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Match report:

The Chequer F.C. 2 - 0 Goring Thistle

Chequer fielded their strongest side this season and came away deserved winners against league leaders Goring Thistle.

Thistle had been on fine form winning 6 out of 7, and scoring 35 goals in the process, including 8 past us in a humiliating defeat earlier in the season.

Manager Richard Wilkie, who had seen his side overrun at Thistle gambled on playing a narrow midfield with 3 ball winners in Gareth Dutton, Adam Searle and Danny Gainsford. The plan worked as Chequer sat deep, swamped the midfield and never let themselves get overrun offering plenty of defensive cover.

Chequer created the better opportunities in a close and keenly contested first half - James O'Nell twice failed to finish from close range when the ball fell to his weaker left foot. The back four played superbly and were well organised and strong in the tackle and well screened by the midfield.

Chequer felt slightly aggrieved to be at 0-0 at half time, but the 'unbeatable Thistle' myth had exploded - Goring had looked bereft of ideas and shocked that they weren't coasting another easy game.

Chequer continued to play with iron will and determination in the second half challenging for every loose ball and taking the game to Thistle.

We were rewarded after 60 minutes with a strike from Danny Gainsford, who broke from midfield and advanced into the box to hit a low fierce shot from 8 yards that the keeper could not get down to.

Thistle seemed even more shocked to find themselves a goal down, and we were encouraged to see them arguing among themselves.

Danny twice more broke from midfield in quick succession and twice narrowly missed the goal with chipped efforts. Matt Bailey then kept us in the game with a superb finger tip save from a deflected shot. Shortly afterwards Si Price, who had begun to find a lot of room cutting in from the left, showed superb skill to leave 3 defenders in his wake - his cut back from the by-line was misread by James O'Neill and a golden chance went begging.

James finally found the target with 10 minutes on the clock when a cross from Si Price was nodded into his path by Danny Gainsford and this time he made no mistake from 10 yards with his right boot.

Chequer saw the game out without being genuinely threatened again. Special credit must go to the back four of Tom Pickford, Sean Hourigan, Adam Price and Steve Duffett who showed great understanding to keep a clean sheet against the division's top scorers.

There were some magnificent performances today, notably from Gareth & Danny in the centre of midfield, but yet again the man of the match has to be Sean Hourigan whose positioning, tackling, distribution and reading of the game were outstanding.

Matt Bailey
Tom Pickford
Adam Price
Sean Hourigan
Steve Duffett
Adam Searle
Gareth Dutton
Danny Gainsford
Mark Friend-James
Si Price
James O'Neill

Richard Wilkie
Aaron Comber
Phil Lewis
David Kennett
Lewis Partridge

Danny Gainsford
James O'Neill

Sean Hourigan



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