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Sutton Common Rovers
Guildford City
Sat 6 Jan 15:00 - The Cherry Red Records Combined Counties Football League - Premier Division Full time

Rixon at the double

The first team picked up another vital three points when they struck late to see off ten man Guildford City.

We started fairly brightly, forcing a corner in the opening minute, but even in those early stages we were giving the ball away all to easily and it came as no real surprise when Guildford opened the scoring on five minutes.

The ball found ex-SCR man Jordan Gallagher on the right, and his teasing cross was powerfully headed home by Dan Stewart to give the visitors the lead.

We were not behind for long though, as a hopeful ball into the Guildford area on ten minutes caused hesitancy between Luke Beale and Nemo Adams, and Craig Nelson came through to fire home the equaliser, and his first goal for the club, from close range.

It should have been 2-1 a minute later, as Matt Farrell crashed an effort against the bar from 35 yards, and Jamil Okai was just unable to force home the loose ball. That said, Guildford could have retaken the lead on 14 minutes - debutant Tommy Smith misjudged a ball over the top leaving Nathaniel Williams through on goal, but a combination of Aaron Bogle and Owen Davies cleared the danger.

Both sides continued to give the ball away with alarming regularity and it seemed as though neither side wanted to stamp their authority on the game. Guildford went close on 23 minutes when a cross by Gallagher was fired goalwards by Dan Stewart and blocked by Davies, with the follow up being put over the bar.

We then went close at the other end when Okai was set up by Malachi Thomas but was just unable to turn the ball home, and we were starting to get on top of the game.

Just shy of the half hour and Nelson should have had his second, a quick throw found Farrell and his hooked cross found Nelson in the middle of the area but he fired his effort high over the crossbar.

Farrell and Nelson then combined to set up Okai, but he was denied by Badiali, smothering bravely at the forwards feet. A deep cross by Robbie Mundow on 38 minutes was well defended by Davies, and shortly after a shot by Gallagher was blocked as it headed goalwards.

On the stroke of half time Guildford's Adams went into the book for hauling back Okai, and the half ended with the scores level.

We started the second half brightly, and efforts from Thomas and Farrell were blocked behind for a corner, and from the delivery Davies rose highest to head home, only to see the goal chalked off for a foul on Badiali.

Guildford almost fashioned a chance on nine minutes when a long throw into our area caused some panic, but Davies was on hand to complete the clearance.

The visitors were then reduced to ten men on 55 minutes, Adams miscontrolled the ball coming out of defence and in an effort to regather, he lunged in on Matt Tanton, earning himself a straight red.

Guildford introduced another ex-SCR man in Dave Burton, to shore up the centre of their backline.

Twenty minutes into the half and Williams did well on the left, found Stewart but we managed to smuggle the ball clear, and at the other end a good run by Tanton was ended by a foul by Chris Tancock. From the free kick by Nelson, Davies headed over.

With just over twenty minutes remaining Guildford made a couple of other changes, introducing Luke Downey and former SCR legend Francois Gabbidon, and almost immediately Bogle hauled down Downey giving the visitors a free kick in a dangerous position. Fortunately though the chance was wasted.

Darren Salmon made a double change on 71 minutes replacing Matt Farrell and Rory Lewis with Gus Lukuni and debutant Kofi Quartey.

We continued to press and on 73 minutes a shot by Thomas, after a free kick had only been half cleared, found both Okai and Tanton and their goalbound flicks were turned behind by Beale. From the corner Thomas drove through a crowd only to see Gallgher hook clear, and you started to think it wasn't going to be our day.

With thirteen minutes remaining, we finally made the breakthrough, with a floated cross by Nelson being powerfully headed home by Asa Rixon-Nicholls.

We sealed the win five minutes from time, when a free kick from the right wasn't dealt with by Badiali, and Rixon curled home his second to give us a 3-1 win.

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Team selection

Eacott, Michael Eacott, Michael
Smith, Tommy Smith, Tommy
Tanton, Matt Tanton, Matt
Farrell, Matt Farrell, Matt
Davies, Owen Davies, Owen
Bogle, Aaron Bogle, Aaron
Lewis, Rory Lewis, Rory
Nelson, Craig Nelson, Craig
Rixon, Asa Rixon, Asa
Okai, Jamil Okai, Jamil
Thomas, Malachi Thomas, Malachi

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Westfield 39 102
2. Bedfont Sports 39 87
3. Sutton Common Rovers 39 85
4. Walton & Hersham 39 78
5. Redhill 40 62
6. Camberley Town 40 62
7. Balham 35 57

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