Chertsey Town 2, Badshot Lea 1

TWO late goals and a melee deep into stoppage time took the gloss off a battling performance as Badshot Lea slipped to defeat against new Combined Counties League Premier Division leaders Chertsey Town tonight.

Lea took the lead on 15 minutes when Connor Close nodded in Max Herbert’s free kick from the right but Chertsey equalised 11 minutes from time when tricky winger Dale Binns converted from close range after Lubomir Guentchev had pounced on an error by Amarni Bonsu but saw his effort rebound back off the post.

And the home side broke Lea’s hearts in the third minute of stoppage time when Jake Baxter glanced in Guentchev’s pinpoint cross.

But the drama didn’t end there as an off-the-ball incident in the driving rain at Alwyns Lane sparked a massive melee in the centre circle involving virtually all 22 players and coaches as tempers flared but, amazingly, referee Rachel Marlow only brandished three yellow cards when red cards seemed certain.

For match report and reaction, see this week’s Herald.