Three points – by George!
A George Lutaaya goal deep into time-added-on secured a victory for the Blues just when it was seeming that they would have to settle for a share of the points in their opening home league game.
The visitors, Chalfont St. Peter, would undoubtedly have been thinking that they had down enough to earn a draw but they were found out by a quick break in the 95th minute that saw George Lutaaya slot home Ben Ward-Cochrane’s perfectly weighted ball across the face of goal.
On balance, the Blues had probably had marginally the better of the exchanges but they would have to admit that they had played well below their the level that they would normally expect to reach. There are, however, a number of new faces in the squad and they are bound to take some time to consistently achieve the potential they showed when defeating St Albans City in the Herts Charity Cup, earlier this month.
After a slow start the Blues soon gained the upper hand and had two good efforts on goal inside the first quarter of an hour. Tommy Wade had a good opportunity saved by the visiting keeper in the tenth minute and Charlie Ruff fired narrowly over the bar from 20 yards, two minutes later.
The game then settled down, though, with Chalfont coming back into the contest and testing Blues custodian, Charlie Mann, with a shot from the edge of the box, midway through the half. Apart from this there was very little goalmouth action but, with the half drawing to a close, the Blues suddenly raised the game and forced two corners with four minutes of it remaining. And from the second of these – both taken by Matt Thomson - Ollie Sharman lost his marker and headed home off the underside of the bar to give the Blues the lead.
In their first league game of the season seven days earlier at Ashford Town, the Blues had failed to hold on to a lead and they repeated the failing only three minutes later on this occasion. Once again some casual defending was to blame but time it culminated in a virtually unstoppable 25-yard drive from Chalfont’s Jordan Berry.
With the scores level again, the second descended into a form of stalemate where chances inside the box were almost completely absent. Charlie Mann was twice called upon to deal with long-range efforts but he wasn’t seriously tested and, as the match drew to a close, a draw looked increasingly likely.
As in the first half, however, the Blues came to life in the cloing minutes of it. Three successive corners were forced, following some good work by substitute George Lutaaya, but they came to nothing. The Blues were clearly on top but when Ben Ward-Cochrane chipped over the keeper but wide of the goal in the 91st minute a second disappointing draw from their opening two games was on the cards.
However, that all changed with George Lutaaya’s last-gasp winner. George Beattie played a long ball up the left flank to put Ben Ward-Cochrane clear of a tiring defence and his unselfish ball across the goal left George Lutaaya with a straight-forward finish into an empty net.
Four points from their opening two games would have been an acceptable start before the season began and the Blues can now look forward to their FA Challenge Cup tie with Tilbury with a measure of optimism.
Team:, Charlie Mann, Joe Clemo, Macauley Joynes, Michael Toner (George Beattie 75’), Mark Twumasi, Ollie Sharman, David Keenleyside, Matt Thomson, Tommy Wade (Chikosi Basden 89’), Charlie Ruff (George Lutaaya 70’), and Ben Ward-Cochrane.
Subs not used: Dan Palmer and Jason Beck.