18 Apr 2018
Cheshunt were heading into one of the most important matches of their season so far, todays match presented them with the opportunity of three vital points which would aid their attempts at survival massively. The relegation zone was looming for the Amber Army and a win in this fixture would play a major hand in helping them steer clear of last place in the table.
The game began in a fast, ferocious and fierce manner, both teams were throwing everything they had into their tackles and their headers. The main chances of the opening ten minutes were Joe Bruce connecting with a corner at the front post and glancing a header just wide for Grays; about a minute later Ricky Sappleton controlled a goal kick from Richard Hayward, who then laid it off for Emeil Aiken, who could only manage to drive the ball right into Lamar Johnson’s welcoming gloves.
Five minutes before half time Cheshunt’s Richard Hayward pulled off an astounding piece of goalkeeping to keep the fixture at deadlock. Tom Wade picked up the ball in the final third and played an intelligent through ball out wide to James Folkes, he then cut it back onto his left foot and curled in a sumptuous cross to Joao Carlos who volleyed it towards the near post. What had looked like a certain goal was prevented by Richard Hayward flying across the goal to get his gloves on the ball. Despite his miraculous acrobatics he was only able to parry it back into the danger zone however Carlos was unable to finish once again as his strike was sensationally stopped by Hayward. Cheshunt had survived, the score at half time was 0-0.
The second half began in a similar vein to the first, the game was very intense and extremely physical. About twelve minutes into the half Grays Athletic found an opening, the play was spread to the left wing and Adeyinka Cole found Tom Wade at the back post who hammered a sweet volley into the back of the net. However, his celebrations were halted by the sight of the linesman holding up the flag for offside, Cheshunt lived to see another day.
The deadlock was soon to be broken, Ryan Kukoyi picked up the ball in the Cheshunt midfield and fizzed a great ball into the substitute Kyle Roberts, Kyle then played a quick and clever one two with his strike partner Ricky Sappleton and viscously struck the ball across goal into the back of the net! The home
fans exploded with delight as the super sub Kyle Roberts had scored an essential goal for Cheshunt! 1-0 to the Amber Army!
The game continued to be played in the same fast and physical tone, both goalkeepers made incredulous 1 on 1 saves at either end and right at the death, Joao Carlos’ frustration got the better of him; Amadou won the ball from him again and took his anger out on the brilliant midfielder by aggressively stamping on him. The referee added insult to injury for Grays and showed him a red card sending the Grays forward for an early bath.
The remainder of the game seemed to agonisingly drag on for the Ambers, however the referee did eventually blow the full-time whistle and bring relief to all players and fans within the stadium. Cheshunt had secured an essential three points in their bid for survival, largely due to an outstanding performance from Richard Hayward the veteran goalkeeper. Cheshunt ended victors on the day and the Amber Army marches on!
By Tom Mangan
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