Even when defeated, Chertsey Town has frequently been credited by their opponents with having been the better side and only silly errors at the back and failure to deliver a telling punch in front of goal has lead to numerous points being dropped in the Combined Counties League campaign. None of these negative traits have been evident on their two matches surrounding Christmas.
They hit three without reply previous to the great day but went one better on the following Saturday to record a recent seven goals scored without reply from opponents. Visitors Egham Town hit Alwyns Lane just at the wrong moment for them, on the back of four straight defeats but any thought of a roll over was dispelled by Curfews manager Spencer Day for he had his own player problems.
The holiday period had taken regulars Gavin Bolger, Darren Dobinson and new goalkeeper Michael Lidbury on an away break. Garath Graham has broken his arm in a domestic accident, Mark Waters had flu and Luke Muldowney was serving a one match suspension. So, with over half his side unavailable, big changes were forced on to the beleaguered manager. Previously dropped Paul Smith came back into the goalkeeping spot and influential attacking midfielder Paul Brooker also returned to the side to make significant contributions.
But from a shaky prognosis about Chertsey's prospects in overcoming local rivals Egham in a fixture that has always tended to be tight, whatever the relative strengths of the two sides on the day, an unstoppable force simply overwhelmed the visitors who could have no complaints about the emphatic score line. Egham were doubly unfortunate in that the twin Pomroy-McLeish strike force that was formed eight weeks previously suddenly clicked to create a force that is greater than their individual sum.
Statistically, it was John Pomroy that benefited the most out of the fully functioning partnership, for he hit three more goals, his second hat trick of the season, but was given good service from the flanks with added support from Aaron McLeish. This, added to more assured defending, made Chertsey the unstoppable force of the day.
In an explosive start, Egham's pressured defender Jack McKinlay almost put his side behind after only two minutes with an attempted clearance that caught his own goal post. A powerful low cross from Brooker soon after just eluded the legs of McLeish right in front of goal.But the let off did not last for ever and Chertsey justly went ahead on 36 minutes when Aaron McLeish beat two Egham defenders and then let go with a stinging shot. The ball was parried away by Clarke Gooding in goal but only as far as master poacher Pomroy, who turned the ball in at close range for a lead that never became seriously threatened.
Charlie Muldowney in the red of Egham, piled in one strong shot at an angle that Paul Smith in the Chertsey goal had to be nimble to save, to create the best chance his side had of turning a game that, two minutes later went further away from them when Chertsey hit their second. The ball was skewed from the centre by McLeish out to Brooker who only took a couple of steps of advancement before rifling the ball low into the net with just three first half minutes remaining on the referee's watch.
Egham had their only second half chance of rescuing the game soon after the break but McKinlay failed to control the ball right in front of the Chertsey net and the ball ran away safely for a goal kick. That lapse was punished in the 55th minute when a boot up field, in essence a hurried clearance, up field, skimmer the head of McKinlay and fortuitously found Pomroy on a break. He took all advantage and made no mistake with his ten year strike to stretch his side's lead to unassailable proportions
Egham's position became even more untenable minutes later when Muldowney picked up his second yellow card of the crisp sunny afternoon, leaving his side with just ten men to achieve the impossible. Often such a deficit galvanises a side but Egham were unable to make any impression with the ball staying well away from the increasingly redundant Smith in the abandoned Chertsey penalty area with only the delivery of free kicks posing any sniff of danger.
Egham's plight was further compounded on 80 minute when Chertsey won their own free kick, deep on the right flank, but well forward. McLeish was again the provider for Pomroy's glancing header into the far side of the battered Egham net to give even more substance to Chertsey's Christmas cheer.