ROCKS REVIEW: Chipstead 1 Rocks 3

The Rocks’ notched their eighth win in nine Ryman one south games - and it was enough to put them top of the league.

They followed up their beating of Met Police with a comfortable 3-1 triumph in fog-bound Surrey thanks to a Michael Birmingham penalty and goals from James Crane and Jason Prior.

Without Luke Nightingale, who took a nasty knock just above the knee on Saturday, the Rocks brought back James Fraser for his first start since his three weeks out injured - and the change did little to disrupt the flowing football fans have become so used to in recent weeks.

Cheered on by a hardy band of around 60 Rocks fans in the 106 crowd, the visitors signalled their attacking intent from the word go and the game was only two minutes old when Prior headed over from Ben Johnson’s cross.

Fourteen minutes had passed when the Rocks were awarded a penalty. Johnson’s cross fell to Dan Beck and as he worked his way into the box, he was pulled down. Birmingham sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot.

Kane Wills and Johnson were driving the Rocks forward and a Crane cross was met by Prior just under the bar, but keeper Joe Grant - who was to thwart the Rocks a number of times - somehow clawed the ball away from the goal.

Beck shot past the post when he might have found Wills in a better position to score and then the Chips levelled on 32 minutes.

Ray Freeman beat Stuart Axten and set up Jason Goodchild, who picked his spot to beat Craig Stoner from 15 yards.

But just four minutes later the Rocks were back in front. Johnson put Beck through and after his effort was saved by Grant, the ball fell for Crane to head in the unguarded net.

There were a number of chances for a third before the break. A flowing move involving Crane, Beck and Wills ended with Fraser’s shot from 18 yards skimming the bar. Then Johnson’s dipping shot wasn’t far off-target.

The travelling fans headed for the tea bar at the break having enjoyed some scintillating football from their side.

And they were celebrating a third four minutes into the second period, this one a simple goal as aerial specialist Prior headed in Johnson’s corner.

Fraser forced Grant into a good near-post save and Prior headed over before being replaced by Phil Turner - making his first appearance for a couple of months - after taking a knock with 20 minutes to go.

Chipstead had a spell of possession and pressure and it included a great chance which Freeman headed over as well as an incident which saw Stoner needing treatment after bravely diving to save at James Pinnock’s feet.

Dan Royce came on for Beck

With minutes left, the Rocks broke from their own 18-yard box for a treendous move which ended with Fraser outpacing his marker, only for Grant to save the Chips again.

Lee Colven was close to a second for the home side late on.

ROCKS: Stoner, Ryan, Crane (Marzetti), Wills, Axten, Bond, Beck (Royce), Birmingham, Prior (Turner), Fraser, Johnson. Sub not used: Wood.

Next up for the Rocks it’s two home games. Godalming visit the Lane on Saturday and Ramsgate follow in their footsteps next Tuesday.

Report by Simon Cook & Steve Bone

Get all the latest from Nyewood Lane in the Observer - out on Thursday morning