Saturday’s fixture saw Chesterton hosting only their third home game this season against Kingshill FC in what could be considered as a local derby.
With confidence running high after a dominant 10-0 away win last week, the message to the starting eleven was to get an early grip on the game and be quick out of the blocks once more.
However, the visitors had other ideas in mind and, despite having only won once in the league this season, Kingshill were keen to defy the odds and cause an upset.
It looked as though the away side might just pull this off as they seemed to be getting the better of the early exchanges and causing the hosts some issues.
This quick start by the visitors eventually led to them taking a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute.
After a lack of communication at the back saw a poor clearance fall nicely on the edge of the box, Kingshill man Lee Rhodes met the ball on the rise with a sweetly struck volley that evaded keeper Ryan Heaven to open the scoring.
Caught by surprise due to the visitor’s approach to this game, Chesterton knew how vital the next goal would be. The hosts had to raise their game a level and gain control of the match.
24 minutes in and they would find themselves on a promising attack down the left wing through Joe Stratford, who cut back and played a smart pass to Will Power on the edge of the box. Power took one touch before delivering a dangerous ball towards the back post that found its way into the far corner of the net to level the score at 1-1.
Having regained some control in the game, the league leaders were reminded that they still had to be wary of the Kingshill attack when a long hopeful ball forward by the visitors bounced dangerously into the Chesterton area.
This needed to be dealt with by centre-back Danny Bishop who acrobatically removed the threat on goal with an overhead kick clearance to prevent a second of the afternoon for the visitors.
This close call was perhaps just what Chesterton needed as moments later they would go on to make it 2-1.
After working the ball well through the midfield, possession would find its way to target man George Peare, who steered the ball around the corner to Josh Russell, who struck low and hard across the keeper to find the back of the net.
With the scores close and the game a more open than the host would have liked, managers Tim Bond and Jordan Stallard looked to make some early changes, bringing on Tom Cox and Matt Lammond to try and offer more going forward.
While both subs made good, immediate impacts to the game, the hosts were unable to break down away side who defended resolutely to keep the score at 2-1 going into half-time.
After a tightly contested first half, both sides knew what they had to do in the next 45 minutes to get something from this game.
Just like in the first half, Kingshill would start off the better team when an early attack was only denied thanks to a goal-line clearance from captain Dan Jones to preserve Chesterton’s one-goal advantage.
This early pressure from the away side was short-lived, however, as Chezzie took control of the half and, in the 73rd minute, would go on to increase the lead to 3-1 after a free-kick delivery from Russell was met at the back post by the head of Peare.
With the third goal proving to be a late catalyst for the home side, they would put the visitors under further pressure.
This time, Power played a well-timed through ball down the inside of the Kingshill left-back. This was met by a run from the right wing by Stratford who took one touch inside the covering centre-back before unleashing a right foot finish into the top corner.
With three points now in the bag, the home side only needed to see out the game. However, in true Chesterton style, they went on to add another goal in the 89th minute when Mitch Stone was first to react to a good save from Kingshill keeper Chris Reynolds.
With the last action of the game, it looked like Kingshill would grab themselves a late consolation as their striker was brought down in the box, resulting in the referee blowing for a penalty. However, this late drama took a twist as the ref’s assistant had his flagged raised. After a lengthy discussion, it was deemed that the player brought down came from an offside position.
After showing a solid defensive display that saw him make some vital clearances, win multiple headers while also showing composure with the ball at his feet when playing out from the back, Danny Bishop would be named as this week’s man of the match.
Man of the match: Danny Bishop