A cold, wet and windy day in Quenington was the scene for Saturday’s Cirencester and District League fixture as Chesterton were on their travels once again to face a tough Hatherop side.
This was an important game for the visitors. Not only as they were trying to bounce back and impress after a poor performance in their 1-0 cup victory the week before but also because they were set to face the only side to take points from them this season, after a 2-2 draw in the earlier home tie.
Managers Tim Bond and Jordan Stallard made it very clear to the players that they needed a quick start and to be firing on all cylinders from the off.
The players responded when, only six minutes into the game, Will Power played a smart pass to George Peare, who would make no mistake one-on-one as he drilled the ball across the ‘keeper into the opposite corner.
There was no time for the hosts to even contemplate what had happened as, only a minute later, Chesterton were marauding down the right wing with Aaron Perry, who drove into the box and delivered a pass just behind the strikers.
Much to the delight of Chesterton, the ball took an unexpected deflection off a Hatherop defender which saw the ball nestle in the bottom corner of the goal. After only seven minutes of action, it was 2-0 to the away side.
10 minutes in and Perry was causing trouble for the Hatherop left-back again. This time, he played the ball inside to Josh Russell who turned his man and floated a left-footed cross to the back post where Peare was found waiting to head in a third of the game.
Despite what could only be considered a dream start for the visitors, they didn’t take their foot off the gas. In the 16th minute, Chesterton were on the attack again. Kieran Jones played a clinical pass to Peare who secured his hat-trick and a four-goal advantage for the away side with well over 70 minutes to go.
The Hatherop ‘keeper managed to stem the flow of goals with some good shot stopping. He was also helped by a couple of wasted chances, one in particular from Russell who saw an effort from his weaker right-foot sail over the crossbar.
However, in the 30th minute, the visitors were back at it again as Russell made up for his earlier miss when the ball fell kindly to him from another good stop. This time he made no mistake and calmly slotted the ball into the net.
In the 34th minute, Peare was in the thick of it again. After some fantastic work down the left from Joe Stratford, he found himself one-on-one with the keeper, once again. Striking into the far corner giving, he secured his 4th goal of the game, giving Chesterton a 6-0 lead at the half-time break.
With the half-time team talk being ‘more of the same’ from Bond and Stallard, Chesterton continued on the front foot in the second period. The visitors enjoyed some early chances thanks to fantastic quick passing, which resulted in a couple of wasted opportunities in front of goal.
Despite the visitor’s wastefulness, they would add to their tally just five minutes after the break, registering a 7th goal of the afternoon through Russell.
Just ten minutes later and the pairing of Perry and Peare would link up again. With both players challenging for most assists and top scorer, respectively, they added to their tallies again with Peare despatching Perry’s pass.
With eight goals on the scoreboard, Chesterton rung the changes, introducing the fresh legs of Tom Cox, Chris Linnell and Matt Lammond, who replaced Aaron Perry, Jonny Barham and Josh Russell.
With the new faces settling into the game from the off, Hatherop remained on the back foot. And, just five minutes after stepping onto the pitch, substitute Lammond found himself amongst the action as he provided Peare for his 6th goal, putting the visitors 9-0 up.
After an impressive display from Barham, breaking up the play and protecting the back line, replacement Linnell would follow suit winning numerous headers and tackles in the midfield.
He even impressed teammates and fans with some quality passes down the flanks. One of which put Power through on goal. Unfortunately, though, he put the ball wide, opening up his body to put the ball back across the keeper and ultimately missing the target.
Into the final minutes of the game and making use of the rolling subs feature, Barham and Russell were sent back into the action where they would combine for the final bit action of the day.
After some hard battling in the midfield, Barham broke free with the ball before playing it into the feet of Russell. After continuing his run, he would receive possession back giving him the opportunity to slot the ball through the onrushing ‘keepers legs.
This effort made it double figures for Chesterton – not for the first time this season.
After clinical finishing in front of goal, George Peare would be named Man of the Match for his six goals. However, Bond and Stallard reserved special praise for Joe Stratford who showed his quality and was an equal contender for the accolade.
Man of the Match: George Peare
The club would like to thank everyone that shows support to the team and come to watch the games, despite the weather. Your support is greatly appreciated by all involved with Chesterton.