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Friday, April 03, 2009

All to play for

Chalfont St Peter 3 Glossop North End 3

I decided to visit Chalfont for the second time in this years competition and would then attempt the long journey to Glossop the following week. It takes the pressure off when you've been to a ground before and know where you're going and I had an incident free relaxing journey to Gerrards Cross station. Having polished off another Italian BMT Subway (How nice are they!), I started a leisurely walk to the ground, this time vouching to avoid the dual-carriageway. I diverted down a road and turned right into another road called School Hill. This little road was quite attractive, but really steep and quite narrow. You had to dive into a hedge whenever a car came along to avoid being wiped out, there's obviously not many pedestrians on this road as most cars screamed along at about 60mph. At the end of this road, I discovered that I was almost back where I started & had once again, taken a slightly wrong route. I picked myself out of the hedge as another vehicle shot by, found the correct road at last and made my way to the ground. It's quite strange to see a ground you've visited several times in the past, often with only about 50 supporters, jam packed with folk waving scarves and singing. Glossop had certainly brought a good number of fans and must have outnumbered the Chalfont faithful. The local Chalfont cheerleading group came along to offer vocal support and it sounded weird to hear 'When the Saints go marching in' sung tunefully at a football ground.
The atmosphere was good, the weather was rubbish as usual with strong winds and two hail storms and the game was brilliantly officiated, I noticed the referee for the first time about 5 minutes from the end  and only then did I realise that no cards had been shown. 
There were a few scuffles in the crowd, such a shame at a place like this. There's absolutely no place for it! Fortunately, it didn't come to much and we could enjoy an enthralling match.
Unfortunately, I discovered that the second leg was to be all ticket and hard as I tried, I couldn't buy a  ticket for the second leg and would be unable to visit Chalfont during the week to collect one. Disappointing & slightly annoying when you've been following a competition from the earliest rounds when only 20 people turn up and you almost have a ground to yourself, but understandable that people come out to support their town.
So to the game. Chalfont struck first, a throw from the right resulted in a shot well saved, but it dropped to Strutton who shot in from 12 yards. Then on 31 mins, a corner from the left fooled the keeper who fumbled it against the near post and Carroll turned it in from 6 yards. Glossop got back into it on 38 mins when Gorton stooped to head home from a left hand corner. Only 4 mins into the second half and Chalfont restored a two goal advantage. A throw from the right saw a lovely turn to the dead ball line fool the defence, the low cross was expertly turned in at the near post by Brosnan. Chalfont then seemed in cruise control and weren’t being troubled until two defensive lapses let Glossop back into the tie. On 73 mins, a ball over the top found Hodges clean through who simply lobbed the keeper on the first bounce from the edge of the box. Then on 78 mins, a ball through skidded off a defenders foot freeing Bailey who slid a shot home. An almighty scramble at the end almost gave Glossop the win but Chalfont hung on.
I'll be rushing home from whatever game I attend next week to check on how this tie turned out.

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