Despite the season edging closer to its finish, Saturday marked the first meeting between Chesterton AFC and Poulton Firsts.

The opening 15 minutes proved to be scrappy as both sides were careless in possession, with a goal needed to settle the nerves.

In the 18th minute, that first goal came the way of the visitors when the ball was played forward by the Chezzie defence into the path of Josh Russell.

Russell then moved the ball out to Ashley Rockley on the left wing, who took one touch before lofting a left-footed diagonal pass into the run of Joe Stratford. Controlling the ball, Stratford used his second touch to lob the Poulton keeper.

Following the first goal, Chesterton grew in confidence and began to enjoy having possession. Passes were more accurate and the movement became more fluid, making them look dangerous on the attack.

Control of the game was firmly in the grasp of the away side but, due to the relentless work rate of the hosts’ midfield, Chesterton found it difficult to find the second. That is until the 39th minute when the visitors had the chance from a corner.

Aaron Perry would make his way over to take the set piece while the big men from the back positioned themselves in the box.
Perry proceeded to deliver a dangerous cross right on top of the keeper, where it would be met by the head of Danny Bishop to put the visitors 2-0 up going into half time.

After a decent first half, Chesterton came out hungry for a third goal and it took just six minutes for them to find it.

After some impressive passing exchanges between the defence and midfield, the ball was played through to Rockley, leaving him beyond the last man. With no chance of an offside flag, he was now one-on-one with the keeper.

A heavy touch gave Rockley some work to do but he was able to reach the ball first and get a shot away. This attempt was parried away but only into the path of Russell who was left with a simple tap-in to make it 3-0.

As Poulton’s legs began to tire, more and more gaps appeared for Chezzie to take advantage. Midfield man Will Power was able to find one of those gaps.

In the 69th minute, Power would play a brilliant through ball for Rockley, in behind the defence. This time there was no mistake as the left winger struck the ball low across the keeper and into the far corner of the net. 4-0.

Although the result was in no doubt, Chesterton maintained the same attacking mentality that has earned them their impressive goal difference this season. This resulted in a 5th for the visitors in the 75th minute.

This came when a well-timed central run from substitute Matt Lammond was found him in space. Lammond controlled the ball before turning and lobbing the keeper on the volley. Unfortunately, he was only able to find the crossbar with his effort, however, Mitch Stone was alert and on hand to take the ball down and calmly slot it into the net.

Two minutes later and Chesterton wrapped up the victory.

Lammond was involved again, this time from a deeper position, as he picked out a delightful threaded pass for Kieran Jones. Jones was able to break beyond the defence and beat the ‘keeper to the ball. He then calmly placed the ball out of reach of the recovering defender and into the bottom corner for a final score of 6-0.

MOTM: Dan Jones

Special managers’ mention goes to Jake Harris, who filled in for the suspended Ryan Heaven in goal. Harris put on a fine display making a number of saves and demonstrating some impressive distribution in between the sticks.

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