Home league match played on 14 September 2014.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

Chequers suffered narrow defeat in their first home league game of the 2014/15 season against Red Lion Phoenix Reserves.

There was a change of system for the Purples as they adopted a new 3-5-2 formation, with Tim Warne and Wayne Mardel effectively operating as wing backs either side of a back 3 of Jon Onyon, Enzo Sgambati and Tom Tracy. The centre of midfield consistent of Tom Smith, Alex Dell and Gavin O'Brien, and Mickey Francois returned to the starting XI to partner the in-form Dean Hinton in attack.

It was Hinton who provided the first real opportunity of the match as he beat the Red Lion 'keeper to a long ball into the left channel, but both Smith and Francois were unable to take full advantage of the momentarily empty net as defenders closed their shots down quickly. Mardel had a tough job in the early exchanges, having to track back with a particularly tricky winger whilst still trying to offer something going forward, but the away side didn't carve out any opportunities of note. Alex Dell was next to try his luck for Chequers, and was inches away from a brilliant goal as his swerving long range effort beat the 'keeper but smacked off the top of the crossbar. Francois then put a perfect ball into the penalty area after some good skill on the right wing, but Red Lion were able to scramble the danger away at the expense of a corner. The goal the home side's play deserved came on the half-hour mark, and it was Hinton again on the scoresheet as he confidently dispatched Dell's chipped through ball to make the score 1-0. Warne was coming into the match more and more on the left wing and make some fantastic runs past defenders but Chequers could not find a second goal. Towards the end of the half Red Lion began to grow into the game, and some poor marking at a corner saw Roullier keep out a point black volley to preserve the one-goal lead at half time.

Callum replaced Francois in attack for the second half, in which the opening minutes saw O'Brien and co. in midfield putting in some big tackles as Red Lion grew further in confidence. Some sloppy defending almost gifted the away side an equaliser, again an un-marked player arrived at the back post to side foot a volley that Roullier kept out, and fortunately Tracy was on hand to clear the rebound to safety. The endeavour and workrate that had put Chequers in such a good position in the first half was waning fast now, and they were punished in the most extreme fashion on 55 minutes. A Red Lion striker nonchalantly chipped the ball over O'Brien, and was given the time and space by a spectating Chequers defence to smash a left foot volley into the top corner from 25 yards to level the scores up at 1-1. It was a truly stunning goal, but Chequers will be disappointed they didn't close the player down a little quicker. There was very nearly immediate salt in the wound too, as a Red Lion player clipped the top of the crossbar with a header from a completely unchallenged cross as Chequers continued to fall apart. Smith was booked for dissent and then replaced by Barry Wilson as frustrations grew, and Red Lion took the lead shortly after. A corner was only partially cleared, and as Sgambati and Tracy attempted to clean up the danger a striker was able to poke the ball through sprawling bodies and into the corner of the net from close range to put his side in front for the first time in the match. Michael Towler replaced Tim Warne as Chequers switched to a 4-4-2 formation for the final minutes, and it was the substitute who had the best to chance to salvage a point but his attempted backheel went narrowly wide and Red Lion held on to claim maximum points.

A highly frustrating match for Chequers, who probably should have been more than one goal ahead whilst they were on top on the first half.

Man of the Match went to Enzo Sgambati for his battling performance in defence.

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