Guildford City (0) 0, Colliers Wood United (2) 4
by Barry Underwood
On Monday morning Guildford City’s new manager Dean Thomas officially takes office, and after this performance from a hastily assembled side he will have a fair idea of the task ahead of him. Phil Bowers was once again in the caretaker’s hot seat and with injury, unavailability and late withdrawals he did a magnificent job in assembling a side to take the pitch. It was never going to be easy with the visitor’s line-up naming the league’s leading goal scorer from last season Mario Embalo (49 goals), together with fellow 20 goal strikers Elijah Ogunseye and Dan Harding. Colliers Wood in all honesty won the match at a canter, and the City defence had their hands full for the majority of the game. Going forward City were restricted to long range efforts and set pieces and visiting keeper Wester Young had one of his quieter afternoons. Early on Andy Ottley’s fine ball was met on the chest by ex-Youth teamer Josh Bullen but before the ball would come down the ball was cleared. Meanwhile United were showing their intentions when Dan Harding saw a 25 yard effort come back off the post. The first goal was not to be delayed long, when following a corner central defender Will Boye met the ball on the half-volley to put the visitor’s ahead. For City it was damage limitation and with five players across midfield, Josh Drew cut a rather lonely figure up front. On 25 minutes a thunderbolt of an effort from Mario Embalo was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by Liam Beach. Five minutes before the half-time whistle United deservedly scored their second; Dan Harding having the composure to take the ball past Beach twice before firing through a mass of bodies on the line.
The second half opened in a similar vein and within minutes of the restart Dan Harding forced Liam Beach into an excellent save low down to his left. Colliers third though was soon forthcoming and was spectacular indeed. The ball was cleared out of the danger area and without further ado full-back Chris Beard unleashed an absolute pile driver of an effort from 30 yards that fairly rocketed into the net. Credit to City’s defence who scrambled as best they could, especially Micky Thompson who was outstanding, but with a number of players playing in unfamiliar positions it was always going to be an uphill task. With two minutes remaining Colliers notched their fourth when Theo Woodhouse shot home and shortly after, and to the relief of many, the final whistle soon blew to bring down the curtain on City’s transition period, and usher in a new era.
Team: Liam Beach, Danny Bowers, Josh Everard (Andy Woods-Corrie 73), Matt York, Toby Johnson (Robert Steer 81), Micky Thompson, Curtis George, Jack Collins, Andy Ottley, Josh Drew, Josh Bullen. Unused sub: Ben Bowers
Referee: Santiago Illan
Attendance – 119