10 Dec 2020
A pitch dusted white with frost greeted the travelling Ambers on the visit to Lowestoft Town in the FA Trophy on Tuesday night, with referee Tom Harvey pacing up & down to make a decision. A Mark Hughes keepball session that appeared to spread out further & further the longer it went on soon cleared the frost from the Cheshunt end.
The match kicked off on time in front of 200 hardy fans, most of whom hoped for a repeat of the last Lowestoft v Cheshunt match, when the Trawlerboys won the Ryman North League in front of 2000 & live radio commentary on the last day of a season a few years back best forgotten by the Ambers when we contributed to the party sliding to a heavy defeat. The current Cheshunt team are a different challenge & soon took the game to the home side, Mo Camara rampaging through their back line on several occasions in the opening minutes only to be thwarted by an alert Luis Tibbles in the Blues goal.
The Ambers stifled a Lowestoft attack on our right, captain Ola Williams calmly switched play to fellow fullback Daniel Ojo who played into the middle and out quickly releasing Reece Beckles Richards with the opportunity to run at the home defence, backing off and forcing him inside as he looked for a shot worked but dragged too many back leaving Anderson Pinto free , Beckles Richards found him with a crisp pass and one touch was all that was needed to tee up a thunderbolt that crashed in off the underside of the bar with Tibbles rooted to the spot wondering what the bang behind him may have been.
Lowestoft hit back looking to attack wide & get behind the Ambers, with Kieran Higgs prominent, but the Ambers defence held firm, well marshalled by the vocal return of Shane Gore to goalkeeping duties . Crowther & Arthur kept dangerman Jake Reed quiet & fullbacks Ojo & Williams had both the pace and the measure working out both wide players were onesided & needed two cut backs to buy time making a decision. In front of the defence Joe Re was taking a battering as his clever turns left the Blues captain Fisk resorting to fouls to slow moves down, Jamie Reynolds went about his business pinging passes back & forth, covering huge amounts of ground, as out ball fro the defence and return ball for the forwards, his pin point passing releasing Beckles Richards & Zack Newton to run at defenders, confidently knowing Mo Camara was going to be a target in the box and the visionary Anderson Pinto would be lurking in space for a cut back or following in Camara’s wake. Camara was a constant menace & put one header just wide, and another on the roof of the net, before the half ended with a Beckles Richards free kick to the top corner tipped away one handed with the save of the match by Tibbles. Half time with the Ambers in the ascendancy, and having the measure of anything the home side tried in a bid to draw level.
In below freezing conditions the pitch held up well, and both teams played it very well, leaving referee Tom Harvey confident of starting the second half, however, no sooner than he had retired for a half time cuppa, a blanket of fog descended on Crown Meadow, not a swirling mist, but an all embracing heavy duvet of a fog, now it wasn’t the frost threatening the match, but whether we would restart being able to see both sides of the pitch! Do we wait & see if it clears , or get going and see where it takes us?
We kick off on time and the Ambers continue where they left off, closing down Lowestoft at every opportunity and early, this is winning the ball back in the opposition half and enveloping the home side in an Amber fog.
Referee Harvey constantly checks his linesmen can still see across the pitch, thumbs up from both and obligatory off side decisions to prove it & a competitive match continues , Cheshunt double their lead & Pinto his tally when a dangerous low cross is partially cleared and a slick short pass gives him the opportunity to place a passed shot across Tibbles into the corner ten minutes into the half.
Camara earned the goal his performance deserved 5 minutes later, putting the match beyond Lowestoft when his physical presence on the penalty spot enabled him to reach out and push home a bouncing ball, with the keeper & two defenders for company in the challenge.
Lowestoft captain Fisk continued to chirrup at every tackle whilst advising the referee on his duties and was now an expert weatherman too, The Ambers made their first substitution bringing on experienced forward Derek Asamoah , his very presence appearing to cause the Lowestoft fog to give up, clearing for the final twenty minutes. Nana Adarkwa replaced Beckles Richards in the final stages, but the most significant substitution of the night saw Maleace Asamoah make his debut in a competitive Cheshunt match alongside his father Derek, on the same pitch. We have at Cheshunt had a Manager /Son combination on a few occasions, we have seen brothers occasionally, but this event definitely needs the history books checking, many congratulations to Maleace & Derek on a fantastic achievement, most of us progress from the local park to perhaps an end of season Fathers v Sons match which we all take more seriously than perhaps we should? but to achieve the feat in a competitive FA Trophy cup tie for a step 3 side is truly excellent, and one to throw out to the historians out there…… how many more examples are out there?
The match ended with the Ambers in total control, but alas a late red for Mo Camara when he reacted to a foul, he perhaps didn’t need to. An apology to the referee for having to make the decision went a long way to realising the error, and didn’t stop a number of Lowestoft officials queing up to ask the Match Day Sec if Cheshunt might be open to offers for the player they considered to be MOTM ……sorry Gents , definitely not .
A big thank you to the Lowestoft officials who were very efficient and professional in their duties in this Covid tainted season, and were generous in their allocation of facilities (and access to the burger bar.)
The last thank you should go to referee Tom Harvey & his assistants , who held their nerve, let the match go ahead in the first instance and played their way through the potential issues of fog, putting in a great performance, it was a good match to watch, plenty of talking points including potential penalties both ways, managed with good communication & common sense.
The next round of the FA trophy comes around quickly, next Tuesday evening when the Ambers travel to a ground familiar to manager Craig Edwards as Monday lunchtime’s draw pitched Dulwich Hamlet at home v Cheshunt.Back +
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