Colliers Wood United (3) 4, Guildford City (1) 1
by Barry Underwood
With this victory Colliers Wood went second in the table and on this evidence they will pose a significant challenge for this season’s league title. From the off they looked the sharper of the sides, although Guildford weren’t significantly detached on the scoreboard until late in the game. Colliers Wood have proved to be one of the division’s most prominent attacking sides and with their movement, on and off the ball, they posed the visitors defence plenty of problems during the afternoon. On eight minutes Mario Embalo issued a warning when he found space and shot just wide. A minute later Arjuna Adlam – making his first City appearance in 12 years – saved another Embalo effort with his legs. Guildford were losing the midfield battle and were on the back foot. On 24 minutes the home side went ahead when Jack Buckle’s header deflected beyond Adlam and into the net. Guildford reacted well and immediately had their first proper sight of goal. Dan Stewart’s powerful effort was parried, and Cyril Ocansey’s follow-up effort was deflected wide for a corner. Theo Woodhouse’s mistimed volley then fell kindly to Stewart whose curling shot was saved by Gallifent. After this period of pressure Colliers Wood regained their equilibrium to go two goals ahead. City were slow to react and Mario Embalo was given the freedom of the penalty area to head home unopposed. On 41 minutes with some quick thinking Guildford were back in the game. A quick free-kick whilst opposing players were arguing put Dan Stewart through on goal. Unselfishly he passed square to Leo Medrado who calmly found the corner of the net. Hopes of hanging on until the interval was dashed in first-half stoppage time when Embalo’s awkwardly angled shot was palmed away by Adlam. The ball was quickly played back into the danger area where Jack Buckle forced the ball home.
The opening minutes of the half saw controversy. Theo Woodhouse had seen a low long range effort saved, before Leo Medrado was set free on goal from a perfectly timed pass – Medrado being two metres onside when he accepted the ball. Incredibly the assistant referee judged Medrado to be offside, and amidst uproar from the travelling Sweeney and Guildford bench manager Chris Balchin was shown a red card for ill-judged words. From that moment City had the wind taken out of their sails and the home side increasingly dominated as the game proceeded. Guildford had a brief flurry with ten minutes remaining. Substitute Benga Ogunseye’s shot under pressure was saved by Gallifent, as was Luke Beale’s header from a corner. Chertsey’s fourth goal provided Jack Buckle with his hat-trick as Adlam failed to get a strong enough hand on his long range effort. With minutes remaining Colliers Wood missed a golden chance, whilst in the final minute good play from Benga Ogunseye set up Dan Stewart whose first-time effort went into the side netting. A special mention to midfielder Wayne Ridgley who was certainly a strong feature on a largely disappointing day.
Team: Arjuna Adlam, Sean Mason, Josh Ogunseye, Theo Woodhouse, Luke Beale, Josh Burrowes, Cyril Ocansey (Benga Ogunseye 73), Josh Everard (Tuan West 54), Leo Medrado (Tyrone Guthrie 73), Dan Stewart, Wayne Ridgley. Unused sub: Dan Hurlow.
Referee: Shawn Barclay