Match Report By Barry Underwood
This is a different Guildford City side to that that huffed and puffed through September. Not so much changes in personnel, although there have been significant additions, but in confidence and depth of playing squad. From the previous week’s line-up Elvis Defreitas and Jordan Phillips were both missing due to injury, whilst Tom Penson was suspended. “Mr Versatile”, aka Bruce McPhail, stepped into central defence to partner Ray Guilford and Anthony Bridgeman was drafted in at right back. City should in truth have put the game out of sight in the first period, and could have been made to pay by a rejuvenated home side in the second period. In the end though it is another three points to assist with the club’s rise up the table.
City had a great opportunity to open the scoring after just two minutes. Khari Oriogun’s free-kick into the danger area was cleared to the edge of the box where John Symons fired the ball back in where the veteran goalkeeper Lee Pearce blocked Carlton Murray-Price’s close range effort. Minutes later Symons set Anthony Baker free down the right. His run took him into the box but he shot into the side netting. Colliers Wood were lively on the counter attack with Mario Embalo and debutant Adam Hallissey in particular showing their pace and agility, but McPhail and Tommy Degiorgio impressed in their defensive roles.Stefan Joseph shot wide after fine interplay, and on 19 minutes City took the lead. Ray Guilford’s header was saved; the rebound from Anthony Baker hit a post before finally Stefan Joseph, loitering on the edge of the box, fired home through a crowded goal mouth. Embalo did then have a headed chance for United but fortunately for City his effort looped over the crossbar. On 32 minutes Guildford scored an important second. Khari Oriogun’s jinking run was halted illegally just inside the box, and there was no taking the ball off him, as the same player stepped up to send Pearce the wrong way from the spot. Guildford tend to concede goals just prior to the interval but it looked as if they had escaped on this occasion when in the 44th minute Hall made a fine double save following a goalmouth scramble. Relief was short lived as with the last kick of the half Elijah Ogunseye ran across the box before planting a shot into the City net.
As so often is the case a goal before the interval can lift a side and that was certainly the case with Colliers Wood who were the livelier of the two sides for much of the second period. On more than one occasion Antony Hall was called into action and as the heavens opened much of the remainder of the game was played out in what resembled a biblical deluge. The skipper Ray Guilford however was a rock at the heart of the City defence and gradually the visitors started to threaten again in offence. Carlton Murray-Price’s free-kick right on the edge of the box was blocked, and minutes later Khari Oriogun and Murray-Price combined again but sadly the latter’s effort went just wide. Big Stefan Joseph, who was a handful for the home defence all afternoon, saw an effort blocked at full stretch on 75 minutes, and although Tommy Degiorgio saw a 20 yard effort go just over the bar on 83 minutes, the rest of the game was about holding on to the lead. As ever in these circumstances there were some hairy moments as the game moved towards its conclusion, but hold on they did and Guildford City’s improved form continues apace.
Team: Antony Hall, Anthony Bridgeman, Tommy Degiorgio, Bruce McPhail, Ray Guilford, John Symons (Edward Boateng 73)(Ryan Wallis 87), Anthony Baker, Jack Guilford, Carlton Murray-Price (Dane Harriott 84), Stefan Joseph, Khari Oriogun. Unused subs: Lee Allen.
Referee: Garry Worrell