Guildford City (0) 0, Chertsey Town (0) 1
by Harry Vidgen
Guildford City gave Chertsey Town a guard of honor before today’s game and deservedly so as they have had a fantastic season and sit comfortably at the top of the table. They are also in the upcoming FA Vase final which is a huge achievement and they should be very proud of themselves. Guildford knew this match was going to be tough but it ended up being a lot closer then many would have imagined as Guildford put in a valiant display. Many turned up to watch this game and they were sure to have gone home happy after watching an entertaining and hard fought match. The first real sign of danger for the men in red and white came in just the sixth minute as Chertsey headed in after a free-kick but to Guildford’s relief the goal scorer had fouled a Guildford player in the box. Then, in the 13th minute, Billy Irving’s powerful throw in caused mayhem in the box before the eventual corner won, was cleared. Chertsey then quickly launched an attack which ended with one of their forwards dragging their shot just wide. Chertsey had a further two chances in quick succession as they saw an attempt cannon of the post and another where a low cross ricocheted off Sean Mason and Stuart Norman did well to readjust his footing and keep it out.
Guildford began to grow into the game however, and Eli Ogunseye, who had started the game brightly, proved to be a huge threat to Chertsey’s back line, in particular their No. 2, Lewis Jackson, who he turned inside out on several occasions in the first half. Kiye Martin played a perfect through-ball to Eli Ogunseye who cut inside past Jackson and squared it to Kiye who had space to take his time. But although he struck his shot well, the Chertsey keeper saved comfortably. A few minutes later both Ogunseyes and Kiye Martin linked up brilliantly. Martin was eventually put through and he calmly slotted the ball past the Chertsey keeper and into the goal but to Guildford’s horror it was given as offside. Many players believed it was the wrong decision and it was close, but the linesman did make the right decision in my opinion.
The second half began and Chertsey began to create chances again and in the 57th minute the deadlock was broken. Chertsey broke quickly on the right and the ball was passed cross field to Chertsey’s Lubomir Guentchcv who volleyed the ball first time over Stuart Norman and into the net after the ball kindly bounced up off the hard pitch for him. Unfortunately for Guildford, although they still tried to put their stamp on the game, the remainder of the real goal scoring chances after that first goal went to Chertsey. In the 76th minute, Stuart Norman cleared the ball to the halfway line after a Chertsey attack and Lewis Jackson collected it and hit it first time hoping to catch Stuart Norman out. Luckily for Guildford that was not to be the case as the shot was close but didn’t dip enough and flew inches over the crossbar. City still posed problems down the flanks and after one move Benga Ogunseye went down heavily to half-hearted appeals for a penalty. The latter stages of the game saw Guildford lose possession on the edge of the box a few times which allowed Chertsey to have shots on goal that never truly troubled Stuart Norman. However, in the final moments of the game, Billy Irving, who had had a very solid match deflected a low Chertsey cross straight towards his own goal but was fortunate to see it fall right into Stuart Norman’s arms. This result was a little harsh on Guildford because they really did play well and it’s unfortunate that they didn’t get anything out of the game. Billy Irving and Eli Ogunseye were my stand out players in this match. Billy because of the sheer amount of interceptions and tackles he made and Eli for being a constant threat going forward and looking the most likely to either score or create a real chance for a teammate.
Team: Stuart Norman, Sean Mason, Isy Nzelo, David Burton (Jamie Phillips 72), Luke Beale (Dan Hurlow 85), Billy Irving, Eli Ogunseye, Bobby Webbe (Nemo Adams 60), Benga Ogunseye, Kiye Martin, Nathaniel Williams. Unused subs: Ben Cotton,Josh Burrowes.
Referee: Connor Fanelli
Attendance – 107