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Saturday 24 October 1998: Alwyns Lane

Chertsey Town v. CITY

F.A. Trophy 1st Round


City's Team
Kemp (c)

Keeling (for Hemmings, 70)
Wyatt (for Holloway, 82)

City began the long trek towards Wembley even earlier than previously following the restructuring of the competition. The yellow and black hordes descended on the tiny ground of their Ryman Division 1 opposition slightly incredulous that the game was still on in the pouring rain. Chertesy's pitch was obviously in better condition than the rest of their ground though, and despite the torrential downpour and the high winds the game went ahead.

Following the previous week's 10-0 stuffing of Sudbury hopes were understandably high, and it soon became apparent Chertsey lacked the physical presence in defence to withstand the Gloucester attack. Callinan had an early chance, but most of the early activity was in the centre of the park where both sides were sliding in somewhat rashly. Webb was first in the book (no really), with a few Chertsey players soon following.

Burns thought he'd given City a lead in the 24th minute, but his goal was disallowed for a handball by Kemp in the earlier mle. Both teams were finding it difficult to keep their footing, City suffering the most as the forwards slipped as they tried to steady themselves for shots. Hemmings was proving typically tricky, but several times fell as he tried to make the telling cross. It was Hemmings who eventually made the advantage tangible when he ran on to a beautiful chip over the top from Webb, leaving Hemmo to round the keeper and score. Minutes later Mings made it two, latching onto a Holloway pass to shoot, initially at the keeper, but into the net on the second attempt.

With the second half sending the intrepid T-Enders down to the uncovered end of the ground it seemed inevitable that the rain should accelerate from heavy to torrential rainforest downpour. However the soaked away fans barely noticed as their team confirmed their superiority. A keeping change couldn't save Chertsey when Mings went on a storming run that saw defenders bounce off him before he easily ghosted past the new arrival for his second.

The pressure was all from City as Mings almost got his third after a pacey charge from Holloway. A 4th did come though, as Hemmings and Mings exchanged passes and Hemmo's pace sent him onto the return before the demoralised defence could prevent him rifling home. The goal glut was completed when Mings' strength won the ball for Hemmings to send the ball trickling along the heavy pitch to complete a memorable if wet hatrick.

His celebrations must have some how mimicked a rain dance as minutes later the rain became ridiculous and all but the hardy (or insane) scuttled for cover. The game became a farce in the conditions and both teams resorted to long balls to minimise the chances of making an embarrassing mistake. Keeling replaced the hatrick hero, and almost scored with his first touch but his shot skidded straight at the keeper. Gary Thorne almost made that embarrassing error as he slipped and diverted the ball past Mokler, but fortunately onto the bar rather than into his own net. Chertsey bravely made a fight back but couldn't grab the consolation goal their sheer friendliness had deserved.

City Scorers
Mings (43, 47)
Mings, Webb

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