Chesham mount Southern League charge

Andy Leese has turned it around

Andy Leese has turned it around

First published in Local Sport by

CHESHAM United have remembered who they are - since New Year’s Day they have won three matches out of three and scored 14 goals in the process.

After sinking to within a point of the drop zone, they are now up to tenth and within two wins of the play-offs.

Manager Andy Leese said: “I’m slightly surprised but not completely surprised.

“If we hadn’t done it we’d have all been staring into the abyss.

“Now we’re trying to repair the damage done in the early part of the season.”

An unbelievable 6-2 win at St Albans City on New Year’s Day started it off before they hammered AFC Totton 6-0 last Saturday.

A 2-1 win over Redditch on Tuesday night completed the hat-trick with Steve Wales announcing his return to fitness with their 86th-minute winner.

A fit again Wales is one of the reasons behind Chesham’s revival. The return of John Kyriacou and Bobby Bartley plus the re-signing of Inih Effiong have also been massively important.

They’re not the only factors though.

Chesham’s FA Trophy exit has concentrated the players’ minds while Leese has also struck gold with a change in formation.

Leese said: “We were trying to get those players back all of December and it’s strengthened us where we needed to be strengthened.

“But you shouldn’t under-estimate the response of the players that were already in the squad, it’s been fantastic.

“But it’s not just that. After we went out the FA Trophy we came together, looked at the table and said, ‘right, our season starts now.’ “We haven’t got that to focus on every couple of weeks now and that has made a big psychological difference.

“We’ve also changed the shape of the team. We’ve taken the shackles off our wide players and tried to get at teams more.

“We look a completely different team now.”

They will hope to continue their resurgence against Bashley tomorrow and then Hitchin on Tuesday, both of whom are struggling at the wrong end of the table.

But then the hard work really starts with six of their next eight games against teams with realistic promotion ambitions – including three games against the teams currently first and second.

Leese said: “The pressure is on if we want to keep climbing the table. We need to keep getting the results.”

Meanwhile, defender Nathan Campbell has joined on loan from Basingstoke.

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