Chequers were unfortunate to record a third successive defeat after an open game ended in a victory for The Hibbert Arms.
The Chequers starting XI was largely unchanged from Tuesday's 6-0 hammering. Tim Warne came in on the left wing to replace Michael Ryan, and Jon Onyon replaced Rob Mardell in defence. There was also a start for Mickey Francois in attack.
The large pitch meant plenty of space to play in, and both sides looked comfortable on the ball in the opening minutes. The deadlock was broken after a quarter of an hour with a goal fitting of a level much higher than this, as a Hibbert Arms player took full advantage of a poor clearance to unleash an unstoppable volley past Roullier from 20 yards to put the home side ahead. Unlike in recent games where conceding a goal has seen Chequers fall apart somewhat, the Purples reacted well and almost equalised instantly when Dean Hinton thumped a header towards the top corner only to see it cleared off the line. Hinton and Wayne Mardel both had shots on target blocked, and Gavin O'Brien was unfortunate to see his headed effort from a corner go over the bar. Tom Smith was next to try his luck but his half volley narrowly missed the near post. Despite the pressure, the next goal came at the wrong end from a Chequers perspective as some poor marking from a free kick was punished; Roullier saved the first effort but the striker reacted quickest to beat sprawling defenders to the ball and smash it home from close range to double The Hibbert Arms' advantage. The lead could and probably should have been cut before half time as Hibbert Arms somehow survived a massive penalty shout when Tim Warne's ball appeared to be stopped by a raised hand in the penalty area, but the referee waved away the winger's furious protests.
Michael Towler came on to replace Mickey Francois as Jon Onyon was moved up front for the second half, but Chequers were slow out of the blocks and should have been three down shortly after the break. A long ball was missed by Stu Rolls leaving the striker an easy chance, but his tame effort was just within reach of Roullier who saved and cleared the rebound before it could be poked over the line. Slow organisation from the Chequers defence saw the home side clip the top of the bar with a free kick from the edge of the box, but the real talking point was still to come. A last-ditch tackle from Tom Tracy was poorly timed and he sent a Hibbert Arms player crashing to the floor in the box, but the referee was too quick pointing to the spot as another Hibbert Arms player had sent the rebound over the line. The goal was disallowed as the whistle had already gone to award a penalty, and the same player was left cursing his luck further as Roullier held his firmly-struck penalty in the bottom left corner to keep the score at 2-0. This seemed to swing the momentum of the game back in Chequers' favour, and they were soon right back in the game. Hinton's pinpoint cross was headed back across goal by Mardel, where Jon Onyon was in the right place to tuck home from close range for 2-1. A misjudgement from The Hibbert Arms 'keeper then went narrowly behind O'Brien as Chequers pressed hard for the equaliser, but the game was soon killed off in cruel fashion. The unfortunate Tracy was again involved as he seemed unsure whether to attack a long ball, and the ball bounced over his head to the striker who crisply struck into the bottom corner to put the game out of sight at 3-1. Chequers tried to get themselves back into the game, but the closest they came was a long range thunderbolt from Hinton that rattled the crossbar, and Smith skewed a volley wide as the home side held on for the victory.
It was perhaps slightly harsh on Chequers who saw a couple of individual errors punished in full, and on another day this could have ended all-square. Man of the Match went to Jon Onyon for his goal to help Chequers back into the game in the second half.