King Georges Field drained well after extended periods of overnight rain, but the regular deluges continuing into the Saturday morning left the surface extremely heavy, giving the impression both teams were finding it difficult to move the ball freely, passing looked laboured and forced at times.
The first half opened with a Corinthian Casuals free kick on the edge of the box looking dangerous but a tamely struck shot was well held by Ambers keeper George Marsh for the home sides only attempt on goal in the first forty five. The Ambers had much more possession and should have been the more likely to open the scoring, but heavy touches, misplaced passes and some last ditch defending in the final third restricted the Ambers to longer range efforts. Joe Re making his one hundredth appearance went close with a left foot shot over the bar, Reece Beckles Richards followed suit, and with a minute of the half remaining Mo Camara blazed an angled volley just over with only the keeper to beat. 0-0 at half time with defences clearly on top, aided by the pitch and the officials slowing the pace of the game considerably.
Zack Newton had spent the first half being well marshalled by Emmanuel Mensah & Andy Mills doubling up on the Ambers danger man each time he threatened, however within two minutes of the restart a move inside from his wide right position as Cheshunt built on their left saw a series of short passes from Re, Beckles Richards, Miles & McLean open the home defence and find Newton in the penalty box, back to goal. A feint one way & a roll the other saw him clear the attentions of Mills and stroke the ball past Dan Bracken in the home goal. The Ambers now had all of the second half to pick off Corinthians as they pressed for an equaliser. A second goal for Cheshunt should have been delivered when a long throw created panic at the Corinthians near post, the ball bounced at pace off several boots, a forest of shins, and a post before dribbling out for a goal kick. Former Amber Bobby Mills was the pick of the home team efforts, often picking the ball up & running at the Cheshunt defence, but eventually reaching Taylor Mackenzie, who steered him wide of any threat. Mensah too was having a decent game in an unfamiliar position, until a needless kick at Mo Camara & a spat with Beckles Richards blotted his copy.
Corinthians huffed & puffed their way to one on target attempt for the second half, a header from range, cleared easily from the line for a corner. Nordirbek Bobomuradov & Ola Williams came on for Cheshunt in the latter stages to provide fresh legs wide, and secure the back line. Both were successful in the objectives, Bobomuradov breaking a weak offside line & coming close to beating Bracken to a through ball in the latter stages. Late in the game a succession of corners & throw ins for Cheshunt in the Corinthians half ensured the tie was safe.
An ugly win, but a win all the same, a clean sheet, £2,500 in the bag, and into the draw for the next round (draw Monday November 1st, to be played Saturday November 13th, Wingate & Finchley league game to be rearranged).