The Christmas and New Year holiday fixtures always contain a healthy quota of local derbies. Our roving team of Chris Benn (County Photographer) and Jim Taylor (reporter) saw this as an ideal opportunity, during the current depressing times, to engage with more of our Senior Clubs.
However, our plans to feature matches exclusively played between Middlesex affiliated clubs were thwarted on New Years’ Day by the Covid 19 induced postponements. However, we still took in a local derby, namely the Step 4, Pitching In Isthmian League South Central Division game between Bedfont Sports and Chertsey Town, from across the county divide in Surrey.
Bedfont Sports are always an inspiring club to visit. They have a fine ground, which has been constantly improved in recent seasons and an upwardly mobile playing set-up. The club is a focal point of the local community and includes extensive youth and ladies’ sections. This is all due. in no small measure, to the hard work and devotion of former Chairman, the late Dave Reader. Dave’s work is being continued by the current committee, guided by Chairman Craig Woodbridge and Dave’s son, Secretary, Terry Reader.
Bedfont Sports made an excellent start to the current season and were only defeated in one of their first twelve league matches, a 1-2 reverse away to run-away table toppers, Bracknell Town. Furthermore, they enjoyed a great FA Cup run, which came to an end with a lone goal defeat to Kidderminster Harriers and they also performed well in the FA Trophy.
Unsurprisingly, the fixture build-up resulting from their cup exploits, has contributed to a slump in form in recent matches and 3 of their last 4 games have ended in defeat.
Chertsey Town are enjoying a very good season, having won 11 and drawn 4 of their 16 league matches and were expected to provide very stern opposition.
This proved to be the case. A hard fought draw ensued. Although the goalmouth action was limited, the match was always interesting. The Eagles went ahead in the 73rd minute but had to surrender two points to the Curfews’ added time equaliser.
Bedfont Sports’ first attempt on goal came in the 3rd minute, when Darryl Sanders’ shot was fielded by keeper, Lewis Gallifent. Chertsey’s came in the 10th minute from Mark Bidmead and didn’t unduly trouble Matte Pierson.
Matte Pierson saves from Mark Bidmead
In the 21st minute Darryl Sanders cleverly evaded two challenges in the penalty area but his shot was turned over for a corner. The best move of the first half, involving a run by Jordan Ireland and a low cross by Giovanni Palmer, unfortunately ended with the well placed Darryl blazing his shot over the bar.
Lewis Gallifent turns Darryl Sanders' (10) shot for a corner
Mark Bidmead fired low across the home goalmouth but failed to attract a touch. At the other end, Ricky Wellard set up Darryl, whose swirling shot just cleared the bar.
Darryl Sanders' shot is too high
The last scoring opportunity of the first half was a scorching volley from Chertsey’s Samuel Murphy which flew just wide, following a long throw into the Bedfont penalty box.
Half time score: Bedfont Sports 0 Chertsey Town 0
In the 1st minute of the second half, a surprise long shot by Chertsey’s Samuel Murphy, from just inside his own half severely tested Matte Pierson, who managed to turn the ball onto his crossbar. 3 minutes later, Matte saved with his feet from Andrew Crossley. Jake Baxter netted the rebound but was adjudged to be offside.
A shot from inside the Chertsey half almost surprises Matte Pierson
In the 55th minute Jordan Esprit connected well with Kevin Diomande’s cross but his shot was turned over the bar by Lewis Gallifent. Almost immediately. Lewis was in action again, saving high up from Jordan Ireland.
Lewis Gallifent turns Jordan Esprit's effort over the bar
Lewis Gallifent saves from Jordan Ireland
Eagles substitute Max Webb, who had been on the field for less than 2 minutes, headed his side into the lead in the 73rd minute from Giovanni Palmers’ corner.
Max Webb heads Bedfont Sports into the lead
Both keepers were being kept busy as time ran out. Lewis Gallifent saved a low drive from Lewis Flatman. Matte Pierson punched out a well flighted free kick from Andrew Crossley. A pass from Mason Welch-Turner released Andrew Crossley, whose low cross was taken by Matte.
Andrew Crossley shoots for goal...
Andrew Crossley denied the Eagles the 3 points by lifting the ball past Matte in the 4th minute of additional time.
...and scores the equaliser for Chertsey Town
Final score: Bedfont Sports 1 Chertsey Town 1
Bedfont Sports: Matte Pierson, Kevin Diomande, Giovanni Palmer, Lewis Pegg, Joseph Morrison, Azeez Alabi (Lewis Flatman 71 mins), Jordan Ireland, Joe Jackson (capt), Jordan Esprit (Ezekiel Badermosi 65), Darryl Sanders and Ricky Wellard (Max Webb 71).
Unused Substitutes: Juan Pablo Gonzalez Velasco and Usman Lalustani
Chertsey Town: Lewis Gallifent, Lewis Jackson, Mason Welch-Turner, Ashley Lodge, Scott Day, Darryl Harrison, Mark Bidmead (Sam Hurrell 76), Andrew Crossley (capt), Jake Baxter, Samuel Murphy and Magnuis Abisogun.
Unused Substitutes: Quincy Rowe and Ian Selley.
Referee: Nicholas Metcalfe Assistant Referees: Daryl Ann and Gareth Burton.
The day’s results kept Chertsey Town (38 points from 17 matches) in second place behind Bracknell Town (52 points from 19 matches). Bedfont Sports were in 6th place (31 points from 17 matches). Uxbridge were 5th (34 from 15) and Hanwell Town 7th (30 from 16).
Once again we share thanks with Chris & Jim for giving up their time during the holiday period to cover some of the exciting senior football across the County. They have selected their favourite images from across the match as featured in the report. A full album of imagery is available courtesy of Chris Benn.
Chris & Jim's picks
Full album courtesy of Chris Benn