Chesterton AFC ran out winners in the club’s first ever competitive fixture on Saturday, recording a 4-2 victory over reigning Cirencester and District League champions Intel FC. The victory came courtesy of hattrick hero Josh Russell and wing-backs, Dave Seales and Joe Stratford, who worked tirelessly all afternoon.
The club’s first goal of the 2018/19 campaign came after some good build-up play, which led to the Intel goalkeeper fumbling an initial shot from Russell after George Peare’s pass. Despite being saved, the ball fell kindly into the path of the onrushing Russell, whose second attempt was hit low into the bottom corner of the net, giving the visitors a well-deserved lead.
A second for Chesterton came shortly after when a clearance from the Intel defence fell to centre-back Brad Robinson. After a nice touch, he found midfielder Kieran Jones, who then drove 10 yards before hitting a strike low into the goal, giving Intel’s ‘keeper no chance.
The half-time whistle ended the visitors’ momentum and a lapse of concentration five minutes after the break gave Intel a way back into the match. A one-two through the midfield led to a shooting opportunity for James Archer, who beat Ryan Heaven in the Chezzie goal.
Despite a momentary setback, Chesterton continued to press and an eye-catching phase of football saw them restore their two-goal advantage when Russell grabbed his second of the afternoon. The forward’s 30-yard strike caught the opposition ‘keeper by surprise, causing him to fumble into the back of the net.
However, Intel went on to reduce the deficit once more after a long run down the left channel and a cut back on the edge of the box found James Joyce who calmly beat the visitors’ last defender before smashing home. It was perhaps underserved given the run of play and it would not keep the hosts in the game for long.
Now that Intel’s legs were tiring, they were susceptible to the counter-attack. After some nice combination play from Jones, Russell and winger Dave Seales, the ball found itself to centre-forward Peare, who ran between two defenders into the box before being chopped down from behind. Penalty to Chesterton.
Russell stepped up to take the spot-kick, coolly slotting home to claim his hattrick while ensuring Chezzie’s first competitive victory and a vital three points against tough opposition.
Man of the Match: Josh Russell