Lewes 1 Smith 2
FA Cup with Budweiser Second Round Qualifying (Saturday 28 September)
In what is turning out to be a challenging season for Chalfont, it has often been necessary to visit the well of optimism before watching them play. For Saturday's cup tie it was too easy to stop on the way, hold your head and ask why.
A simple look at the scoreline would suggest that Saints ran their higher level opponents close and were beaten only by an early goal. However, Lewes were not a good side. More than several sides in Chalfont's division would have despatched them with little problem.
Saints have relied heavily on their solid back line so it was a surprise when they were rocked in the early minutes as they opened up to let Dan Smith run clear and round Power-Simpson to score easily. The usually reliable Paxton and Fowler were not at their dominant best but for the next 88 minutes they were more than able to snuff out any threat from the Lewes attack.
With Scott Fitzgerald out with injury, there wasn't a player on the Saints side who had scored a goal since August. There were times when the ball was worked through to the front line when one eye was inevitably drawn to the opposition goal to make sure there weren't jumpers for goalposts, such was the poverty of control and invention.
Lewes, similarly weakened by injuries, were eventually grateful for the early goal as they were also unable to create any real problems for Saints. An excellent late save by Power-Simpson was the only real highlight of a disappointing afternoon.
Successive weekends without a single shot on goal demands a response. While strong in defensive and midfield reserves, the attacking options have been flatlining. Scotland famously fielded a side without a recognised striker against the Czech Republic. Right now, Saints could do a lot worse than revisit that idea.
Saints: Michael Power-Simpson, Kevin Ayodele, Ronayne Marsh-Brown, Gareth Paxton (Asen Valchev 82), Liam Fowler, John Carroll (Alex Paine 59), Luke Brook-Smith, Alan Hedley, Leon Osei, Danilson Vicente (Remmel Clarke 70), Romaine Walker.
Attendance: 153 Star Player: Kevin Ayodele