Cheshunt visited Bognor Regis Town to play their game in hand, knowing a win would put them into 5th place , the final play off position. The continued long term injuries & illness meant the Ambers looked to the squad again, knowing the quality was available to both cover & compete for a start in the remaining games, including the forthcoming cup final.
Bognor Regis had escaped from Theobalds Lane with a one nil win earlier in the season, and the controversy around wrong sending offs and missing minutes. There would be no repeat tonight with Mr James Robinson in charge.
The home side started brightly and passed the ball around on a well prepared grass surface that suited both teams. Low crosses from both sides had to be dealt with by the Ambers defence, and there were several sharp intakes of breath when a couple span all the way across the Ambers box, Bognor needed a fox in the box for these. Cheshunt weathered the Bognor advances & saw Jamie Roberts test former Cheshunt keeper Amadou Tangara with a shot, then former Bognor player Kayne Diedrick Roberts showed his pace & skill to whip a cross in for Mo Camara, his full length diving header beating the keeper but alas also the far post by inches. Camara then went just wide of the other post with a blistering shot on the turn as he ran across the Bognor back line looking for an opening.
Top scorer Rowan Liburd tested Tangara with a shot from distance the keeper did well to deflect around the post, and towards the end of the half Joe re struck a wicked swerving shot that needed tipping over the bar as it dipped very late in its flight & nearly caught the keeper out.
0-0 at half time , the Ambers with the better chances, but the home side not without a threat, Preston Edwards alert to everything they had to offer so far.
The second half followed the pattern of the first initially, with both sides building up well and passing the ball forward and finding space. Then Cheshunt went up a gear, they played their passes faster, their clearance headers found Cheshunt players, and most importantly they gave Bognor no time on the ball to choose their pass, picking off passes in midfield and setting Diedrick Roberts and then Beckles Richards free to run at the Bognor defence. Jamie Roberts buzzed around the midfield area like an angry wasp, constantly on top of the home players before they could make a decision. Under pressure the Rocks started conceding corners, from a Nick Dib corner the run of Taylor Mackenzie caused panic in the defence and hacked clearances only made it as far as Rowan Liburd, swivelling around to be clear of any challenge he hit a low drive to beat the diving Tangara and open the scoring.
The Ambers doubled their lead when a Crowther clearance found Nick Dib, his cushioned header found Joe Re, who spotted Beckles Richards starting a run on the last man centrally, with the Bognor left back stranded in an advanced position, Re clipped a pass over the square line into the space, too controlled for keeper Tangara to stand any hope of beating Beckles Richards to the ball, the keeper concentrated on his angles & set himself large, Beckles Richards took one touch to steer the ball towards the goal and with his second touch blasted the ball between Tangara & his near post when the keeper was possibly expecting the shot across him. (For the record, the video showed Beckles Richards had timed the run perfectly and was onside when the ball was played)
Beckles Richards needed one more goal to match the tally of Rowan Liburd, and thought he had it when he poked home a Diedrick Roberts cross, alas this time he had gone fractionally early and was just off side.
Bognor’s Alfie Bridgeman kept the Ambers defence on their toes in the latter stages, but the Ambers have shown a quality this season of being able to maintain their intensity for a full ninety minutes, and a tired Bognor side were not able to match their visitors in the last quarter, leaving the Ambers to pick up the valuable three points they came for.