The Tanners overcame some dreadful weather conditions and a Chipstead side who they had not managed to beat over the past two seasons to gain three valuable points at the Grove on Tuesday night.

Bob Langford’s injury problems had eased a little with Dev Williams able to play with protective bandages over the four stitches he suffered in the weekend’s draw against Godalming.

Sacha M’Baye made his first team debut in place of the injured, Iain Hendry after impressing for the reserves – it was hardly ideal conditions for the youngster to encounter Ryman League forwards but the youngster put in a solid performance that would have done his senior chances no harm at all.

The first half was, understandably, a poor affair. The driving wind and rain made the ball difficult to control and, as the pitch grew wetter, players on both sides found it increasingly difficult to keep their footing. Passes went astray by the hatfull.

With the wind behind them in the first half, the Tanners found themselves playing balls behind the visiting defence but with little chance of catching it!

Chipstead always looked vulnerable against the pace of Jason Henry and, in the first minute, he could have made an early strike when his run took him clear of a labouring defence only to see James Wastell safely gather the ball in.

Although the Tanners had the majority of the possession, Chipstead had their chances. It took a fine finger-tip save from Chris Lewington to avert a mid-half setback when the ball could not be cleared from a muddy six yard box and Fred Fleming’s touch nearly crept in at the far post.

Lewington has been a tour de force in the Leatherhead goal but this was his debut clean sheet at the Grove since his arrival from Fisher Athletic.

Playing against a rising wind, the Tanners came out with a much better game plan in the second half. Right from the whistle, they pressed the Chipstead defence.

After just four minutes an injured Wastell blocked a Tom Hutchings effort after the striker had been put clear by Stewart Holmes. From the corner, Hutchings again found Wastell his equal when his corner was not defended well and Kev Terry saw his effort blocked.

The ball found Hutchings on the edge of the penalty area and his clever lob was cleared off the goal line.

The opening goal was not long coming. A through ball, again, split the visitors’ defence leaving Wastell to deny Terry with another fine block.

This time his luck had run out as Tony Cuff was lurking on the edge of the area and his first time low shot left Wastell stranded.

With the conditions worsening by the minute, this was a game that was fortunate to see the full ninety minutes.

With both sides tiring, both the Tanners and Chipstead management teams made changes to inject some fresh legs into the game.

Within the closing minutes Tony Cuff, Jason Henry and Tom Hutchings were replaced by Jean-Serge Musungu, Ben Shannon and Simon Mitchell.

Before he went, Hutchings added another goal to his impressive total this season when he outpaced a tiring defence and finished emphatically to give James Wastell no chance to repeat his earlier heroics.

The final whistle came as a relief to both players and supporters alike but it did leave Chipstead still amongst the strugglers and the Tanners with three more valuable points and, as importantly, the confidence of knowing that they had gone three games unbeaten since their drubbing at Worthing.

For a team who have had their share of trauma this season, this was a very good night’s work.