Guildford City (2) 3, Chessington & Hook United (0) 2
by Barry Underwood
At the interval Guildford were cruising to a comfortable victory but as has happened often this season they decided to place some obstacles in their own path, and after allowing relegation threatened Chessington back into the game, it took a controversial last gasp winner for them to come through at the death to collect the points. The visitors came into the game having conceded eight goals on Thursday evening but despite that beating they have battled hard recently picking up points against Hayes and Knaphill, and losing only narrowly to champions elect Hartley Wintney. In the first period City opened in confident fashion with new striker Romaric Logon looking especially lively. On six minutes it was that man Logon who reached the by-line to fire a low cross across the face of goal where Matt Anton had the simple task of side footing home. Guildford continued to dominate proceedings and could have gone further ahead when Romaric Logon lobbed a 40 yard effort over the crossbar following Sanchez Benali’s clever pass. Following a poor clearance Matt Anton had a chance to break into space from halfway and his well-judged pass was met by Logon whose low effort zipped just past the foot of the post. After 36 minutes Guildford notched their second and it came directly from a Chessington effort that was cleared off the line by Harry Mills. The ball was transferred forward quickly from one end to the other in seconds. Matt Anton ran powerfully into the right channel before crossing low and as the defender dithered Romaric Logon pounced to fire home from close range. As the half came to an end Logan saw another effort saved low down, and Tarome Hemmings hit a drive just past the post.
With Guildford two goals to the good and dominating proceedings it was going to take a major shift to change the outcome of the match. The City supporters, the Sweeney, are a hardy bunch, who over the last three or four seasons have experienced a myriad of emotions. It really didn’t surprise them therefore when the home side suddenly did their best to make a game of it and put the result in doubt! Guildford won a corner. The option of a short corner misfired, and within seconds two Chessington forwards were breaking with just one City defender in sight. All too easily the ball was played to Tate Greenaway who had time to side foot home and Chessington were back in the game. This was just what the visitors needed and visibly they showed more enthusiasm for the fight. Within five minutes, and to the disbelief of the home fans, Chessington earned a penalty and Junior Kamara made no mistake from the spot. Somehow City had given up a comfortable two goal lead and were now in danger of going behind. Guildford did rally and pushing forward Matt Anton had a shooting opportunity at the far post but his effort ricocheted past the post. Perhaps the games defining moment came shortly afterward when Junior Kamara broke free of the City defence and it took a quite brilliant tackle by Tom Booth to keep the scores level. That was as close as Chessington came and for the remaining ten minutes City piled forward in search of a winner. Romaric Logon fashioned space and slid a shot just past the far post, whilst Martin Dynan beat the goalkeeper to a corner but his attempt missed the post by inches. As the clock ticked round to 90 minutes Sanchez Benali cut in from the left but his low shot was saved at full stretch by Matthew Marks. It seemed as if it wouldn’t be City’s day but in the third minute of stoppage time the goal came! Marks parried Harry Mills’s header and man on the spot Matt Anton side footed home with the visitors defence desperately appealing for an offside decision. It was without doubt a deserved victory but my goodness doesn’t Guildford City make it hard for themselves.
Team: Luke Badiali, Shaun Smart, Tom Booth, Harry Mills, Martin Dynan, Tarome Hemmings, Chris James-Mason (Chad Goulter 55), Darren Caesar, Romaric Logon (Kiyanu Pillay 90), Sanchez Benali, Matt Anton. Unused subs: George Patterson, Callum Sexton.
Referee: Tom Ellsmore
Attendance – 77