Guildford City got their first league points on the board in dominating fashion against a Colliers Woods United side who included ex-City midfielder Danny Elgar. They could and should have made this win more comfortable however with a series of missed chances in the second half which led to a nail-biting finish as Colliers Wood pulled one back with just 2 minutes to go. As I was at a wedding at the time, Matt H kindly provided the following report….
The first half was incredibly dull. In fact, in the duration of the 45 minutes I made just two notes: “City on top, can’t score” and “Harrison finds space”. There really was very little action of note, both teams more or less cancelling each other out. The home side were on top but couldn’t find the final ball, and Colliers Wood had no attacking threat. The Guildford defence has been improving since day one, and Tony Chaplin and Elvis De Freitas were excelling in the full back positions.
Guildford emerged a different side in the second half however, a trait we’ve noticed several times before under Kevin Rayner. Just five minutes into the second half, Gabriel Adesina stole the ball off the last defender who hesitated under pressure. The striker then advanced on the keeper, pulling him out of his goal before sliding the ball back across into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to City.
Five minutes after that in the 55th minute, the ball teed up to Jamie King on the edge of the area who managed to chip the advancing goalkeeper. The ball looped in a prefect arc but glanced off the post and was cleared by the shell-shocked Colliers Wood defenders. City were attacking strongly, the pairing of Adesina and Carnegie always looking threatening.
During this spell of pressure, Harrison Carnegie found himself in a tussle with the last defender and appeared to break free but the ball became tangled up in his feet and his one-on-one chance was lost. The second goal came in the 67th minute. A beautiful free kick from Jack Turner at just the right height and speed. Any number of City players could have made the finishing connection, but it was that man Adesina who headed back across goal, the ball evading the lunge of the keeper and settling in the far corner of the net.
City took their foot off the pedal and Colliers Wood began to get back into the match. A free kick on the very edge of the area was pulled wide of the goal. Almost immediately however, Harrison Carnegie broke away, outstripping his marker with his pace. As the ball rolled towards the keeper, Harrison managed to get a touch to take it round him but he couldn’t control it in time to hit the back of the net.
The consolation goal for Colliers Wood came after some panicked City defending that resulted in a ball ricocheting into the path of Steve Lang who finished coolly past Anthony Hall (the Guildford keeper having had very little to do all afternoon!). The visitors applied some late pressure, but Guildford fought to the end to get their first three points of the season.
GUILDFORD CITY: A. Hall; E Defreitas (T. Arnold, 73); T. Chaplin; G. Tydeman; J. Thoroughgood; J. King (L. Hirrel, 81); J. Turner (P. Gough, 78); B. Rayner; G. Adesina; H. Carnegie; C. Knight
Subs not used: K. Tracey; L. Bradnick
COLLIERS WOOD UTD: C. Nelson; R. Smithmiller; D. Hughes; T. Costello; J. Harrison (R. Faulkner, 52); P. Bogle; S. Lang; R. Hughes (D. Atsu, 69); L. Bynan; A. Fisk (S. Mead, 78); D. Elgar
Subs not used: None
Booked: R. Smithmiller, 66
Referee: Chukwuma Uju