We are now five weeks into the pre-season period. Two friendlies have taken place during the week. Last Tuesday we played Isthmian club Walton Casuals on the Army 3G at Aldershot. It was as well the match was played on the artificial surface as the game coincided with the first rain for some weeks – and what rain it was. The game itself was fully competitive and was a good work out for both sides. City took a first half lead with an individual goal from Nathaniel Williams. Kieran Campbell added a goal from the spot in the second half, and despite a late goal the visitors couldn’t prevent City coming out on top. On Saturday of this week we travelled to south London to face AFC Croydon Athletic who are managed by City legend Kevin Rayner. On a bumpy grass surface the match was scrappy but was once again competitive. City led at half-time from Kyen Nicholas’s effort from the edge of the box. Guildford were in control for much of the second half with a second goal from Nicholas, and an effort from Miguel Anderson. During the last 10 minutes however the home side lifted their game scoring three times to clinch the victory.
With three weeks to go before the first competitive fixture, manager Chris Balchin and assistant Neil Grant are working to finalise the squad. Fans favourite Darryl Siaw has once again signed forms and will be embarking upon his third season at the club. Newcomers Josh Double and Endrit Dobraj have also signed during the last week. Double is a 20 year old midfield player whose former clubs are AFC Croydon Athletic and Chipstead. Dobraj is a full back who impressed at Croydon on Saturday, and formerly played for Leatherhead U21s.
The draw has been made for the Extra-Preliminary round of the FA Cup. The draw takes us to the Isle of Wight to face Newport (IoW) of the Wessex League. The match takes place on Saturday 5 August, kicking-off at 3pm. Arranging travel to the island on an August Saturday has proved to be logistically difficult. Consequently bookings on the “official” trip have now closed and supporters not booked are advised to travel by ferry as foot passengers and take public transport to Newport. The lads won’t be short of support, as before booking closed we arranged for 30 supporters to join the team on the “official” trip.
We now have five pre-season friendlies remaining before the big kick-off. On Tuesday 18 July we visit Chessington & Hook United against whom we played two epic FA Cup ties last season. The match kicks-off at 7pm at Chalky Lane, Chessington KT9 2NF. Then on Saturday we travel for the third consecutive pre-season to Horsham YMCA, Gorings Mead, Horsham RH13 5BP for a 3pm kick-off.