City on Cloud Nine!
Chessington & Hook United (1) 3, Guildford City (4) 9
by Barry Underwood
Wow! Guildford City equalled their post 1996 highest goals in a match total in an emphatic and memorable win at Chessington’s Chalky Lane. To put things into context Chessington did go down to ten men after just 10 minutes which clearly didn’t help their cause but nobody in the ground would have anticipated City unleashing such a barnstorming display of attacking football. Make no mistake Chessington are not a poor side. In midweek indeed they had beaten Colliers Wood on the same Chalky Lane pitch. As reported during the week City manager Dean Thomas had been busy strengthening his squad and the side fielded included five debutants; Martin Dynan, Bradley Pegg, Harry Driver, Nathan Chambers and Adam Nditi.
Amazingly perhaps given the final result it was Chessington who took the lead after five minutes although the decision to give the goal was hugely questionable, and indeed this wasn’t the games only controversial moment. Chessington’s Tyrone Newton broke free on the right. This looked dubious and later the home side’s management team conceded he was five yards offside. The match officials waved play on and from his cross the ball was slid home to open the scoring. Guildford looked to respond and within four minutes referee Sam Gregory had awarded City a controversial penalty. Controversial enough for the home sides Sam Hewitt to be dismissed from the field of play for foul and abusive language. Undeterred by the commotions around him it was Andy Ottley who stepped up to convert from the penalty spot. Now back on level terms and with the pressure off City played some confident football, and perhaps for the first time this season they looked more secure in midfield with Curtis George and Harry Driver both impressing. City went ahead on 21 minutes when Matt Anton had space to fire in a low shot from an acute angle that cannoned into the net off the goalkeeper Ian Hewitt’s body.
On the half hour City nudged ahead further when Nathan Chambers low cross was met by Curtis George in the box and he had time to take a touch before firing home from 12 yards. Minutes later the same player was inches away from getting a second when his header from Adam Nditi’s cross bounced away off the post. It should be said that the match at this point wasn’t all one way traffic and the home side were having some joy on the flanks and from the best chance Ade Oketoki shot over from a good position. With the minutes ticking down to the interval City scored their fourth. A simple ball over the defence was latched onto by the speedy Nathan Chambers and he had the composure to lift his shot over the advancing Hewitt and into the net.
Chessington pushed and probed in the early stages of the second period and several times City was forced into scrambling defence. It was on 56 minutes that City scored their fifth goal and in the next 18 minutes the visitors unleashed an absolute blitz of superb attacking football. The fifth came from ex-Chelsea U’21 player Adam Nditi who lifted the ball over the advancing Hewitt following Matt Anton’s pass. On 58 minutes substitute Josh Drew flicked the ball on with his head and that man Adam Nditi again lifted the ball over the hapless Hewitt to make it six.
Two further minutes on Andy Ottley’s corner was headed home at close range by Josh Drew and the home side were rocking. Josh Drew and Nditi both had further chances before in the 71st minute Adam Nditi completed his hat-trick. Matt Anton worked hard on the right and after his cross slipped right across the goalmouth it was recovered by Florin Ramizi beyond the far post who laid it back for Nditi to fire home. On 74 minutes Matt York joined the goal jamboree by heading home Andy Ottley’s free-kick and with 16 minutes left to play Guildford spectators were metaphorically checking the record books. Chessington however to their huge credit came back well in the late stages and on 78 minutes they pulled a goal back when Liam Beach’s mistimed punch was converted at close range. Minutes later referee Gregory somewhat harshly awarded a free kick just 15 yards from City’s goal after an alleged back-pass. Liam Beach saved superbly and in the ensuing scramble it was the hat-trick man Nditi who headed the ball of his line. With four minutes remaining the home side did convert again at the far post to conclude the scoring in what had been an astonishing, and sometimes controversial match.
Team: Liam Beach, Jack Collins (Tom Booth 77), Bradley Pegg, Matt York, Martin Dynan, Harry Driver (Florin Ramizi 58), Andy Ottley, Curtis George, Matt Anton, Nathan Chambers (Josh Drew 50), Adam Nditi. Unused subs: Nathaniel Williams, Aidan Bigley.
Referee: Sam Gregory
Attendance – 71