Chertsey Town (0) 1, Guildford City (1) 2
by Barry Underwood
An injury hit Guildford City shook off any effects from their midweek defeat by emerging victorious at Alwyns Lane against old rivals Chertsey Town. There was little between the sides in the first period with chances at either end, whilst for the majority of the second period City played their best football of the match. It was only after Chertsey’s late goal that the momentum changed but with stoic defending and some notable goalkeeping by Luke Badiali, City held on to claim the three points. Within ten minutes of the start both sides had had a good opportunity to score. Firstly Luke Badiali saved well with his legs after the ball ricocheted around the penalty area. Minutes later Tom Booth’s pass found Mario Embalo behind the defence but his hurried shot went wide of the target. The visitors looked dangerous going forward and from Mario Embalo’s cross the ball was cleared just as Jacob Lambe was about to head goal ward. The home side did pose problems down the left flank and Luke Badiali had several times to be at his best. Largely though City’s makeshift defence with Bobby Dormer and 17 years old Dan Choules at the heart coped admirably. As the half neared its end Kiye Martin twice had good shots on goal, but the ice was finally broken after 39 minutes. Shawn Clement-Peter’s precise pass put Embalo free. Having taken the ball rather wider than he had hoped Mario Embalo had the composure to walk the ball closer before firing home through the narrowest of gaps.
Manager Steve Dormer replaced winger Leon Lalor-Dell at the interval with a holding midfield player in the form of Jason Thompson, and this noticeably gave City a more balanced look in midfield. Offensively Guildford looked especially effective down both flanks, and from one fine overlapping move Jordan Johnson saw a powerful shot whistle just past the upright. On 66 minutes City deservedly scored a second. Tom Bingham did well to keep the ball in play and from the resulting cross the ball fell to the edge of the area where Shawn Clement-Peter hit the ball first time beyond the reach of Jack Ogle and into the top of the net. I am sure the goal scorer would agree that he has hit sweeter efforts but gratifyingly the ball found its target. As the game entered its final stages City began to tire and Luke Badiali was forced into making a fine save from Connor Cullen. Minutes later he then dived spectacularly to intercept a dangerous looking cross. With nine minutes remaining Chertsey made a breakthrough finally finding a way through and smashing the ball past Badiali. As so often happens in football the late goal lifted the home side, and the home crowd. With City having twice lost points recently with late goals in stoppage time there was concern on the faces of the watching Sweeney. Both Tom Bingham and Jacob Lambe had good opportunities on the break to calm the nerves but on this occasion the Guildford defence held firm until the final whistle.
Team: Luke Badiali, Tom Booth, Jordan Johnson, Dan Choules, Bobby Dormer, Kiye Martin (Tom Bingham 63), Will Hoare (Greg Haydon 88), Shawn Clement-Peter, Mario Embalo, Jacob Lambe, Leon Lalor-Dell (Jason Thompson 46).
Referee: Michael Bigley