Although I haven't seen them play either at home or away, Chertsey have featured in a BotP article in the past, namely the original What Did You Call Me? feature from March 2015, where I looked into the origin of their nickname, The Curfews. One more tenuous link between BotP and Chertsey Town is their current manager Dave Anderson, who was on the edition of the Non-League Football Show that I had the honour of being invited onto a couple of years ago.
Hard to park but a really nice example of a traditional non-league ground. Very close to the town centre, hemmed in by houses and narrow streets, which makes parking even more tricky.
Shelter of some form on all four sides. A decent sized main stand, some terracing and an incredibly low-roofed terrace on the far side.
Chertsey came into the game sitting in second but with two games in hand. A win would take them above Sutton Common Rovers, who weren't playing (hence a presence from Sutton at the game). Badshot Lea gained promotion last season on the back of Worcester Park's unfortunate demotion. Despite being just below halfway they are still looking over their shoulders at the relegation pack in a rather congested lower half of the table.
The match started in reasonable conditions given the rain that had been coming down on my journey around the M25. It was a fairly even start to proceedings with the sides, who had not met previously this season, feeling each other out for the first 10 minutes or so.
However, just when it looked like Chertsey were about to start imposing themselves on the game, the visitors took an unexpected lead. The Curfews conceded a free-kick around 25 yards out on their left flank. The ball was delivered towards the front post by Max Herbert and Connor Close rose highest to head the ball past Jupp. 0-1 with 15 minutes gone.
Not to be outdone, five minutes later Curfews stopper Nick Jupp showed cat-like replexes to tip the ball over the bar and prevent an own goal extending the vistors lead.
Andy Crossley curled a fine effort just wide of Clement's left-hand post and there were flashes of great one-touch passing, but the home side just couldn't find the final pass or killer touch.
HT Chertsey Town 0 Badshot Lea 1. The Baggies have not looked like a team at the opposite end of the table to their hosts. Having said that, Chertsey have not been anywhere near their best.
Chertsey were certainly starting to turn the screw and as the game progressed they were getting more possession and looking much more of a threat when they got into the final third. Jake Baxter had been a willing runner all game and his efforts were starting to cause a tiring Baggies defence more problems.
With the weather starting to worsen and time running out, the home side finally managed to find a breakthrough. Just shy of the 80th minute Guentchev saw his strike beat Clement but rebound off the far post. Unfortunately for Badshot Lea, Dale Binns was quickest to react, slotting the ball home to make it 1-1.
It was now, pretty much, an onslaught from Chertsey and the efforts were getting closer and closer, including one strike that smashed against Clement's bar with him completely beaten.
Then almost three minutes into injury time The Curfews demonstrated why they are pushing for the title. Guentchev broke down the right and flashed over a wonderful cross where Jake Baxter managed to get a glancing head on the ball to send it into the far corner. 2-1.
Badshot Lea, who must have been out on their feet from this late goal, immediately looked for an equaliser but when their move broke down and Chertsey broke, there was an off the ball coming together in midfield which sparked a coming together off all 22 players and some of the benches from both sides. It certainly couldn't be classed as a brawl but it wasn't good to see. Interestingly and maybe because it was so that in the game, the referee only pulled out yellow card - 3 in total I believe - where you would think that at least one red would have been called for if it had happened earlier.
FT Chertsey Town 2 Badshot Lea 1. A very hard fought three points for The Curfews sees them return to the top of the table. They were made to fight all the way for it by a Baggies side that, if effort scored points, would be a lot higher in the table.
Chertsey Town: Jupp, Flegg, Welch-Turner, Maclaren, Peacock, Rowe, Guentchev, Murphy, Baxter, Crossley, Binns. Subs: Pomroy, Kinsella, Taylor, Davis, Gallifent
Badshot Lea: Clement, Blake, Francis, Flanagan, Bonsu, Close, Ford, Lloyd, Cooksley, Thripp, Herbert. Subs: Blackie, Bell, Pilgrim
Ground Number: 180