Often, there is a fine line between success and failure in football. A fourth minute blocking foot from Mark Waters when a strong 15 yard shot was unleashed by North Greenford United's Ricky Pither nudged the ball against an upright and out for a corner kick, whereas a home defenders leg merely helped the ball into the back of his net on 70 minutes from an equally robust strike by Chertsey full back Steve McNamara. North Green did not go one up in the first half, but Chertsey did in the second.
Having said that, it was clearly a Chertsey Town day and after one or two scares in the earlier stages, a clear winner emerged, the victory becoming emphatic towards the end to make it still worthwhile in keeping Town's life support machine still switched on for their slender promotion challenge. The Middlesex side's own championship aspirations were sevely dented by this defeat for them. They had been the only remaining side to have remained unbeaten at home.
Chertsey Town entered the game missing key players, Paul Brooker, unwell, Steve Gibson, suspended and Darren Dobinson, unavailable. The long weather imposed lay off was another factor in a relatively slow start and it took until the 44th minute before a Chertsey shot on target could be delivered when Gavin Bamford's 15 yard strike was ably gathered by Babalar Jallow in goal, despite the ball taking a nasty bounce in front of him.
Sure, Town's players may have had a couple of shots at goal before then but all efforts were well off target. Meanwhile at the other end of the park, Michael Lidbury in the Chertsey goal had to be more lively than his opposite number. Apart from the effort that caught the upright, he was forced to stop two other likely looking strikes off the boots of Chris Hibbs and Gary Senior.
Chertsey looked dangerous in their approach work but play became too confined as the goal hove into striking distance and tip tap passes were blocked off . A final decisive pass or a gap being created just was just not forged for a good scoring chance and it was left to North Greenford's more cavalier attacking to set nerves jangling.
The second half was all together a different affair, although the home side was active in attack for the opening ten minutes after the break. However, they were unable to direct any accurate shots which became a common thread for the remainder of the game. The most testing time for Chertsey's defence came out of a goalmouth scrap but even though the ball was up for grabs right in front of the sticks, it was a Chertsey boot that claimed possession before any sort of poke at goal could be mustered.
Town became more dangerous looking as the minutes passed and in the end controlled the exchange to a large extent. Aaron McLeish fired wide a couple of times and it was fortunate that, in the fading minutes, Chertsey had comfortably had the points in the bag when another of his shots, this time from near the penalty spot, went woefully wide. Gavin Bamford also had a couple of efforts in his best performance in the midfield since joining the Curfews with a significant contribution to his new cause.
Both Luke Muldowney and Matt Holley might have scored with the head but it was McNamara's foot that provided the decisive weapon in the 70th minute. He collected the ball well up field from his natural station, cut in from his foray along the left flank and scorched in a shot from 20 yards, that took a nick en route, to bulge the back of the North Greenford net.
The goal increased Town's confidence and although they had to ride their luck again when another melee in front of goal saw the ball being hacked away into the safety of the midfield, there only looked one side that would create another goal in the well contested battle. That side was Chertsey Town and the next goal duly arrived on 83 minutes when a corner kick on the right grazed the near post forehead of John Pomroy. The ball presented itself to Leon Johnson who smashed into the net at point blank range to complete a task that frankly looked already completed some ten minute previous.