Guildford City 3 – 1 Colliers Wood United

City got back to winning ways with a convincing win against Colliers Wood. Two goals from Mark Mercer and one from Dean Peltohaka in the first half ensured City took all three points, although the home side were far less dominant in the second half and were lucky only to concede one goal.

Having watched the corresponding fixture at Colliers Wood in which City had scored early, failed to control the match and ended up losing 2-1, many Guildford fans were apprehensive of a tough match against the mid-table side. They needn’t have worried however as City started the match at a tempo which didn’t subside for the whole of the first half. Colliers Wood seemed powerless to stop the searing runs down their left flank. First Mark Mercer powering through in the opening minutes and passing the ball across the face of goal then Rob Parrot going close with a long range shot from outside the area.

Given their possession and positive play, it was no surprise when City took the lead in the 15th minute. The ball was punted into the edge of Colliers Wood’s area, the defender hesitated, allowed the ball to bounce and MARK MERCER powered past him to finish clinically. The match proceeded to ebb and flow with Colliers Wood going close to equalising with a shot reminiscent of the one which beat Jay Gindre in the match against Cove. Luckily the ball hit the cross bar and went out of play.

Guildford’s pressure on their opponents started to build again with City’s Aussie striker forcing a superb save out of the Colliers Wood keeper before making it 2-0 with almost a carbon copy of the first goal – DEAN PELTOHAKA surging past the Colliers Wood defence to finish clinically in the 22nd minute. To their credit Colliers Wood did not stop fighting to regain control of the match and a smooth passing move around the half hour mark ended with a volley from the edge of the box which if it had gone in would have been the goal of the match.

City were not content to sit on their 2 goal lead however and were on the attack once again with a powerful run and pass across the face of goal by Peltohaka which Mercer could unfortunately only shoot straight at the keeper. Five minutes later though, City were celebrating when some great build up play by City enabled MARK MERCER to stick the ball comfortably past the Colliers Wood keeper from a few yards out. There was time for Colliers Wood to head just wide past the Guildford goal before half time.

And before play commenced there were a few ‘housekeeping’ issues for home side to sort out. Firstly in the words of the villains in Scooby Doo, there was a group of ‘pesky kids’ watching the match from the car park and lobbing handfuls of skittles at the spectators (and particularly the tannoy team..!) A few short sharp words from Muka and the problem was solved and the group of hooligans had even decided to sit in the stands to watch the match.

Then there was one of the dugouts which had been blown over the fence sometime in the previous few days and was sitting forlornly amid the brambles and foliage on the bank. Heroically two of the ball boys had managed to hoist it onto the fence which separated the bank from the service road the other side. A motley crew of City fans were assembled and after much exertion managed to get the dugout over the fence, carried it along the service road and then taken it over the gates at the far corner of the ground. As the opening minutes of the second half were played out, a small group of knackered Guildford fans could be seen carrying the structure down the running track as quickly as they could, setting it down and then scarpering quickly to avoid the wrath of the referee!!

The situation they found on rejoining the spectators was little different to the one they had left at half time. City were still 3-0 up but had clearly opted to take their foot off the gas and sit on their lead – Dan May and Dan Rice replacing Dean Peltohaka and Aneel Azeem. Colliers Wood were not meekly surrendering to their fate however and were probably the better side in the second half – a shot just over the bar in the 70th minute being the pick of their chances before the unfortunate Dan May scored an own goal on 75 minutes to make it 3-1. There was still time for Colliers Wood to head just wide from a freekick but the three points and a precarious 2nd place in the league belonged to the City.