Guildford City 1, Colliers Wood United 0
by Barry Underwood
Well, it wasn’t a classic game of free-flowing football but regardless it was a crucial three points for a Guildford City side looking to bounce back from three consecutive defeats. Throughout the match there was little to choose between the sides, and it took a typical poacher’s goal from new signing Ashley Elson to separate the sides. In the opening minutes Guildford had a couple of sights of goal. From a corner in the second minute Ryan Richefond couldn’t convert a sharp half chance, and minutes later Jordan Adeyemi set Roberto Ratti up for a shooting chance, but the effort sailed over the crossbar. City had a further chance on 15 minutes when Prince Mbengui advanced on goal, but his effort was well saved at close range by Jake Maddock who was injured in the process. The visitors did respond, and Mike McEntegart saved low down from a header. Guildford took the lead on 25 minutes with a goal resulting from a corner. Colliers failed to clear and amongst a mass of bodies Ashley Elson was able to get the vital touch to score his first goal for the club. The remainder of the half was largely unremarkable, and the home sides rear guard were untroubled. Special mention also to Ben Cotton in midfield who on his second debut for the club looked effective in prompting and probing the side forward.
Four minutes into the second period goalkeeper Mike McEntegart was beaten to a loose ball outside the box and the alarm bells rang. The ball was squared as McEntegart scampered back to the goal, but a resulting shot narrowly went wide. Play was scrappy after the break but on the hour a good cross from Max Oldham somehow eluded City’s strikers. Roberto Ratti again had a good shooting chance, this time from the left of the box but his powerful effort hit the side netting. Guildford to their credit defended well with 16-year-old James Glover especially impressing, although Colliers felt there might have been a penalty in the act of clearing the ball. With 15 minutes remaining City had chances to clinch the match from two consecutive corners. From the first Omar Belazregue unselfishly headed back across goal when a direct header might have been a better option. Similarly moments later Briggs Ojumen to his own astonishment somehow headed wide from five yards. There were still opportunities for City to put the game to bed. With one Max Oldham attempted an audacious lobbed effort from 50 yards that just cleared the crossbar. In stoppage time Jordan Adeyemi burst through on goal but his touch let him down and the chance was lost. With the referee playing over eight minutes of added time there were nerves amongst the home fans. A late Colliers free kick was punched clear by Mike McEntegart and the final whistle that followed was greeted by a universal sigh of relief.
Team: Michael McEntegart, James Glover, Fred Hill (Connor Baston 60), Omar Belazregue, Briggs Ojemen, Ben Cotton (Mike Coppinger 64), Ryan Richefond, Prince Mbengui, Roberto Ratti (Roberto Ratti 77), Jordan Adeyemi, Ashley Elson (Max Oldham 54). Unused sub: Luke Roberts.
Referee: Dylan Ing
Attendance – 161