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Chesham on the brink of Southern League summit
WHAT a difference a year makes; this time 12 months ago Chesham were sinking towards second from bottom of the Southern Premier League - now they look unstoppable.
A 1-0 FA Trophy victory over Biggleswade on Saturday was followed by a 5-0 league blitz in St Neots to make it six wins in a row without a single goal conceded.
In fact, their league record in 2013 is played 35, won 25, drawn six, lost four.
Manager Andy Leese said: “We don’t want to get carried away, it’s just a good start. We’re only a quarter of the way through the season and I don’t want to be a doom-monger but there will be lots of twists and turns.”
But while Leese knows you win nothing in the autumn, the facts speak for themselves.
Chesham’s aggregate score for the last six games is 20-0 and if they beat Redditch on Saturday they’ll join Hemel Hempstead on top of the table – at one stage last season they trailed the leaders by 20 points.
Leese said: “There is no secret. It’s just sheer hard work. We were embarrassed by the Royston result and have worked hard on what to do without the ball.
“That message has got across, but the players deserve all the credit. They are working harder than people realise.”
Saturday’s Trophy victory was a good example of that, as the Generals dug in to get the result thanks to a set piece.
Tuesday was a different story though, as Chesham blew St Neots away with their best display of the season.
Steve Wales, Chris Dillion, Drew Roberts and a James Potten double did the damage in a scoreline that could have been even more emphatic.
Leese said: “Saturday was dogged, but Tuesday was all-out attacking play. We opened them up all the time and could have had more goals.
“It was the most complete performance I’ve seen from us this season – in and out of possession we were excellent.
“You can have good halves or play well in spells, but as a 90-minute performance I was delighted. It was certainly up there.”
Chesham are now five points clear of third and could move further away with a victory tomorrow, while taking advantage of Hemel’s cup commitments.
Leese said: “We’re still smarting a bit from going out of The FA Cup and seeing other teams in the league doing well, so we’re determined to do well in The FA Trophy.
“We’ve got a home draw with Weymouth in the next round and in the league we want to keep up the pressure on Hemel and the teams below us.
“We are determined to open up a bit of gap on the teams behind us, which is not a luxury we’ve had in recent years.
“The signs are good. It’s momentum – we’re in the middle of it and we’ve got to enjoy it.”