|North Greenford United||0|
North Greenford’s fine victory over Bedworth United on Saturday was followed by a Tuesday evening trip to Chertsey Town.
Playing with determination and commitment during the opening period, United did well to prevent a strong Curfews team taking a first half lead, ensuring the two teams went in at the interval with the score remaining at 0-0.
The match, however, ended in huge disappointment for the Blues, as not only did Chertsey eventually win the game by two goals to nil, second half frustrations led to five players receiving cautions and midfielder Wayne Jackson being shown the red card by referee Andrew Roberts for two bookable offences.
The match began at a lively pace and promised to provide an entertaining, evenly matched contest. Greenford were doing well to close down the Chertsey players in midfield, as well as creating several scoring opportunities, with Alex Paine coming close with a long range effort on thirteen minutes.
It wasn’t until the match was some twenty minutes old that the Curfews front line showed how dangerous it could be if allowed to run at the United defence. In a swift counter attack the ball was played out to Phil Page on the left. Page delivered a fine cross which was met by Daniel Bennett whose first time shot sailed just inches over the Greenford crossbar.
A few minutes later the home side won their first corner which was dealt with comfortably and United continued to compete well in the midfield areas winning a number of free kicks in good positions. Deliveries from these were disappointing though and did not trouble the strong Curfews back line who ensured keeper Tom Lovelock was never seriously tested.
With the interval approaching Chertsey raised the tempo and Greenford had to rely on some brave last ditch defending and several good stops by keeper Richard McCabe during goal mouth scrambles to prevent the Curfews opening their account.
Chertsey began the second period as they had finished the first and began to frustrate the United players. Midfielder Danny Bennell was the first to find his name in referee Roberts’ book, followed shortly afterwards by Jackson in what, to be honest, appeared a fifty-fifty tussle with a Curfews player.
The deadlock was finally broken in the fifty-fifth minute when McCabe misjudged a high cross into the box and, with the United keeper stranded, Bennett had the easiest of chances and made no mistake as he drove the ball into the back of the Blues net.
Greenford did all they could to try and find a way back into the match but were unable to penetrate the Curfews defence in the final third. However, the Blues kept their slim chances alive by preventing the home side extending their lead until, with less than ten minutes of the match remaining, substitute Eddie Smith, making a run through the middle, spotted McCabe off his line and scored with a neatly executed lob.
Along the way United had picked up three more cautions, as Charlie Hill, Anthony O’Conner and Ricky Pither had all been shown yellow. Then in the dying moments Jackson was adjudged to have committed his second bookable offence and was sent from the field of play.
It was a most frustrating end to what had begun as a promising evening for North Greenford. The players will now have to put their disappointment behind them as they focus on preparing for Sunday’s FA Cup First Qualifying Round game against Wokingham & Emmbrook. The game is being played at Bracknell’s stadium and kicks off at 3.00pm.
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