Molesey 3-0 Chipstead
Molesey put a run of four straight defeats behind them with a comfortable victory over Chipstead.
Report By Andrew Finch
Goals moments either side of half-time from Ronny Sobowale and Olu Akinsanya helped them on their way, and Dre Grobler capped off a lively substitute appearance by drilling in the third in the closing stages.
Ten defeats in the thirteen league games since the opening week of the season and the fact they had been haemorrhaging goals had seen the Moles glance anxiously over their shoulder in recent weeks, with just three teams below them coming into the game with mid table Chipstead.
They were given a boost on the eve of the match with the news that current basement dwellers Shoreham had been given a six point penalty for a “registration irregularity”.
However, the Moles aren’t in the business of a race to the bottom, and performances like this will ensure there are no fears of filling the one relegation place as the season marches on.
Just how much the win is down to a change in formation is open to question, but there’s no doubt the players looked more comfortable with a flat back four and midfield diamond, which served the club so well during Steve Webb’s final two seasons in charge.
Full backs Ashby Charles and Ato Okai offered width and energy, the midfield felt balanced and there was a genuine goal threat from Sobowale and Akinsanya.
Josh Andrew was denied in the opening moments by Michael Sibley, and Sobowale twice failed to get a shot away when appearing to be in behind the visiting defence.
Sibley pulled off another terrific stop from Antonio Simeone’s blistering free kick, and the only threat Chipstead offered was an effort from Chris O’Flaherty that brought a routine save from Liam Allen.
The game was drifting towards half-time when Andrew’s cross was met by Sobowale, who looped a header beyond Sibley to give the Moles the lead.
There was barely time to kick off before the ref blew for half-time, and he had barely blown for the second half when Charles’s terrific through ball was poked home by Akinsanya to make it two.
The Moles had chances to ride off into the sunset with the three points, and Sibley pulled off a quite brilliant save from Ryan David’s header.
He looked less assured when failing to hold on to Ross Chalke’s effort and Sobowale stabbed home the loose ball, but he earned the luck of the ref somewhat charitably ruling the goal out for a foul.
The visitors finally woke from their slumber in the final twenty minutes, although failed to properly trouble Allen again until five minutes from time when Allan Tait’s point blank volley was superbly smothered by the Molesey stopper.
Grobler alternated between breaking up play and spraying Pirlo-like passes around during his impressive cameo, and after one terrific through ball out to Akinsanya he got on the end of the return ball to fire home Molesey’s third.
With the three points in the bag you could see how much the clean sheet meant to Moles when they twice surprisingly opted to head to the corner flag in stoppage time rather than hunt a fourth.
The win will give the Moles a much-needed boost ahead of winnable looking games over the next seven days at home to Guernsey and away at Herne Bay.