On another desperately cold evening City embarked upon their third match in just five days. Playing conditions weren’t easy with a firm surface and swirling wind making flowing passing football a difficult proposition. Chertsey, without a match on Monday, started the fresher of the sides and belied their lowly league position. Guildford meanwhile struggled to make headway in the first period, and despite a succession of corners couldn’t create that all important opening.
On 9 minutes from Ben Rayner’s corner an unsighted Tyrone Newton couldn’t get enough on his close range chance, and minutes later from another corner Junior Kaffo rose unchallenged to head just wide. It was Chertsey though who had the best chance of the half. The impressive Arafat Kabuye crossed from the right and John Pomroy miscued in front of goal and Dan Moody tracked back to prevent a second effort. On the half hour a long range effort from Ricky Hodgson nearly deceived Antony Hall, and on 39 minutes another low ball into the box from the left was missed by two City defenders and Mark Knight’s effort from in front of goal was deflected narrowly wide. From the resulting corner Ben Rayner cleared off the line and City were under the cosh as the first half drew to a close.
The second period was a brighter affair and after 49 minutes some fine interplay between Junior Kaffo and Dan Moody, saw Moody carve out a shooting chance from 15 yards that was saved at full stretch by Ross in the visiting goal. Then on 55 minutes Chertsey took the lead. A long cross field cross found its way to John Pomroy, who eluded the home defenders to slide the ball home past the advancing Hall. There was a sense during the game of “after the Lords Mayors show” following Monday’s sparkling performance against Godalming, and when Luke Bradnick was carried off with an ankle injury, it seemed that this was not to be City’s day.
City were slowly building the pressure and amidst a succession of corners Simon Cooper headed the ball down but Junior Kaffo was unable to get the vital touch. Then on 71 minutes City got themselves on the scoresheet. From yet another corner the ball came out wide to Dan Moody whose deep cross was met first time by Jamie Thoroughgood who turned the ball in at the far post. Then in a game without a bad challenge, there was a lengthy delay due to an off the ball incident that saw Chertsey goalkeeper Gary Ross and unused substitute Daniel Cox shown red cards, and City’s assistant manager Roly Martin sent to the stand. When play resumed it was understandably City that pushed forward. On 84 minutes, after a patient build up, Scott Todd shot just wide, and then as the game entered stoppage time City scored the winner. Junior Kaffo won an aerial challenge deep in Chertsey’s half, and the ball fell to Simon Cooper in an advanced role. Cooper’s rising effort from 24 yards flew into the top corner, and would have beaten any goalkeeper. There was still time for a scare in the home goalmouth but City held firm to claim the three points.
Antony Hall, Bruce McPhail, Ben Rayner, Simon Cooper, Jamie Thoroughgood (Mike Hall 90), Dammy Bada, Dan Moody, Junior Kaffo, Luke Bradnick (Casey McCabe 63), Scott Todd, Tyrone Newton (Elvis Defreitas 52).
Unused substitutes: TBC
Referee: Paul Johnson