Redhill (1) 3, Guildford City (0) 0 (Surrey Senior Cup)
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City exited the Surrey Senior Cup at the first hurdle at Redhill’s Kiln Brow stadium. Although in the end another comprehensive defeat, this for long periods was a significantly improved performance. It didn’t help conceding within minutes of the start but thereafter City played some of their best football for a number of games. The home side had gone into the match joint top of the CCL table and were in confident mood. Yes, Guildford rode their luck at times but until conceding two goals in the last 10 minutes they earnestly were seeking an equaliser.
It was six minutes into the game when a cross from the left was headed home at close range by Carl Oblitey. But immediately the visitors tried to hit back. The in-form Leon Dadey crossed to Billy Murphy whose first-time effort whistled just over the crossbar. Both defences were being examined. Billy Murphy’s first touch let him down when in space in the box, and Leon Dadey saw a shot blocked. There was no doubting Guildford’s defensive commitment with plenty of bodies being thrown into important blocks. One Redhill effort that evaded a block struck the post on 24 minutes. Dadey’s pace saw him chase a ball over the top. He took the ball past the home keeper, but former City player Antonio Simeone got back to prevent an equalising goal. On 32 minutes, and for the second time in three games, Leon Dadey was bundled over in the box only for the referee to wave play on. It was a crucial moment in the game. Moments later Dadey crossed from the by-line but with keeper Tom Theobold failing to hold the cross no City player was on hand to tuck the loose ball home. At the end of the first half Redhill once again hit the woodwork and debutant keeper Craig Smith made a crucial save.
The second period was played in the same vein. Jamie Pearce saw a shot deflected wide and Billy Murphy saw an effort comfortably saved. With 20 minutes remaining Pearce flicked a header on and Leon Dadey raced onto the loose ball meeting it at the same time as Redhill keeper Theobold. Theobold won the physical meeting of bodies and blocked and subsequently cleared the ball. The game changed on 80 minutes when the home side netted their second goal. The ball was given away in the middle of the park and another ex-City player Max Oldham drove towards goal before smashing the ball past the valiant Smith. Three minutes later there was a third when another effort was smashed home. After being competitive for so long Guildford were to fall away in the final moments. As the final whistle neared Zeid Hannachi did see a free-kick saved at full stretch and Jamie Pearce headed just wide. This performance was a step forward despite the final nature of the defeat.
Team: Craig Smith, Stephan Langley, Jake Rumble, Ashley Hitchinson (Olly Edwardes 71), James Young, Lloyd Connelly, Leon Dadey, Zeid Hannachi, Jamie Pearce, Billy Murphy (Morgan Porter 65), Harvey Valter (Darijus Sulnis 68). Unused subs: Neil Roissetter, Shane Cheeseman.
Referee: Pat Nixon
Attendance – 51