It was Alex Cars Charities Cup quarter-final day on Saturday and Chesterton were on their travels, once again, this time to face Sherston FC, in what would be the first meeting between the two sides this season.
As they aimed to reach the first semi-final in the club’s history, the visitors looked threatening from the off. An early through ball from Chris Linnell put striker Josh Russell in on goal. However, the Chesterton forward was denied by a well-timed tackle from the Sherston centre-back.
Seconds later and the visitors would find the early breakthrough from a creative exchange orchestrated by Russell.
A ball played by Joe Stratford was dummied by both Will Power and George Peare at the request of Russell, who then played a first-time pass into the continued run of Peare, who confidently struck the ball past the keeper to make it 1-0.
In just the 4th minute, Peare doubled his tally, after some good work from Tom Cox down the left flank put him in a crossing position. He utilised the space brilliantly, cutting the ball back to the striker, who added a second for the away side.
In a relentless opening five minutes from the visitors, Peare would complete a quick hat-trick. After seeing his initial shot blocked on the line, he reacted quickest in the box to poke the rebound beyond the man on the line and make it 3-0 to Chesterton.
Despite a lightning start, the difference would stay at three going into the half-time break. However, the scoreline does not reflect the full story as the away side could have scored several more had it not been for some brilliant last-ditch defending from the hosts.
Starting the second half as they did the first, Chesterton made it 4-0 in the 47th minute when a corner from Aaron Perry was met by the head of Danny Bishop, who leapt higher than his marker to head back across goal, beating the defender at the far post.
57 minutes in, after some quick one-touch passing down the right, Mitch Stone found himself in a decent crossing position and delivered an inviting ball that narrowly beat the two Chezzie front men.
However, with a slice of luck, the ball would make its way to Tom Cox, who set himself with his first touch before releasing a ferocious driven shot straight down the throat of the keeper. 5-0, and Chesterton were not stopping there.
In the 72nd minute, substitute Dave Seales would add his name to the list of scorers after getting on the end of Aaron Perry’s cross to make it six for Chesterton.
Soon after, the home side received a glimmer of hope as they were able to break away on a counter-attack after a loss of possession from Chesterton. Sherston looked likely to grab a consolation late in the game as they broke down their right wing.
However, Man of the Match, Chris Linnell, had other ideas as he chased back from deep in the opposition half to make a beautifully timed sliding tackle in his own box, stopping the host’s winger in his tracks.
After that rare moment of worry for the visitors they would resume their dominance of the game and, in the 75th minute, Russell would finally get his goal after being denied on several occasions earlier in the game.
A low cross from Matt Lammond was met by the striker, who provided a clever ‘Cruyff’ flick finish. It was arguably his hardest chance of the game but he finished with composure to add a seventh for his side.
Russell would grab a second in quick succession when, moments later, he found himself on the end of another low cross at the front post. This time, Perry turned provider and Russell was there to guide another delicate flick past the despairing Sherston ‘keeper.
In true Chesterton fashion, they did not settle for being eight goals up and continued to press for the full ninety, despite their being less than 10 minutes to play. This lead to a second goal for Bishop, who once again demonstrated his aerial ability as he climbed highest to score from a Perry corner.
To round off the victory and ensure double figures for the visitors, Power played a simple ball to Stratford on the edge of opponent’s penalty area. The winger then cut inside onto his right foot, before bending the ball around the defender to find the far corner of the net. 10-0 to Chesterton.
After a dominant victory, in which everyone played their part, special mention goes to midfield man Chris Linnell, who displayed a disciplined performance as the defensive midfielder providing important cover for the back three.
Man of the Match: Chris Linnell