Chelsea fan Baxter turns FA Vase final on its head as Chertsey Town come from behind to beat Cray Va
Chertsey Town 3 v Cray Valley (PM) 1 (after extra time 1-1)
Chelsea-fan Jake Baxter scored the crucial extra-time goal that turned the game around for Chertsey Town as they came from behind to beat Cray Valley Paper Mills 3-1 at Wembley to lift the FA Vase.
The striker, slotted home from the spot just before the end of the first period of extra-time after Cray had taken the lead through a fine solo effort from Gavin Tomlin. That lead lasted two minutes before Sam Flegg slotted home the equaliser.
That was the score after 90 minutes, but Chertsey dominated the added 30 minutes with Baxter and then a fine curler from man-of-the-match Quincy Rowe finishing the job off in style.
Chertsey started the brighter of the two with Lubomir Guentchev foiled by a last-ditch block by Ashley Sains after four minutes.
This prompted Cray Valley into a spell of pressure of their own. Live-wire Denzel Gayle, proving effective on the right pushed the Curfews back, thus allowing space for Anthony Edgar to let fly with a long-ranger. But it sailed fly high over Nick Jupps’s crossbar on eight minutes.
An acrobatic overhead kick by the Curfew’s Chelsea FC-supporting striker Jake Baxter on 19 minutes enlivened a spell of dour possession play. Unfortunately for the hitman , his effort from 10 yards out, inched over Andy Walker’s crossbar.
Cray were unlucky not to take the lead on 30 minutes when Anthony Edgar’s ow, drive on the left was hacked off the line by mason Welch-Turner.
Two minutes later and Walker produced a fine save to tip over his crossbar a sweeping curing free-kick by Guentev and the game swung end-to-end.
Cray took the lead with a fine piece of individual opportunism nine minutes from half-time.
A long ball down the left found Gavin Tomlin. He brushed aside the limp challenge of centre-back Michael Peacock, cut in from the byline and managed to squeeze home a low, right-footed drive that somehow beat Jupp at his near post.
But the lead lasted two minutes. A corner by Guentchev was headed onto the post by Sam Flegg and and he was first to respond to tuck home the equaliser from close-range.
There were no changes from either side at half-time.
Lewis Driver almost put the Surrey side ahead five minutes after the restart. Another pin-point corner from Guentchev found the head of driver but the ball zipped onto the top netting.
Baxter had a golden chance on 59 minutes but screwed his right-footer, from the edge of the Cray penalty area wide of goal.
A terrific challenge by Cem Tumkaya on 69 minutes was wonderfully timed as Chertsey’s Baxter was just about to pull the trigger after weaving into space to have a shot on goal.
The first substitution saw Cray’s Josh James replace Ryan Flack on 73 minutes.
It was soon to be the end of the match for Chertsey’s Kevin MaClaren, who came off for Dave Taylor with 13 minutes left on the clock
Jupp kept Chertsey in the final with a fine diving save to prevent Tumkaya scoring a last-minute winner with a powerful header.
Cray’s defender Sains then had to head the ball off the line as goalkeeper Walker let the ball slip through his fingers.
With seconds left Peacock sliced the ball wide with the goal beckoning as Chertsey finished the game as they started it, in the ascendency.
With the last kick of the game, five minutes into added time, Cray’s Taylor could have been the hero, but his left-footer rattled the Chertsey crossbar instead.
Kevin Lisbie received a yellow card for a hand ball 10 minutes into extra time.
That was his last action on the pitch as he was replaced by Francis Babalola.
With seconds left in the first half Chertsey snatched a penalty when Tumkaya hacked down Guentchev right on the edge of the penalty area, Up stepped electrician by trade Baxter to cooly slot the ball home past Walker to put Chertsey the 2-1 up.
The cup was finally won by Chertsey when after a fine piece of interplay by the men in blue saw Quincy Rowe beautifully curl home the ball past Jupp to make it 3-1.
It should have been four but Guentchev saw his low drive rebound off the post.
Jump, Welch-Turner, MaClaren, Peacock, Rowe, Guentchev, Baxter, Murphy, Binns, Driver, Flegg
Subs: Gallkifent, Jackson, Taylor, Pomroy, Kinsella, Bennett, Crossley
Cray Valley (PM) Walker, Smith, Hickey, Saints, Tumkaya, Edgar, Semakula, Tomlinson, Lisburn, Flack, Gayle,
Subs: Ibrahaim, Potter, Myers, James, Babalola, Dawson, Willock