CITY continued their barn-storming form with this comfortable win over fellow top 10 hopefuls Egham Town. In truth Guildford never looked like losing this one – scoring early courtesy of a Lance Banton-Brown header and then increasing their lead on the half hour mark – Danny Elgar once again showing his skill from the edge of the box. The visitors’ hopes were dealt a knockout blow midway through the 2nd half with the rather harsh sending off of Luke Muldowney and despite showing great endeavour, they could not prevent a clinical Harrison Carnegie goal in stoppage time.
The opening minutes were fairly even but it was City that drew first blood in the 10th minute – Lance muscling his way into the box to head home after a goalmouth scramble. The Sarnies could have levelled just a few minutes later but Charlie McCarthy drove his shot well wide. The next twenty minutes were scrappy with neither side able to really test the opponents’ keeper. Guildford certainly weren’t sitting back however, playing some nice one touch which Egham’s organised back four were just about able to contain. With the match in stalemate this looked like being quite a nervy encounter until City scored their second on the half hour mark. The move started with an excellent slide rule pass from Jack McLeod in the centre to Danny Elgar who was running down the left wing. With no obvious pass, Danny opted to go it alone, cutting inside before unleashing a perfectly judged shot from the corner of the area which evaded everyone and nestled in the bottom right hand corner of the net.
The next ten minutes or so belonged to City as the Surrey side continued to outpass their opponents without creating any killer chances. Nevertheless Elvis Defreitas went close in the 38th minute, after a nice move, whipping in a cross which hit the corner of the goalframe. A few minutes later the Barbadian was fouled and the resulting freekick resulted in an accurate but weak header into the mitts of Sarnies keeper Lee Pearce. With halftime approaching though, Egham upped the pace in a bid to give themselves a lifeline. They went extremely close – breaking down the pitch from an excellent goalkick with Jamie Thoroughgood tracking back just in time to block a shot and Cory Knight heading behind for a corner, from which Sarnies midfielder Karle Andrews fired well over. Two minutes later came Egham’s best chance following rather a confusing incident in which James Brown clearly handballed and Evlis Defreitas was clearly fouled without a freekick being given to either side! In the confusion, Anthony Oaks stole in and fired a curling shot which flashed past Hall and smacked back off the post before being claimed by the City keeper.
Both sides continued to forge chances in the second half with McLeod heading wide from a corner in the 51st minute with an Egham forward then making a pacey run down the left of the pitch before pulling his shot wide. In the 56th minute both Danny Elgar and Lance went close before a Sarnies freekick on the hour mark was easily caught by Antony Hall. A minute later Lance beat the offside trap and powered through on goal – Pearce arriving just in time but receiving Lance’s boot in his stomach as the two collided. The City striker received a booking for his trouble and Kev Rayner clearly decided fresh legs were needed – Anthony Bridgeman replacing him in the 70th minute, Carnegie having replaced Ben Rayner a few minutes earlier. Bridgey proceeded to tear down the right wing before firing a shot wide of the far post. Sarnies defender Jamie Keefe then tried an effort of his own, firing a wayward long range shot off target in the 75th minute. City were containing Egham quite effectively by this point and what happened a minute later allowed them the breathing space they needed. Seemingly out of nothing Luke Muldowney was sent off for allegedly stamping on a player – it appeared that this had been accidental and Muldowney looked pretty miffed as he trooped off the pitch.
This effectively spelt the end of the game as a spectacle with City containing the visitors as they tried with rapidly diminishing confidence to claw a goal back. A few speculative crosses from the Sarnies were easily claimed by Hall and a corner cleared to safety before Guildford put the icing on the cake with the last kick of the game – Carnegie powering to the edge of the area before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the back of the net.
GUILDFORD CITY: A. Hall; E. Defreitas; C. Knight; S. Cooper; J. Thoroughgood; J. King; J. Brown; B. Rayner (H. Carnegie, 65); J. McLeod; L. Banton-Brown (A. Bridgeman, 70); D. Elgar (S. Elgar, 86)
Subs not used: T. Tydeman; L. Bradnick
Booked: L. Banton-Brown
EGHAM TOWN: L. Pearce; J. Rowley; M. Lacey; W. Noad; J. Keefe; N. Patel; L. Muldowney; A. Oaks; C. McCarthy; F. Driver (K. Siabi, 52); K. Andrews
Subs not used: T. Bentley; S. Baker
Booked: W. Noad; A. Oaks; K. Andrews
Sent off: L. Muldowney
Referee: V. Penfold