Despite a good display, City were unable to take all the points against a dogged Horley Town. They took the lead in the first half but were unable to hang onto it, conceding just before half time. For all their possession in the second half they were unable to find the killer goal with Horley going close to wrapping up all the points themselves on a few occasions.
City started the match brightly with their usual high tempo, Dean Peltohaka being put through on 7 minutes and beating the onrushing keeper but unable to put the ball in the open net from 35 yards. Two minutes later they grabbed a deserved goal, Peltohaka atoning for his earlier miss with a smart sidefoot to finish of a fabulous cross. Unfortunately going 1-0 up seemed to stun City and they took the foot off the gas allowing Horley a route back into the game. Jay Gindre pulled off a fabulous save ‘for the cameras’ in the twelfth minute when a Horley player shot at close range. City opposition continued to make inroads and won a corner that they were unable to cause City problems with.
In the 25th minute however City were forced into a substitution when Rob Parrott was fouled in his own box – the Horley player earning a yellow card. Off limped Rob and on came Lee Allum. And he was quickly called into action as Horley once again went on the attack – their number 7 making a good run into the box before having his shot blocked for a corner. At the other end City were stringing together some delightful passing but without the end product – some neat interplay in the 33rd minute resulting only in a weak shot just wide of the post. Five minutes later Horley were asking how they hadn’t levelled the scores when a beautiful shot from the corner of the box beat Gindre, smacked against the bar and was then driven well wide of the open goal from 6 yards by the waiting Horley player. Luckily for them they didn’t have to wait long to atone for the error, a ball being lofted into the box in the 42nd minute, headed across the face of goal and scrambled home.
Compared to last week’s high jinks with the dugout, this week’s half time was rather dull although it did allow one lucky fan (me!) to sample the soon-to-be-famous ‘City Burger’ and for the City fans to experiment with their chants for Marc Kleboe and Simon Shepherd who were both carrying knocks and watching from the sidelines. They had also developed a cutting chant for the Horley fans – ‘You’re just a small town in Gatwick!’ and ‘Gone to the airport, you should have gone to the airport!’
The second half kicked off with Dan Mason coming on to make his City debut in place of Scott Steele. Unfortunately the match seemed to pick up where it left off in the first half with lots of action in the midfield but neither side being able to make the crucial break through. There were however a few rays of light for the home team. Dean Peltohaka was playing particularly well making unselfish passes to team mates and keeping the play moving – one such interplay between himself and Aneal Azeem on the 60 minute mark resulting in a shot just wide of the post. On 67 minutes City were unfortunate not to convert a fumble from the Horley keeper from an excellent cross, while a dangerous Horley freekick on the edge of the City area on 77 minutes could only be hit straight into the wall. Aside from these highlights and despite lots of City possession there was little hope for either team of the deadlock being broken and the match petered out into a draw.
GUILDFORD CITY: J. Gindre; R. Parrott (sub. L. Allum 25); L. Wye; M. Tomlinson; L. O’Donnell; S. Cannie; D. Peltohaka; R. White; M. Mercer (sub. W Coborne 59); S. Steele (sub. D. Mason 45); A. Azeem
Subs not used: A. Wylde; P. Andrews