Redhill (0) 0, Guildford City (0) 1
by Barry Underwood
A late Sanchez Benali goal clinched the points for Guildford City at Kiln Brow stadium on Tuesday evening. To their credit the Redhill club had worked extensively during the day to ensure the pitch was playable, and this was in fact the host club’s first home league encounter for very nearly three months. The pitch certainly was heavy and perhaps understandably the first half especially was a scrappy affair. Redhill’s Kery Keoze troubled Nic Taylor after seven minutes with a powerful long range effort but that was the last sight of goal the home side had in the first period. As an attacking force Guildford fared little better before the interval. City occasionally threatened on the break but couldn’t fashion a clear shooting chance, their best effort of the half seeing Matt Anton shoot from range but home keeper Jindrich Vokaty made a comfortable diving save. The game was stop-start with plenty of infringements, and Redhill probably shaded the half in terms of possession.
Guildford raised the stakes after the break although this was by no means a classic performance. Sanchez Benali after a quiet first half certainly looked livelier playing on the left flank, and after a nice first touch a fine run saw him advance in on goal. There were several options open and Benali chose to try and find Matt Anton and his cross was intercepted. Gradually minute by minute City had more of the half. On the hour the hard working David Koduah found Tom O’Connor in space but his low shot was comfortably saved by Jindrich. Guildford didn’t win their first corner until the 67th minute, and from it Martin Dynan directed a powerful header on goal that again was comfortably saved. For a second time Sanchez Benali beat his full-back on the left and cut in on goal. Mindful of his pervious decision to pass, Benali chose this time to shoot and his effort from an acute angle was blocked by a last ditch tackle. City’s defence looked secure but there was always the threat that just one mistake would cost the game. Redhill’s main attacking threat came from Kerry Keoze on the left and Harry Mills had his hands full trying to contain the flyer. With five minutes remaining Redhill had their best chance of the game but Nic Taylor was alert enough to save with his legs. Two minutes later Sanchez Benali cut in from the left for a third time and fashioning room for himself he fired in a low shot that beat Jendrich, much to the joy of the Sweeney behind the goal. So Guildford’s winning run goes on. This was the first time since August 2012 that City have won four consecutive matches, but you had to feel for the home side who were more that competent and who belied their lowly league position. But then as we know from recent seasons, sides at the foot of the table seldom seem to enjoy the rub of the green.
Team: Nic Taylor, Harry Mills, Tom Booth, Darryl Siaw, Martin Dynan, Chad Goulter, Sanchez Benali, Tom O’Connor, Matt Anton, Tarome Hemmings, David Koduah. Unused subs: George Patterson, Callum Sexton, Steve Lang.
Referee: Zack Jacquart