Colliers Wood United (1) 1, Guildford City (2) 3
by Barry Underwood
Anybody who inconceivably left the ground after only 20 minutes would have been very surprised on hearing the final result. Guildford had been under the cosh for the first 20 minutes, and to quote manager Tristan Rees” were all over the place”. In actual fact City, through Manny Acheampong, struck the post in just the second minute before going into damage limitation mode. On five minutes Colliers earned a penalty but inexplicably the spot kick was skied with the ball last seen heading for Raynes Park. Two minutes later Colliers saw a close-range volley hit the crossbar, before on 11 minutes the home side eventually took the lead courtesy of a Blake Loyza effort from outside the box.
But as at Cobham at the weekend the young City side settled and slowly worked their way back into the match. Manny Acheampong saw an effort saved well low down, before on 27 minutes Guildford claimed their equaliser. A lovely low cross from Darnell McDonald was met first time at the back post by Mike Coppinger who fairly smashed the ball home. For the remainder of the half City went forward impressively. Coppinger’s free kick was well-saved low down, while the same player forced Minchin into a diving save from 25 yards. It was sustained pressure. From a teasing corner Tolu Ajayi-Obe’s header was cleared off the line. The pressure eventually told with five minutes to the break when Acheampong’s pass found James Glover whose curling effort found the net.
From the restart Adam Longman saved well with his legs as Colliers sought a way back. But although not as extravagant in their play in the second-half City still dominated the game. Guildford were working hard without the ball, and Owen Tanner and Kai Beck were the first reinforcements to appear off of the bench. Another excellent cross from McDonald just eluded Will May, but Acheampong did connect only to hit the prostrate Kai Beck on the floor. City’s third came with four minutes of normal time remaining. Owen Tanner found Coppinger in the box. The Guildford midfielder jinked past several defenders and shot home from 12 yards. Late in the game George Fox went to the sin-bin and with 10 men City sat deep. Adam Longman saved well but largely Guildford saw the game out comfortably.
Team: Adam Longman, Lewis Taylor (George Fox 80), Callum Sullivan, Tolu Ajayi-Obe, James Glover, Louis Lindsay, Manny Acheampong (Ethan Cassie 90), Jack Knight (Owen Tanner 61), Will May (Kai Beck 57), Mike Coppinger (Jack Cleevely 87), Darnell McDonald.
Referee: Gulam Damji
Attendance – 78