was good to see him break his duck, and he nearly made it 3-0 late on when, from Joseph’s left wing driven cross, he unluckily got under the ball from close range and hit the bar from about three yards.
Hayes & Yeading United away is the reward. The Middlesex side have been forced to leave their newly renovated home because of safety issues, perhaps raising the tantalising prospect of the tie being staged at the Runnymede Stadium. Today they lost their manager: Director of football Tristan Lewis took charge of Hayes & Yeading United as caretaker manager on Tuesday night for the visit of St Ives Town after Mickey Lewis stood down as manager of EVO-STIK League Southern strugglers.[Hayes & Yeading won 1-0.]