It was a beautiful late summer’s day on Saturday and Guildford City had travelled deep into Sussex to face Hailsham Town for their penultimate pre-season fixture. For the second consecutive game City’s defence had something of a makeshift look about it with Bruce McPhail and Josh Drew – normally a forward – filling the central positions, and two 17 year olds Nathaniel Williams and Connor Hall playing at full-back.
The small group of travelling Sweeney who had journeyed down by train (well done guys) needn’t have worried as all four players performed admirably. In the first period City comfortably soaked up the pressure whilst constantly looking dangerous on the break, with Kiyanu Pillay in particular in typically lively form. Debutant Andy Ottley in central midfield was prompting as the side went forward and his execution of set plays was especially noteworthy. On 26 minutes it was Pillay who spun in the box to open the scoring.
Similar to the midweek match at Horsham YMCA City were on the back foot for much of the second period and the home side created and missed several good chances. Had the scores finished even nobody in truth would have argued. Instead in the very last seconds Rory Cornelius unleashed a cannonball of a shot from 30 yards that bounced down off of the crossbar and Anthony Baker reacted first to head home from close range to clinch a 2-0 victory.
Manager Donovan Chislett gave his reactions to Ian Plested after the match, you can listen to the interview here.
Guildford City travel to Cobham on Tuesday evening for their final pre-season game of the season, kick-off 7.45pm. The postcode of the Downside Bridge Road ground is KT11 1AA.