It has taken fourteen years, but Chertsey Town have got themselves back into a cup final after they beat Division One opponents Worcester Park on their own patch last Saturday in the Combined Counties League Cup semi-final.

The score line suggests a much closer contest than was actually the case with Town exerting pressure for much of the game, with the determined defence put up by the home side not leaving much scope for attack.

This resulted in Chertsey commanding much of the ball, when it wasn’t flying about in the keen breeze.

The first half in particular saw too much aerial play for constructive football, and both sides were guilty of allowing the conditions of the breeze, plus a lively surface, together with a significant gradient, to create undo influence.

The lone goal, coming well into the second half, was much expected, even by the vociferous home support, camped out behind the Chertsey goal.

The scorer was Leon Johnson who five days previous was clandestinely being lured away to a rival club. However, that assault was thwarted, and just as well, as he became the man of the moment when, in the 63rd minute, he swept Chertsey into their winning lead.

A free kick had been awarded, centrally, 25 yards out. Steve McNamara’s fierce strike eluded the defending wall and although goalkeeper Peter King was able to dive full length to stop the ball, he was unable to gather it either, and the fleet footed Johnson pounced on the rebound.

The side returned to relative full strength after their midweek experimental line up although Paul Brooker was out again. Luke Muldowney is still an absentee but he is on the brink of a return after good progress with a broken toe.

The same is said of Gareth Graham. Both were on the bench but only Graham came on to replace Johnson to beef up the defensive quality of the midfield towards the end.

New recruit, former Crystal Palace Richard Harris started the game and his strength and experience shone through at the heart of the defence although it must be said that all defensive operation were completed with solid efficiency and the Worcester Park really did not look like breaking through; their best effort coming towards the end when Mick Petruziello forced a fine Michael Lidbury save, but from an offside position that would not have counted as a goal.

Town had already made their mark by then and, with the wind and slope in the favour the ball was more often than not buzzing around the Worcester Park penalty area. A series of corners were won with a packed defence warding off Chertsey’s advances.

The bar was clipped with a second half shot from Gavin Bamford. Marcus Moody also came close with a strike that brought out the best of King during an almost siege situation that lasted a good fifteen minutes.

An expected goal from John Pomroy did not come and perhaps efforts at crafting delicate pots at goal might have served better with a more direct tactic.

But his mere presence contributed in creating gaps elsewhere and although just the one goal was created, it was comfortably sufficient to send Chertsey Town supports off to Woking’s Kingfield in late April to meet either Camberley Town or Molesey in the final.