Team news: There was one change from the side which claimed victory at East Grinstead as Bobby Price replaced Richard Ismail in defence.
This thrilling overall contest began with a bang as Chipstead opened the scoring on two minutes – Ricky Korboa gave away a free kick on our left and Chris O’Flaherty curled an angled shot past Alex Kozakis.
The high tempo was sustained by both sides during the opening 20 minutes but we played our usual passing game to boss possession, although it took until the 16th minute to see our next best chance.
A corner delivery was headed out but Matthew Warren couldn’t retain possession under pressure from Brendan Murphy-McVey whom cut inside with the ball and rippled the near side-netting from 18 yards.
Tommy Bradford then displayed strength and tenacity to get the ball down the right and his cutback found Sekou Kaba whose angled drive was millimetres over the bar.
We kept up the pressure but both Korboa and Bradford didn’t fully catch efforts from distance, then Ceesay parried a shot from Miller whom also hit the wall with a free kick on the edge of the box on 25 minutes.
We then had another chance from a free kick but Cessay tipped Bradford’s shot over and we were punished as Raheem Sterling-Parker tussled with Matt Males at the other end and, as our man’s intended header back to Kozakis lacked pace, the forward cashed in to fire his side further into the lead.
Again we responded right away but Paris Hamilton-Downes’ piledriver was straight at Ceesay, while Kozakis got across his goal to watch a pot shot from Ben Osman drift wide.
We finally reduced the arrears three minutes before the break however as Korboa won a free kick and Bradford stepped up to hit home his fifth goal of the season.
And we almost went in level as Murphy-McVey swept a Price pass onto Ceesay’s crossbar from just inside the area and the ball was frustratingly cleared away from incoming red shirts.
HALF-TIME: 1 – 2
We came out flying after the break and we did draw ourselves level just five minutes in; Miller was clipped by Tommy Smith, who was fortunate not to receive a second yellow of the afternoon, and Bradford sent Ceesay the wrong way from the penalty spot.
That increased our confidence and we began to really control the game for the next 20 minutes and the visitors racked up more yellow cards through frustration more than anything else.
During that period Ceesay had to pat a Hamilton-Downes cross away from almost under his crossbar, Korboa flashed a shot wide and Miller, after sterling work by Kaba whom won the ball and held off three opponents before playing the through ball, fluffed his lines from 12 yards with only the keeper to beat.
That desire by Kaba ran throughout the team and it was pleasing to see our boys eager to win possession when Chipstead did threaten to get within 30 yards of our goal, but still we couldn’t turn our dominance into goals.
Substitute Sean O’Toole was the next to try his luck and his deflected effort almost embarrassed Ceesay but it rolled just the wrong side of the far post, then Kaba picked out Price in their box but our full back scuffed his cross out of play.
And we were made to pay for our profligancy in front of goal as an aimless ball into our box on 81 minutes saw Males and Louis Blake grapple by the penalty spot and the referee gave a foul to the visitors; Sterling-Parker impudently chipped it down the middle.
We created a couple of chances at the death but Miller fired wide when perhaps a square ball to Aikhionbare was a better option, whom himself then hit a shot into the midriff of Ceesay during added time.
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