City ended up cruising to a comfortable victory over a poor Cheshunt
side but it looked far from being straight forward in the opening
stages of the game when the home side looked strong and caused us
problems with their direct approach. However some sloppy defending
contributed to Cheshunt's downfall and enabled our new strike partnership
to bolster their confidence with both Welsh and Corbett opening
their accounts for the season. City will be happy enough with the
points and a good job well done, but on this showing Cheshunt have
much to fear from the season and we won't be the only side leaving
their place with all of the points.
City could easily have found themselves a goal behind in the opening
stages as Cheshunt looked the more convincing attacking outfit with
a direct and physical attack that forced both Hamblin and Tomkins
to stretch their legs. The main Cheshunt threat came through Dean
Fenton on the left and he forced a good save from Matt Bath who
needed to dive at full length to palm his effort wide. Soon after
Cheshunt captain Nick Gyoury spurned a good opportunity as he planted
a free header wide from a corner.
City didn't collapse though and continued to enjoy more of the
ball. Finally we managed to match Cheshunt's strength in the final
third and just after the half hour Jason Welsh made the breakthrough.
Mike Fowler kept the ball alive and turned it back into the Cheshunt
goal mouth where both Corbett and Sykes were involved in a scramble
on the six yard box. Cheshunt failed to clear their lines and with
the ball loose in their penalty area Jason Welsh was able to turn
sharply and crash the ball past the keeper to claim his first goal
in City colours.
The goal seemed to knock the stuffing completely out of Cheshunt
and City pressed forward and quickly doubled the lead. City earned
a corner after the Corbett and Welsh strike partnership showed some
promising signs the pair can work together, Corbett producing a
good save from Kalli in the Cheshunt goal as he picked up a Welsh
knock down to drive goalward from 25 yards. Sykes took the resulting
corner and Cheshunt were punished for woeful marking as Corbett
was left completely unattended to turn the ball in at the far post.
After the break City extended the lead after another bit of slack
defending. Corbett was given all day to collect the ball down th
left and having slipped beyond a defender found time to wait for
support to arrive and pick out Jason Welsh in the goalmouth, the
big forward having no hesitation in volleying in the cross from
close range. It was all looking to easy for City and although Cheshunt
managed to shore things up the damage was done and City could sit
back and afford to admire the emerging sunshine with the points
safely in the bag. The match drifted to an uneventful conclusion
but Tim Harris took advantage of the opportunity to test the legs
of some of his subs.
City's Mike Fowler was on the end of a clumsy late tackle from
Cheshunt's Glen Parry, but that did ease the path for the welcome
return of City skipper Neil Mustoe who enjoyed the last 20 minutes
of the match and his first taste of competitive football since that
terrible double fractured leg sustained against Evesham in February.
Mustoe showed some good touches and also managed to lambast the
ref, and any fear he might avoid challenges were laid to rest as
he was lucky to avoid a yellow card for a thumping tackle. All in
all, a very encouraging return. City's Adie Harris also got a brief
run out to test his hamstring, with the ever popular Lee Randall
also getting a brief late cameo appearance before the final whistle.
T-Ender Match Snaps
With Aaron Wilson
missing for a family wedding Tim Harris started with both Alex Sykes
and Jamie Reid in the side, drafting Adie Harris on to the subs'
bench after his hamstring problems.
"If Luke Corbett
could do the easy things as well as the difficult things he wouldn't
be playing for us".
That left wing-back
spot is still causing us problems with Jonny Miller looking distinctly
ill at ease when asked to defend on his weak foot. A better side
could have made us pay but with Cheshunt collapsing like an American
foreign policy initiative we were never forced to re-think.
This match saw Lyndon
Tomkins finally clock up his 50th appearance for City, a milestone
worth marking as the burly centre-half is now in his fifth season
with the club. It is an achivement for persistence after that awful
freak knee injury delayed his debut for two years and even last
Spring his City career looked to be on borrowed time as loan players
arrived and Tim Harris released him on loan to Bishop's Cleeve.
When injury gave Lyndon another chance he took it, and his most
recent games have been amongst his most effective in the side.
Again you feel we haven't
quite clicked into our best form yet but you can only beat the team
in front of you, and City deserved the comprehensive victory over
a weak Cheshunt side. Tim Harris will be most pleased that both
his strikers found the net today, we need them in form if we're
to make a serious bid for a place in the higher reaches of the table
we currently find ourselves.
City's win takes us up to 4th, partly because the division is
already showing how closely matched most of the teams are, with
no side now able to boast a 100% record. However Northwood did
enough to suggest their surprise early season form isn't just
luck as they held title favourites Bath City to a goalless draw
at Twerton Park, while much fancied King's Lynn season continues
to splutter as they were also held to a 1-1 draw at Maidenhead
The new league leaders are Mangotsfield United who left Rugby
with a 2-0 win, the second goal coming in the last minute courtesy
of a ginat kick from keeper Steve Book. Cirencester remain without
a win after a goalless draw at home to Merthyr Tydfil. Defeat
today leaves Cheshunt bottom.