The FA Trophy week left us without a competitive fixture last Saturday, but we didn’t have far to look to find an opportunity to keep the squad match fit & competitive. Our tenants & good friends FC Romania were without a match too, so a bit of team building & a match was   welcome entertainment at Theobalds Lane. Cheshunt ran out 4-1 winners, but I was more pleased to have the chance to see some of the newer members of the squad and some trialists in a competitive match. The post match challenge of a darts match with the Amber Army was entertaining, as they edged a tight match 6-0 with 150+ lucky throws to deny us victory. I was particularly honoured to have the opportunity to team up with Ugo, who managed to score ONE on three separate occasions, proving twice the first instance was no fluke, not often you get to partner that sort of quality!

Back to the subject of trialists, a call from Phoenix Sports about a mid season match was an opportunity to take a look at a lot of the player recommendations that land on my desk. I assembled a side of trialists, backed up by a couple of regulars and a good match with a few familiar faces trialling for Phoenix Sports was had, Cheshunt led 3-2 when time was called ahead of the incoming storm, Two goals from the talented finisher Jesse Friend  who was denied a hat trick by the post with a great curling shot from distance plus an outrageous pass bent around the defence to put our centre forward Shae Hutchinson  through for the third was a great contribution, although Jesse had to retire with a dislocated shoulder that thankfully popped back in on the night, early indications are he is ok, and will see Physio Elliot for checks. Zubayr bossed the middle on the night, appearing to have more time than everyone else, I was pleased to see him helping the players around him through the match.  I have invited some of the trialists from the Phoenix Sports match to Thursday’s session, and hope our hosts also benefitted from staging the match with the trial lists they had playing.

After trimming the squad recently, I had a very difficult decision to reach, with one of the nicest guys at the club this week. We have said ‘au revoir’ to Enock Ekongo, and wish him every success as he furthers his career elsewhere.  Enock is one of the fittest players in Non League, and a genuinely nice guy. He has worked with us as we have changed formations and starting line ups without complaint, often playing out of position, and even completed a loan spell helping the Roms out when their squad was decimated and Ion took them back on. It is hard to see Enock go, and in meeting with him, it was a tough decision for both of us, but he needs & deserves to be commanding a starting position and we have to respect that, Good Luck Enock, we will look out for your future successes.

With the squad trimmed it’s important to ensure we have a full complement to select from, and the odd knock to recover from, I am pleased to see players coming through sessions without reactions and will be meeting with Elliot the Physio after the Thursday session to ensure I have a full complement to select from on Saturday. I am very pleased to share with you today that Stevenage have agreed to extend the loan of Theo Alexandrou, In chatting with Theo, he is enjoying his time with us and the experience it gives him. (How good was it to see two youngsters from Stevenage in the number 7 shirts in the recent match against Potters Bar? …….We discussed the performance at Potters Bar & I was pleased with a lot of the play on the night, and pleased we eventually got something from the match, although we had to wait til the end to get it.

Weather permitting I am looking forward to a trip to Whitehawk, a club with a not dissimilar record to our own, in climbing into the National League South with successive promotions, but not being able to sustain it. They are back on the up now , with a promotion last year & have given a good account of themselves in the first quarter of this season, sitting in a play off place at the moment, it will be a challenge, but we have had a break to prepare, I will be ready, the coaches know what I want & the squad will be well prepared & ready for what should be a good match. I hope many of you can make it to the South Coast , I love it when I hear the Cheshunt fans at away matches, and I know it gives the players a lift to know they haven’t travelled alone.

C’mon You Ambers !                     Craig.