Chertsey Town confidently inflicted Guildford City’s first league defeat of the season with a resounding 3-0 victory at Alwyns Lane. City, minus the suspended Ben Rayner and absent Tommy Tydeman, were overrun in midfield for a disastrous opening half an hour. An early goal from Page was followed by a controversial Moody second. The visitors were much improved for the middle period of the match but could not find the net and were condemned to defeat when Papali scored Chertsey’s third from the penalty spot in the 66th minute.
Within five minutes, a de Freitas clearance was stolen from his feet and crossed for Page to head against the bar and into the net to give Chertsey the lead. It didn’t get much better, with a number of punts from the Chertsey goalkeeper falling straight into the gap in midfield that Chertsey were exploiting despite the efforts of Heavey and Guilford. Antony Hall had to pull off a smart save to prevent City going two down minutes later, and then watched as an attempted lob drifted over the bar. The route one approach nearly unlocked the visitors again when Thoroughgood’s headed clearance fell to the feet of Papali whose long range effort fizzed wide.
Things got worse for City in the 28th minute. A Hall kick fell short and a quick through ball saw him needing to rush out and close down an oncoming striker. The Guildford goalkeeper was beaten to the ball which was prodded through to Mark Moody who, with just the covering Tony Chaplin between him and the goal, was well offside when he netted Chertsey’s second.
City finally had a chance of their own when Lance Banton-Brown was found in space down the right hand side, bringing the ball into the penalty area before laying off to Dan Moody who shot over. A looping Cooper free kick was helped on by Jack Guilford but he couldn’t steer it into the Chertsey goal. Joel Greaves was working hard to create chances under close attention, and his footwork enabled him to beat four defenders but his cross was struck just too far for the waiting Jaydon Gibbs to apply the finishing touch.
Two goals behind at half time, City needed a goal quickly after the break. Banton-Brown went down under a challenge early in the second half, but protests for a penalty were waved away. A Heavey flick forwards gave Greaves something to chase but his shot was blocked. Despite a period of City pressure, Chertsey made sure of three points after a counter attack. Jamie Thoroughgood took offence to Page’s ‘Snood’ and tried to remove it with a tug of his shirt as he went to shoot. The inevitable red card followed and Papali converted the resultant penalty.
Guildford’s ten men did well after a change of shape to cope with the numerical disadvantage. The two Ants were involved at each end. First, Antony Hall made a good save from a Chertsey free kick before Anthony Bridgeman broke through the Chertsey defence but pulled his shot wide from a difficult angle. It was never going to be City’s day when Greaves shot was blocked by the goalkeeper when he was one-on-one. Chertsey finished proceedings with a long range Moody shot before Page shot timidly at Hall in the closing minutes.