Guildford City succumbed to a 5-3 defeat in extra time after leading Chertsey Town 3-1 in the closing minutes, at The Spectrum, in the Red Insure Cup. Chertsey fired two late goals in normal time before scoring two more at the start of extra-time to progress to the second round.
Kevin Rayner’s men have now lost twice in five days, conceding eleven goals in the process, an ominous stat after such an impressive start to the season.
Goals from Dan Moody and Jack Guilford either side of a John Pomroy strike gave Guildford a 2-1 lead at the break.
Austin Gacheru struck his second goal in as many games, having returned from suspension the previous week, to extend Guildford’s lead after a defensive mix-up, around the hour mark.
Two late goals, however, pegged Guildford back. Rob Carr and Lewis Frostick found the net to take the tie to extra time. It was Carr again who gave Chertsey the lead before Peter Biggs finished the tie, just five minutes into extra time.
The game had started farcically, as the new cup rule that demands at least seven of the players chosen to start the match must have played in one of the clubs previous two fixtures. Chertsey Town chose to substitute their goalkeeper inside the first thirty seconds causing much confusion in the stands.
Guildford opened the scoring after fifteen minutes, not put off by the soggy pitch that sprayed up water each time a fizzing pass was played. A fantastic dummy from Gacheru allowed Guilford’s pass to find Moody, the clubs top scorer, who beat the replacement keeper with ease and the confidence of a man on fire.
The away side were back on terms just five minutes later however, as Peter Biggs broke free and had an effort stopped by Hall, the ball though only made it as far as striker John Pomroy who had a simple finish from ten yards.
Guildford’s lead was restored quickly after with some great play by midfielders Guilford and Heavey resulting in a corner, from which Guilford knocked the ball past the keeper after a goalmouth scramble.
Guildford went three up not long into the second half and Austin Gacheru is unlikely to score an easier goal than this one. The Chertsey central defenders knocked the ball into one another gifting Gacheru the opportunity, which he took.
Guildford seemed to have done enough and the game was dyeing out after both sides had made all of their substitutions. Chertsey however, fought their way back into the game with two late goals. Rob Carr was allowed freedom on the edge of the box to strike low into Antony Hall’s net, and Lewis Frostick also found himself with time and space just inside the penalty, again finishing beyond Hall.
The groans could be heard in the stand at the thought of another thirty minutes in the cold, on this Wednesday evening.
Chertsey however, were inspired. They flew into extra time with two quick goals and Guildford were caught out sloppily. First Rob Carr struck his second before Peter Biggs made it 5-3 and all but over for the home side.
Guildford fathomed a number of half chances; the best effort was an acrobatic strike from Will Heavey, which forced an excellent save from the Chertsey keeper to keep the midfielder out.
Guildford however could not fight back and were knocked out of the cup disappointingly after extra-time. Next up they play Leighton Town at home, on Saturday.
Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Simon Cooper, Moses Spencer, Tony Chaplin Nathan Gordon 70), Tommy Tydeman, Will Heavey, Jack Guilford (Junior Kaffo 60), Dan Moody, Luke Bradnick (Scott Todd 50), Austin Gacheru.
Unused substitutes: Corey Holder, Tom Penson.
Cautioned: Simon Cooper.
Match report by Bruce Archer.