CITY bowed out of their second cup competition in a week with this lacklustre display against high flying Mole Valley SCR of CCL Division 1. Understandably still exhausted from the FA Cup replay on Tuesday, Guildford allowed their opponents to dictate the play and they quickly went a goal down courtesy of some lax defending and Jay Holden’s out-stretched boot. Tommy Tydeman, the player fast becoming known as the “Cooler King” then made matters worse by getting stupidly sent off for hitting out at another player. The second period saw some improvement but 10 man Guildford could not prevent their opponents notching another – J. Holden again finishing with aplomb. A late penalty for the home side suggested a tiny possibility of forcing a replay but ultimately Mole Valley ran out worthy winners of an FA Vase cup tie for the first time in their history.
There was a definite air of weariness hanging around the Spectrum even before kick off. The East Preston games had truly taken their toll on hearts and minds and we were hoping that Mole Valley, a side unbeaten so far this season, would not be at their best. An extremely disappointing turnout and a lack of tannoy due to technical difficulties also meant that it was difficult to generate the atmosphere every cup tie should have. These are not excuses, honest….
Mole Valley started the match as we feared they would, winning a series of corners on the far side which failed to trouble Danny Burnett. It wasn’t until the 11th minute that the ball finally made an appearance in the Mole Valley half, City winning a freekick but seeing it cleared to safety. The visitors responded immediately and were soon 1-0 up. A cross was sent into the middle of the box and with the Guildford defenders seemingly napping, Jay Holden slotted home. We were hoping this might wake City from their despondency and things did start to look more encouraging as Mole Valley allowed Guildford a little more time on the ball. The home side could forge no clear cut chances in the next ten minutes, however, the one opportunity falling to Banton-Brown who finally got behind the defenders, advanced on goal but tripped over on the edge of the box before he could pull the trigger.
Mole Valley started to come back into the match once more, a freekick 25 yards out yielding a corner which was cleared before another freekick was won closer in. A clever low delivery to the near post did not out-fox Burnett, however, and he held the ball well. The home side once more made forays into the SCR half on the 30 minute mark in a promising period of play – Rivers flicking on a ball and winning a corner. Unfortunately a good first delivery which had to be kicked behind by a Mole Valley defender was followed by one which curled behind for a goal kick. An excellent cross in the 34th minute, however, did nearly yield a goal – Jamie King meeting the ball with a perfect header which Leigh Bowden had to dive to push away from the top corner. City once more went on the offensive – Banton-Brown doing some good work down the right wing and winning another corner, the ball ping-ponging in the box but finally being blazed over the bar from the edge of the area.
Guildford were extremely below-par, but there had been enough promising moves in the past 10 minutes to suggest they could turn the screws on Mole Valley. Unfortunately, seemingly out of nowhere, a scuffle developed near the City area – both Tydeman brothers being involved. It was clear Tommy had raised his hands to another player and so no surprise when the referee brandished the red card – the Mole Valley manager receiving the same treatment and being forced to sit in the stands. I think we all knew at that point that we were probably heading for another cup competition exit and Mole Valley took full advantage. They would have scored in the final minute of the half but for a superb sliding clearance by Danny Burnett when he was left one-on-one with a Mole Valley forward. Another shot from the visitors narrowly missed the mark before Graham Tydeman managed to go on the offensive – launching a good pass to Carnegie who won a corner. Unfortunately the home side were unable to capitalise and the whistle blew for halftime.
A few beers during the break did little to cheer any of us up, although Lofty’s insistent use of the airhorn continued to cause amusement. He actually took it with him to my friend Tom’s birthday bash later on and caused pandemonium by letting it off at regular intervals in the pub!! With so few people about we pretty much had the clubhouse to ourselves and very soon the players were out on the pitch again.
Guildford started the second half apparently with a new sense of purpose and really should have taken the lead three minutes in – Anthony Bridgeman rising unmarked at the far post to meet a cross but missing the target. The pressure continued, despite a silly yellow card for Antony Hall when he wasn’t even on the pitch, and City continued to look threatening. Anthony Bridgeman tried a long range effort in the 58th minute before Harrison Carnegie missed a sitter from the edge of the box after Jamie King bamboozled the Mole Valley keeper on the byline. Carnegie once again went close on the hour mark, curling a shot/pass just wide of the far post after receiving the ball from a corner. He was clearly tiring however, and Cory Knight was brought on to replacement him soon after.
The visitors responded however and soon Guildford were under the kosh – failing to clear their lines and Mole Valley starting to camp in their half. In the 71st minute SCR finally clinched the decisive goal – Jay Holden tearing into the box and finishing impressively from an extreme angle. There seemed no way back for the home side now but Mole Valley then (understandably) started to ease off and give City more of the ball. Jamie King was on target with a header in the 87th minute from a corner but it flew into Bowden’s mitts before SCR went on the attack, unleashing a screamer from the edge of the box which Burnett pushed onto the post at full stretch. At the other end, Adesina was causing problems with his pace and it was during one of his attacks that he was brought down and the referee signalled a penalty. Rivers stepped up and fired confidently into the top right hand corner of the net to reduce the deficit but City could not turn the screw sufficiently in the remaining time to salvage the tie.
GUILDFORD CITY: D. Burnett; G. Tydeman; T. Tydeman; T. Penson; J. Thoroughgood; J. King; A. Bridgeman (J. Turner, 75); L. Hirrel; S. Rivers; H. Carnegie (C. Knight, 67); L. Banton-Brown (G. Adesina, 75)
Subs not used: A. Hall; L. Bradnick
MOLE VALLEY SCR: L. Bowden; A. Smith; J. Cottrell; N. Adams (M. Franklyn, 79); A. Bremner; D. Martyn; L. Holden; R. Smith; K. Barry; J. Holden; J. Spence (P. Webber)
Subs not used: D. Hartnoll; G. Allen; M. Bare
Referee: M. Carmichael