by Jeff King
Wearside League - Saturday 19th February 2022
Chester-le-Street United 6 v 0 Richmond Town
The wind and Storm Eunice had died down by the time the latest game in United's search for glory took place. But, Richmond Town were still sent spinning as the gale force that is Chester-le-Street simply blew them away in devastating style.
With the stands of the world famous Riverside Cricket Ground in the background, there was a mighty six-hit from the hungry youngsters of Chester who ran their opponents ragged for a full ninety minutes.
Before the game with Ryan Muldoon, Louis Watts and Jay Gibson all out injured plus Michael Spellman not available, Head Coach John Gamble seemed to have a selection dilemma on his mind. In the end those that stepped up from the bench made sure United didn't miss a step on their journey towards glory this season.
In the end there was only one change in personnel from the previous week's 7 - 0 demolition of Shotton Colliery with Taylor Robinson coming in for Gibson.
The first opening of the game came in the 4th minute and it was a sign of things to come. Josh Crews played a ball out of defence to Abdullah Alawahdi who put Cameron Brewis in on goal.
Chester's top scorer pulled the left-footed trigger but was foiled by a fine diving save from Richmond keeper Karl Latcham. The corner from Brewis was cleared well by the Town defence.
Elliot Day then made a good run down the left and was found by Robinson. Day delivered a dangerous ball across the six-yard box than no-one was able to get on the end of.
Chester were very much on top but in the early going their passing lacked it's usual precision and Richmond were well organised and at 0 - 0 had something to hang onto. The first foray forward saw Day foul Dylan Wardle forty yards from goal.
Adam Cocks delivered the ball deep into the Chester box but Day got a vital touch on the ball and sent it out for a corner. Cocks swung in the corner but it was well cleared by George Reilly.
Day was active early on and released Lewis Lembikisa with a superb ball down the left touchline. Lembikisa took it well in his stride before cutting in on his right foot and firing towards the near post. Latcham again got down well to turn the ball around the post.
Brewis' corner this time swinging in but over the bar and straight out of play. Chester were getting joy down the flanks and another intelligent run by Alawahdi into space created the next chance. His ball into the box was cleared but picked up by Brewis.
Neat footwork saw him find Robinson who looked up and curled in a nice effort from distance which just went wide of the far post. Chester thought they had taken the lead on 26 minutes.
Good pressure in midfield saw the ball fall to Alawahdi and he sprinted clear with Brewis in support. Alawahdi's well timed pass gave Brewis a clear run on goal. He hesitated slightly before deciding to round Latcham and squeeze the ball home from a tight angle.
The covering defender, Scott Guy, though did brilliantly to slide in and clear the ball off the line sliding into the back of the goal whilst doing so and looking as if he's caused himself some damage.
It proved to be the case as Guy was helped away from the action limping badly by the physio and was replaced by Michael Waters. It was all United now although Alawahdi was rather wasteful with the next opening firing well over the top with players around him perhaps better placed.
The striker went closer almost straight after. Day played a great long diagonal ball to Ebenezer Addo who created space on the right before finding the late arriving Josh Ward in the box. Ward's first-time effort was blocked with the ball falling to Alawahdi who flashed it just over the top.
Despite determined and resolute defending by Richmond a goal seemed inevitable and finally arrived on 33 minutes and whilst it was simple in it's execution it was very well worked.
Robinson played a nice ball wide to Addo on the right he jinked inside and then outside Brad Galloway before pulling the ball back to the unmarked Brewis who easily side-footed it home with his right foot from close range.
It was no more than United had deserved and suddenly the flood-gates were opened. A bad clearance from Latcham was seized on by Brewis who found Ward and the midfielder crashed a fine effort inches wide of the post.
Five minutes before half-time Chester did double their lead with that man Brewis once again on the score sheet. Alawahdi was the creator but in truth it was Brewis' strength and ability that made the difference.
He somehow managed to wriggle through three tackles and stay on his feet despite the best efforts of the Richmond defence to stop him before dispatching another left foot bullet into the waiting net.
United were now rampant and on 43 minutes it was 3 - 0 and what a beauty it was. Addo twisting and turning the defence was stopped at the expense of a corner. Brewis swung it in and John Newall cleared to the edge of the box.
Ward returned the ball into the box and found Lembikisa who controlled it on his chest before acrobatically finishing in spectacular style with a fantastic over-head kick. What a finish it was from a player seizing an opportunity in a rare start.
Even though time was expiring there was no let up from the goal hungry Chester side who came close twice more before the break. From a corner there was a scramble in the box and just as the ball looked to be going out, Jaden Timmis rescued it with a header back into the danger zone.
Crews got up and sent a firm header in that Latcham did well to turn on to the cross bar and was then grateful to to see his defence clear their lines.
As the game went into injury time, Addo and Alawahdi sped away from the under pressure Richmond defence only for Addo to slightly lose control and allow Latcham to clear.
It was the last action of a half that had started slowly for United but ended in a crescendo of chances and great finishing that saw them leave the field three goals to the good.
Richmond did show some spirit on the restart with their first effort on target. Day was booked for a foul on the Richmond right. Luke Hague swung the kick deep to the back post.
Arthur Leblond in the Chester goal decided not to come for it allowing Wardle a close range header which the keeper did well to block and his defence cleared the danger.
Normal service was resumed thereafter as Chester swept forward again. Robinson creating space and delivering a great ball to the far post that Timmis got on the end of but his first time volley was palmed away well by Latcham.
Timmis then took a neat inside pass from Ward in his stride and surged towards goal before being tripped by Waters on the edge of the 'D.' Waters earning a yellow card for the challenge.
Brewis stepped up and smashed the free-kick through the wall al a 'Trippier' style and the goal bound effort took a deflection that took it past Latcham to make it
4 - 0 and give Brewis his second hat-trick in successive games.
The goal was the signal for Gamble to shuffle his pack with Alex Nicholson coming on for Lembikisa and James Bakou for Robinson. The changes temporarily halted Chester's charge and Richmond almost sneaked a consolation.
Wardle and Daniel Raw combined to create an opening but Crews came across well to snuff out the danger at the expense of a corner which Cocks took and saw Riley make a massive clearance from near the six-yard box.
Chester made their third substitution minutes later with Gianny Bacto coming on for Alawahdi as the youngsters continued to sweep forward. Brewis pinched a ball in midfield and slipped Timmis in on goal.
His shot was struck well but Latcham got down well to parry the effort. Timmis then almost became provider when his neat footwork allowed him to find Addo. The right midfielder jinked brilliantly inside the box before unleashing a great effort that crashed off the top of the bar.
But Chester were not to be denied and with fifteen minutes remaining went nap with a beautifully worked team goal. Timmis again finding Addo with a lovely precise pass. The wide man worked his space well before squaring the ball into the path of Bacto who dispatched it neatly into the bottom corner.
Addo was proving a real handful for the under siege Galloway who upended him just outside the left side of the Ricmond 18-yard line. This time Brewis saw his free-kick deflect off the wall for a corner that was well cleared by Richmond.
The next chance was another Brewis free-kick following another foul on the flying Addo. This time the left-footed attacker curled a beautiful free-kick over the wall but it narrowly missed the target floating just over the top.
Ward setup the next chance as Richmond's struggles continued. He did well to make ground in midfield and with runners either side of him chose Bakou whose fierce drive flew just wide of the target.
With four minutes left United did strike again and it was the lethal and talented Brewis that took his individual tally for the game to four and his season's tally to a magnificent 33 in all competitions. An extremely impressive total for a very impressive player.
It was the last action of another solid and well-crafted team performance from this very talented young side that have now netted 92 goals in only 23 league games whilst conceding only 22. Form and statistics that see them continue to lead the Wearside League.
TEAM : 1. Arthur Leblond 2. George Reilly 3. Elliot Day 4. Jaden Timmis 5. Josh Crews (C) 6. Taylor Robinson 7. Ebenezer Addo 8. Josh Ward 9. Abdullah Alawahdi 10. Cameron Brewis 11. Lewis Lembikisa
SUBS : 12. Alex Nicholson for Lembikisa 14. James Bakou for Robinson 16. Gianny Bacto for Alawahdi
SCORERS : Brewis 4, Lembikisa, Bactou