Guildford City (0) 0, Redhill (1) 1
by Barry Underwood
Redhill launched a successful smash and grab raid at chilly Wey Court on Saturday, departing the Godalming ground with three hard won points. Guildford for their part had gained an impressive victory midweek and were looking to advance further up the table against a side sitting in fourth place prior to the match. Whilst the first period was pretty even, City piled forward after the break but thanks to resilient defending and an excellent goalkeeping display the visitors claimed a battling victory courtesy of an early penalty.
With Kyen Nicholas out following his midweek injury Benga Ogunseye started up front. Midfield maestro Bobby Webbe was also missing to be replaced in the starting line-up by Sonny Black. The visitors enjoyed much of the early play, looking comfortable in possession with Kerry Kedze and Steve Burford especially looking threatening down the flanks. But it was by no means one way traffic and on seven minutes Evan Lopes saw a shot saved for a corner after fine build-up on the left. For Redhill Kedze saw a cross shot go wide, whilst Benga Ogunseye saw a shot blocked for a corner from which the same player attempted an overhead kick that cleared the crossbar. On 12 minutes Redhill took the lead with what proved to be the games defining moment. A push in the box led to Kerry Kedze converting from the penalty spot. Redhill still enjoyed much of the possession but City looked dangerous on the counter-attack. From one such break Eli Ogunseye got to the by-line where his cross was met by Sonny Black whose mistimed effort still forced Liam Sallis into a full length save. As the game approached the half-hour mark Redhill saw an effort from a corner headed off City’s line whilst Steve Burford fired a dangerous low cross right across the six yard box. On the half hour Guildford had strong claims for a penalty waved away by the match officials; Eli Ogunseye’s hard hit cross striking the defenders hands lifted above his body. On 34 minutes City lost an opportunity when Lopes’s cross was missed by Benga Ogunseye and mistimed by Dan Band. Sonny Black was then judged to be offside as be battled for the resulting loose ball. In the closing minutes of the half Benga Ogunseye won the race to a bouncing ball on the edge of the box. He nudged past Sallis but the ball went wide and the chance was lost.
Manager Chris Balchin made a tactical change at the interval withdrawing David Burton and introducing Nathaniel Williams off the bench. The change seemed to do the trick as City spent much of the next 45 minutes driving forward towards the visitor’s goal. The first clear chance of the half came on 57 minutes after picking up a loose ball Eli Ogunseye laid the ball to Evan Lopes whose low effort from eight yards missed the post by inches. On the hour City twice won free-kicks on the edge of the box. The initial effort from Benga Ogunseye was blocked by the wall, and the second effort forced Sallis into a diving save. Liam Sallis’s best save of a busy afternoon came on 70 minutes when from Sean Mason’s low cross Benga Ogunseye’s effort at the near post was brilliantly saved. With minutes remaining Sallis saved again and credit has to be given to Redhill’s sterling defensive performance in the second-half. Deep in stoppage time Redhill threw off the shackles and only an excellent save by Liam Beach prevented Redhill departing Wey Court with a two goal victory.
Team: Liam Beach, Sean Mason (Billy Irving 81), Josh Burrowes, David Burton (Nathaniel Williams 46), Nemo Adams, Luke Beale, Eli Ogunseye, Dan Band, Benga Ogunseye, Sonny Black, Evan Lopes. Unused subs: Alex Cooper, Gavin Hawkins.
Referee: Michael Hayden
Attendance – 66