Away friendly match played on 17 August 2014.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

Chequers retained their unbeaten pre-season run after a hard-fought 2-2 draw against newly-formed Red Lion Phoenix.

The starting XI was much-changed from the 2-0 victory vs. AFC Chequers, with Chris Fagan making his debut in the sweeper role, Tom Tracy moving to centre back, Michael Towler coming in at right back and Gavin O'Brien returning from injury in midfield. Rob Mardell partnered Alex Dell in central midfield, while Enzo Sgambati started at left back as Jon Onyon had to undergo late urine tests. Mickey Francois and Dean Hinton were the starting front two, and Wayne Mardel and John Roullier retained their positions from last week's match.

Phoenix looked a very strong side in the opening exchanges without really creating any clear-cut chances. The Chequers defensive line, marshalled well by Fagan and Tracy, did well to reduce their opponents to one early chance; a nice passing move on the edge of the area released the striker through on goal, but his low drive was straight at Roullier's feet. The best chance of the opening quarter of an hour came Chequers' way as Dell collected the ball on the edge of the area, but unlike last week his low drive skidded wide of the far post. Heavy rain changed the surface from rock hard to slick and slippery as Onyon replaced Sgambati, and Phoenix took the lead shortly after. A winger was released into the penalty area and hit a low shot that Roullier could only divert across the 6 yard box, and the opposite flanker arrived ahead of Onyon to lift the ball over the stricken left back and into the net for 1-0. Chequers didn't have to wait long to get back on terms as Wayne Mardel hit a long free kick into the box which sailed past the crowd of players and into the far corner, Gavin O'Brien making the run that diverted the Phoenix goalkeeper's attention from the flight of the ball. Francois and Hinton were causing the Phoenix back line problems as Chequers grew into the game, but in truth this played into Phoenix's hands as their quick counter-attacks saw the game become very stretched. One of these counter attacks saw the home side break down the Chequers' right, with Towler caught upfield after an attacking run. Two quick passes sent the spare striker clean through, and he had no problem firing the ball first-time through Roullier's legs to put Phoenix back in front at half time.

Tom Trigg came on to replace Roullier in goal for the second half, and immediately made a smart save with his legs to stop the home team doubling their advantage. It seemed a matter of time before Phoenix killed the game off as they created a number of chances, most notably a dipping shot from 35 yards that Trigg had to backpedal to rescue on the goalline, and a free header which flew inches past the far post. Sgambati came on to replace the hard-working Francois up front for the final 25 minutes, and the substitute had an almost-immediate impact. His powerful shot from 30 yards may have been off target, but Hinton reacted quickly and diverted the ball across the 'keeper and into the bottom corner for 2-2. Chequers were well on top now and the back four kept Phoenix very quiet as the game drew to a close, affording Dell and Mardell time in the middle of the park to bring Chequers' forward players into the game. Mardell fed a ball out wide to O'Brien, who's far post cross was met with a thumping diving header from Wayne Mardel which crashed off the underside of the crossbar and away to safety. Replays later showed the ball had crossed the line, once again raising the issue of goal line technology not yet being introduced into the Leighton & District Sunday League. Sgambati had one final chance to steal the win for Chequers as he skipped past a challenge and rifled a powerful shot off the outside of the near post in injury time, but in truth a draw was a fair reflection of the game and Chequers can take heart from coming from behind twice to avoid defeat.

Man of the Match went to Tom Tracy who did an excellent job in the centre of defence with Fagan.

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