Guildford City (2) 5, Redhill (0) 2
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City returned home to the Spectrum after three weeks away and put on a five star show against struggling Redhill. The visitors have dropped down from the Ryman League, and similar to us last year, they have found the transition into the Combined Counties League testing. City for their part welcomed back Jordan Taylor to the club and certainly his strength at right back makes him a big addition to the side. The opening period was in fact even with both sides probing and Josh Drew and Marlow Roper exchanged sizzling shots that cleared the crossbar. As the game developed it was City who got into their stride first and on 21 minutes Nathaniel Williams latched onto Jake Gill’s pass to bear down on Cheadle in the visiting goal. Electing to go round the keeper Williams was thwarted as Cheadle made an excellent save at the striker’s feet. Any worries that City would live to regret this miss were allayed minutes later when again Gill found Nathaniel Williams in space out wide in the box. Most people in the Spectrum were expecting a cross but young Nathaniel had other ideas and he drilled home a brilliant effort into the only gap visible just inside the far post. With the confidence of the goal City played some good attacking football, and Williams was almost on the scoreboard again when his powerful effort from Kiyanu Pillay’s cross was excellently saved for a corner by Harvey Cheadle. Pillay himself was almost on the scoresheet but his audacious chip from 35 yards didn’t quite have the legs. Three minutes before the interval City took that all-important two goal lead; speedy Nathaniel Williams latching onto a long ball and with Cheadle undecided whether to come or to stay, Williams got to the ball first to guide it home. Almost on the whistle City went close again when Matt York’s header grazed the crossbar from Jake Gill’s free-kick.
Last season Guildford had a weakness for conceding goals in the immediate minutes either side of the interval. It was therefore no great surprise when on 48 minutes Joshua Kadou found himself in space down the middle and he had time to slot home to bring the visitors back into the match. The goal certainly lifted Redhill and after the ball was given up cheaply in midfield Gareth Chendlik’s powerful shot from range was spectacularly tipped over the crossbar by Liam Beach. At this stage, and despite City’s first-half dominance, the game was potentially in the balance. On the hour manager Don Chislett introduced Aaron Smith-Joseph and Rory Cornelius from the bench, and as a result the momentum started to shift back in City’s favour. Almost immediately Aaron’s run and cross from the by-line caused Redhill problems. However it was a set piece that gave City the chance to nudge further ahead. Jake Gill’s free-kick was headed back across the goalmouth by Matt York, and Josh Drew was on hand to half-volley home for his first goal for the club. Two minutes later and it was 4-1. Rory Cornelius crossing low for Nathaniel Williams to hammer home from 15 yards to completed his hat-trick, and also round off a nice move. Sensing more goals were on the cards full-back Connor Gales appeared in an advanced position and his delicate lobbed pass found Williams whose effort was saved by Cheadle. Redhill to their credit hadn’t given up the cause and in the 88th minute Gareth Chendlik beat the offside trap to comfortably slot home. With the minutes ticking down there was little time for an unlikely come back but anyway, just to make sure, Miguel Anderson unleashed an unstoppable thunderbolt of an effort from 30 yards to round off the scoring, and confirm a valuable league victory.
Team: Liam Beach, Jordan Taylor, Connor Gales, Jake Gill, Matt York, Jack Collins, Kiyanu Pillay (Rory Cornelius 57), Dan Akinwande, Nathaniel Williams, Josh Drew (Miguel Anderson 70), Athan Smith-Joseph (Aaron Smith-Joseph 57). Unused subs: Andy Ottley, Stuart Searle.
Referee: Luis Pinto Nunes
Attendance – 115