Guildford City (0) 1, Chertsey Town (1) 1
by Barry Underwood
A Guildford City side missing six regular players made hard work of this largely uninspiring encounter against old rivals Chertsey Town. Bereft of all the clubs front-line centre-backs Adams, Beale and Burton, midfielder Louie Downey joined usual full-back Chris Tancock in the central defensive positions. To be fair the duo looked the part and can certainly hold their heads high. Indeed such was the shortage of home players that City were only able to name one fit substitute. In recent matches, even in defeat, City have played some great football and especially looked lively in attack. This match was not one of those occasions, and in the first half particularly they just didn’t fire. City certainly had decent possession but it was slow ball and the visitors defence had plenty of time to organise in numbers. In the very first minute Luke Badiali made a comfortable save, but twice more in the opening 20 minutes he was forced into more spectacular action to keep the scores level. Meanwhile City’s best effort of the half was created by Evan Lopes who laid the ball square to Dan Stewart who sadly slipped on the greasy surface. The ball did fall to Shawn Clement-Peter, who enjoyed another impressive game, but his effort was blocked at full stretch by the scrambling defence. On the half hour Jordan Gallagher ran forward into space before unleashing long range effort when a pass to better placed colleagues would have been a better option. On 34 minutes Chertsey took the lead from the penalty spot. Luke Badiali’s touch from a back pass was too heavy and in an attempt to recover he brought Michael Ogbuogu down in the box for an obvious penalty. Ogbuogu brushed himself down and converted with aplomb.
Chris Balchin’s wise words at the interval have worked wonders before and hopes were high that it would again be the case. Within minutes of the restart Robbie Mundow and Evan Lopes both saw efforts whizz just wide of the woodwork. Nine minutes into the half Luke Badiali twice saved brilliantly; the second effort was brave diving to block amongst the flying studs. Sadly Badiali took a heavy blow to the head and was knocked unconscious. After a lengthy injury delay Badiali was taken to hospital, and former goalkeeper come striker Kieran Campbell once again donned the gloves. Guildford took a while to settle again after the enforced break and Campbell was forced to show his worth between the sticks by saving with his legs. On 65 minutes Ogbuogu rounded Campbell but skipper for the day Chris Tancock got back to clear off the line. Five minutes later Shawn Clement-Peter set Dan Stewart free but as he bore down on goal his touch let him down and goalkeeper Trigwell fielded the ball comfortably. City were buzzing at this point with Jordan Gallagher, Evan Lopes and Josh Burrowes pushing forward dangerously but with no end result. A great Lopes run gave Dan Stewart a chance with his back to goal but his effort on the turn was brilliantly deflected for a corner. With eight minutes remaining City drew level. Clever footwork led to Robbie Mundow being brought down in the box and Dan Stewart stepped up to convert the penalty. In the final frantic moments the game opened up and both sides had good chances to claim the match. For City they will be pleased to have claimed a point from a generally under par performance, whilst Chertsey will reflect on their late chances that could have given them a late winner.
Team: Luke Badiali (Jordan Anderson 54), David Opoku, Josh Burrowes, Chris Tancock, Louie Downey, Robbie Mundow, Shawn Clement-Peter, Dan Stewart, Kieran Campbell, Jordan Gallagher, Evander Lopes. Unused sub: Shaun Johnson.
Referee: Amadou Jallow
Attendance – 75