Cheshunt 0 Bishop’s Stortford 0.
Cheshunt win 4-3 on penalties.
Star Man George Marsh. Cheshunt.
Fourth v Fifth in the Isthmian Premier, a fourteen match unbeaten run versus a fifteen match unbeaten run, going head to head in the FA Trophy, something had to give today. A depleted Cheshunt squad with thirteen fit players took the field with Manager Craig Edwards confident the side selected would deliver. Bishop’s Stortford made changes too to account for cup tied regulars.
The match started at pace & no quarter was given, Cheshunt were forced into a reshuffle early when Enock Ekongo suffered a head injury & Mo Camara slotted into midfield and Amadou Kassarate took on the right back role.
The action took place for most of the half in the central areas as both sides fought to wrestle control of the game. Final balls from both sides were too long, misplaced or not beating a first man and forwards fed on scraps, Merrifield & Cass looked dangerous for the Blues on occasion, their best chance of the half being a free kick, powerfully struck, on target, but straight into the midriff of Ambers keeper George Marsh. The home crowd had something to cheer when Zack Newton went on a mazy run into the Stortford box and a shot from in form Rowan Liburd was well saved with an outstretched leg by Jack Giddens deflecting the ball onto the post & out for a corner.
The second half saw more of the same as well organised defences snuffed out advances into the final thirds at both ends, and the midfield continued their wrestling match, sometimes quite literally. Yellow cards started to be flourished and as the game went on there was an expectation of perhaps a red card more than a goal. Stortford pressed in the final twenty and took the upper hand but failed to finish, Cheshunt held out for the draw and a penalty shoot out.
Both pairs of strikers despatched their penalties for 2-2, Jonathon Giles then hit the bar for the Blues, his opposite number Taylor Miles gave Cheshunt the advantage, successful penalties saw the score at 4-3 when George Marsh dived full length to his right to save Stortford’s last attempt and send Cheshunt further than they have been before in this competition.