Guildford City 1 – 0 Chessington & Hook United

Guildford City progressed (eventually) to the next round of the Premier Cup with victory over Chessington and Hook – who visited the Spectrum for the second time in five days, having won 2-0 here the previous Saturday. After a dull 90 minutes of football that ended 0-0, we all expected the match to be settled by penalties. It happened, but not in the way we thought, a penalty scored by Sean Rivers gave City a 1-0 victory in extra time.

Two days of rain meant an early start for the two Matts as they ran round the pitch, forking puddles and using a spade to pick up water off the pitch… all of this in the driving rain. The pitch had held up well to the battering of the rain, and the referee passed it fit to play after inspection.

Heavy traffic in Guildford, combined with the terrible weather, meant that only 34 people attended the match – most of whom sat sullenly in the shelter of the stand. If the supporters were miserable, it was only mirroring the match itself. The first half was particularly uninspiring; Chessington had a few vague chances early on before City striker Adesina found himself through on goal. With Harrison Carnegie in support, Gabriel couldn’t quite make the killer pass or finish, the ball getting caught between his feet and those of the defender.

Chessington should have taken the lead in the 33rd minute, a decent run ending in a shot that was pulled just wide of the left hand post. Luke Bradnick came close for City shortly afterwards, finding himself on the left edge of the penalty area before firing a shot that hit the outside of the post from a fairly tight angle.

The second half was an improvement, albeit not by much. Ben Rayner unleashed a powerful long range shot that clipped the top of the bar early on, but the game was still stuck in mediocrity. We were pleased to see that some of our new student supporters had braved the weather (and the football!) to come and watch again. One of them asked why the competition was called the ‘Premier Challenge Cup’; “because it’s a challenge to watch” came the reply!

In the 57th minute, City won a corner that the Chessington keeper flapped at, before finding himself well out of position. The attempted shot was blocked easily in the crowd of defenders however.

The 70th minute introduction of Lance Banton-Brown and Sean Rivers – the striking duo for the previous few matches – signaled an improvement in the match. The brilliantly named Jim Brazil of Chessington sent a pile driver across goal, but it evaded the reach of all three attacking players. Lance had a chance a few moments later that was saved comfortably by Michael Sharpe in the Chessington goal.

Reece North then received his marching orders for a second yellow card in the 85th minute, and City had a man advantage. Just two minutes later, the slippery pitch got the better of Danny Elgar. Running to reach a cross-field pass, he slipped as he ran backwards, tripping himself up and falling to the ground. Sean Rivers then set his targets on goal, but his hopeful shot was tipped over by Sharpe.

The 95th minute saw a comedy goalmouth scramble, City pinging the ball around in the box but unable to find the finishing touch – the ball twice being cleared off the line. The supporters groaned as they sensed the impending half hour of extra time…

In the first fifteen minutes of extra time, nothing happened. Honestly; nothing at all. Apart from perhaps a penalty shout after a City defender handled accidentally in the area. Matt B, Joe and Stu discussed the concept and reality of time itself. Yes, it was dull. And it was still raining.

20 minutes in, during the second half of extra time, City had a well worked move that ended with a miscued shot. But a minute later the reward for the (ahem) ‘pressure’ came; a handball by a Chessington defender in the box gave Sean Rivers the chance to put Guildford 1-0 up. He struck in well down the centre of the goal – scoring his fourth penalty in six games.

And after that, nothing happened. You’d never have guessed!

So Guildford City are through to face Warlingham in the next round of the Premier Cup. We can only hope for a repeat of the 6-3 victory for City in pre-season against them!

GUILDFORD CITY: A. Hall; J. Turner; C. Knight; T. Tydeman; S. Cooper; A. Bridgeman; L. Bradnick (K. Tracey, 76); B. Rayner; G. Adesina (S. Rivers, 70); H. Carnegie (L. Banton-Brown, 70); D. Elgar

Subs not used: T. Arnold; J. Campbell
Booked: D. Elgar; K. Tracey

CHESSINGTON & HOOK: M. Sharpe; J. Massing; A. Davidson; A. Wheeler; L. Welsh; A. Heath (E. Lapsley, 116); J. Brazil (G. Field, 110); A. Cheadle; R. North; D. Swaby (R. Jackson, 46); M. Graca

Subs not used: M. Jackson;
Booked: A. Cheadle; A. Heath; R. Jackson
Sent off: R. North

Referee: M. Webb
Attendance: 34