Chalfont St Peter 2 – 1 Guildford City

Well well! Just how Guildford contrived to lose this match will be a mystery to most people present at Mill Meadow. That doesn’t take anything away from the home side who lost Terrell Lewis sent-off after just fifteen minutes, and battled manfully to finally clinch a famous victory. It didn’t help that Kev Rayner was quoted in this week’s Surrey Advertiser saying “the positive is that we’ve got everyone available ….and it’s the first time since early November that I’ve been able to say that”. Unfortunately uttering those words was enough for the bogeyman to strike. Hence the Guildford side that assembled for this match minus Tommy Tydeman, Scott Todd, Jamie Thoroughgood, and Austin Gacheru all missing due to illness, with Jaydon Gibbs and Joel Hughes also missing through injury. As a result City went into the game without a recognised striker, although in truth the City side that took the pitch could, and should have claimed the three points.

City opened brightly with Jack Guilford leading the line. However for the umpteenth time this season City were to go a goal behind. On this occasion though there was an air of good fortune involved. A Chalfont strike on-goal from 25 yards was heading in the direction of the corner flag, only to find home skipper Adam Louth in a position to volley home. Not deterred City came within a whisker of responding immediately. Antony Hall’s quick clearance saw Dan Moody through on the left, but amid City claims of a foul, Moody’s shot under pressure was saved by Power-Simpson. On just 14 minutes Chalfont’s Terrell Lewis was shown a red card for retaliation, and playing against ten men, City took a firm grip on the first-half. Junior Kaffo was dominant in midfield, and his driving runs forward linking with Guilford and the impressive Dammy Bada were constantly causing problems in the home defence. Bada indeed was unlucky when he eluded the offside line only to be thwarted by a terrible bounce. From a succession of corners, Corey Holder’s header was tipped over at full stretch by Power-Simpson. Then on 28 minutes the deserved equaliser came. A ball into the danger area from Scott Elgar was met by Moody, who took it past one defender for Dammy Bada to shoot high into the net for his first goal for the club. City dominated the remainder of the half without finding that vital final pass. Seconds before the interval from another Moody corner, Ben Rayner headed back across goal, only for Corey Holder to be clattered by Power-Simpson as he bravely headed towards goal.

Guildford opened the second period in a similar vein, enjoying considerable territorial advantage. On 50 minutes Jack Guilford limped off to be substituted by the energetic Will Heavey. Dammy Bada was still looking dangerous on the left flank with dangerous attacking runs into the penalty area. Too often though the final pass just wasn’t there and despite the considerable possession, Chalfont’s keeper Michael Power-Simpson was largely untroubled. On the hour Chalfont came close to scoring their second, after a deep free-kick was missed by Antony Hall, although he did recover sufficiently to smother the goal bound header. The only threat to Guildford’s goal was likely to come from a set piece, and so it proved after 75 minutes. A long range free-kick was launched into the City box from the right. City won the first header but from the loose ball Glenn Yala managed to lift the ball over Antony Hall, to score what proved to be an unlikely winner. City were huffing and puffing in pursuit of an equaliser but despite their considerable possession they lacked both the necessary luck and class to carve out a clear opening. Hopes rose briefly in stoppage time when City won a free-kick ten yards outside the box. Simon Cooper stepped up and curled the ball round the wall, but unfortunately for Guildford Power-Simpson was able to gather in straight forward fashion. Another game without a victory then, and most frustrating of all, a game that everybody connected with Guildford knew was there for the taking!

Manager Kevin Rayner’s thoughts on the Chalfont St Peter match.

Guildford City:
Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Ben Rayner (Danny Elgar 75), Simon Cooper, Tom Penson, Corey Holder, Dan Moody, Junior Kaffo (Bruce McPhail 89), Jack Guilford (Will Heavey 50), Scott Elgar, Dammy Bada. Unused substitutes: Mike Hall.
Cautioned: Elvis Defreitas, Tom Penson, Will Heavey

Referee: Lee Forrester