Raynes Park Vale (0) 0, Guildford City (0) 1
Don Chislett’s young Guildford City side gave a hugely disciplined and hard-working performance to take the three points at Grand Drive on Thursday evening. It proved to be a valuable victory that keeps City in close contact at the foot of the table. Much of the first period was played at a frantic pace with there being no question that the hosts were happy in mid table security. Indeed with the impressive form of most clubs in the relegation scrap, clubs such as Raynes Park and Bedfont Sports have been dragged into the fight. Despite the home side’s ambition going forward City’s defence stood firm with Tadej Venta especially looking impressive. City for their part made in roads but often the final pass would let them down, and play in general was scrappy. In a period of pressure midway through the half City forced three consecutive corners, but it wasn’t until just prior to the interval that the visitor’s had a clear sight of goal. From a long Jordan Taylor throw the ball fell to Anthony Baker eight yards out from goal but his low effort was deflected for a corner. Dan Stewart then worked a good shooting position but a bobble saw his effort miss the target, and following good work from Kiyanu Pillay on the left Stewart ran across the corner of the box before shooting wide.
Playing up the slope in the second half, and doubtless with Don Chislett’s words of wisdom ringing in their ears, City looked more threatening. Early on Anthony Baker’s flick on was volleyed wide by Dan Stewart, and with Jack Collins and Myles Jones driving the side forward from midfield chances started to appear. Jones released wide man Kiyanu Pillay who cut in and saw his shot deflected, and minutes later Jones fed Anthony Baker whose effort was blocked at close range by Vale keeper Sam Filler. City were enjoying their best period of the match and when Anthony Baker found himself in space but struggling to bring the ball down he managed to lay the ball back to his strike partner Stewart whose low effort was palmed around the post. From the resultant corner Kris Campbell’s acrobatic overhead kick was cleared off the line. Against the run of play Vale’s Jerome Smart launched a speculative long range effort from 40 yards that saw Liam Beach back-peddling to tip the ball over the bar at full stretch. City’s breakthrough came on 67 minutes. To the evident delight of the large travelling support, Dan Stewart brilliantly turned amidst heavy traffic on the edge of the box to drill a low shot into the corner. Raynes Park began to leave gaps as they pressed for an equaliser and after 84 minutes substitute Ishmael Erskine saw a fierce effort well saved by the diving Filler. Florin Ramizi and the hard-working Rory Cornelius posed problems to the Vale defence late on but in the end City settled for their deserved single goal victory.
Team: Liam Beach, Jordan Taylor, Luke Simmonds, Myles Jones, Tadej Venta, Kris Campbell, Rory Cornelius, Jack Collins, Dan Stewart, Anthony Baker (Florin Ramizi 67), Kiyanu Pillay (Ishmael Erskine 73). Unused sub: Bruce McPhail.
Referee: Steven Scott
City now move on tomorrow (Saturday) to Knaphill (kick-off 3pm) for the next six pointer at the foot of the table. City’s travelling support at both Westfield and Raynes Park was quite exceptional and very much appreciated by the players, and it would be terrific for the Sweeney to once again support the side in some numbers at Knaphill.