By Barry Undewood
The Sweeney were dancing on air at Hatton Road after Don Chislett’s new look Guildford City side gave a masterclass of counter-attacking football to gain three valuable points. Bedfont were missing players to a Middlesex FA call-up, but be in no doubt that the City side, once again averaging just 19 years of age and still getting to know each other, would have been a match for a good many teams on this performance. Last week’s match saw City’s youngest ever goal scorer, and today debutant Jack Collins became almost certainly Guildford City’s youngest ever captain, aged just 18 years of age.
City were quick out of the traps with their pace and movement causing the home defence problems. As early as the third minute Jordan Phillip’s in-swinging corner struck the near post, and Jordan Taylor’s header from the rebound was well saved by Richardson at close range. Bedfont had plenty of the ball, and indeed won a succession of corners in the first period, but it was Guildford’s speed and interplay on the break that proved the difference. On five minutes young Nathaniel Williams found space on the right to float a delightful cross into the danger area. Anthony Baker’s header was saved at short range but the same player was alert to the rebound which he slotted home from 10 yards. Three minutes later City had a two goal advantage; this time Ryan Fraser on the left provided the cross which was met by Bruce McPhail. McPhail’s low effort was parried by Richardson but Nathaniel Williams was on hand to tuck the loose ball away. With Fraser and Williams causing plenty of problems down the flanks City always looked dangerous, but it was Bedfont that enjoyed more of the possession. On 39 minutes indeed the home side got on the score sheet when Jamie Read was given too much space on the right and he had the time to shoot low into the far corner. Stout City defending ensured the visitors went into the break with a goal advantage, and seconds before the half-time whistle Luke Simmonds had a shooting chance which didn’t trouble Richardson in the home goal.
Invigorated by their goal late in the first period, Bedfont set siege to the City goal in the early stages of the second period. An early goal at this stage might well have changed the nature of the game. Bedfont’s chance came and went after 53 minutes when a misdirected header was collected by Grant Cooper who took the ball past Lee Allen but was only able to shoot into the side netting from an acute angle. Stunned perhaps by this close call City hit back in the best way possible. Anthony Baker collected a long pass wide left before cutting in, and to the delight of the sizeable Sweeney following, his thunderbolt of a shot cannoned off the inside of the post and into the net. As the game progressed City grew in confidence, but this was shaken a little when Bedfont pulled back a goal to trail just by one. The visitor’s spurned an opportunity to clear the ball and Jamie Read turned the ball in after 64 minutes. Minutes later Jordan Taylor shot over from a good position but City were not deterred for long as on 69 minutes a poor clearance saw Anthony Baker given possession, and when it looked as if he had missed his shooting opportunity he fired home low and hard for his eighth goal of the season. A minute later and City had scored again, and what a glorious goal it was. In a fast counter-attacking move the ball passed via four players out of defence and Nathaniel Williams was the man on the spot to latch onto the final inch perfect pass to slide the ball past Richardson. On 75 minutes Baker missed a chance from an acute angle, but on 80 minutes he put Nathaniel Williams clear on goal. Richardson did enough to thwart the rampant wing man, but the ball ran loose to Bruce McPhail who slid home his first goal for the club in his 83rd appearance. Bedfont’s Cedric Bldsolka gained a consolation with just seconds left on the clock but there was no denying this was Guildford City’s day.
Team: Lee Allen, Luke Simmonds, Harry Shipton, Jordan Phillips (James Ryan 80), Jack Collins, David Unwin, Nathaniel Williams (Ryan Wallis 80), Bruce McPhail, Anthony Baker, Jordan Taylor, Ryan Fraser (John Symons 45). Unused subs: Harry Eke, Liam Beach (GK).
Referee: Adam Donaldson