GUILDFORD secured their third win in a row with this narrow victory over Molesey and in doing so, leapfrogged the Moles into 7th place. Jamie Thoroughgood’s strike, deep into the second half also marked City’s 100th goal of the season – an impressive milestone reflecting the team’s progress this season. In truth the Moles probably shaded the play in this encounter but crucially it was Guildford who took their chance.
Both sides showed admirable enthusiasm and almost from the kick off, chances started to flow. Moles midfielder Dan Coombes saw a decent effort held by Antony Hall in the 3rd minute and two minutes later Lance Banton-Brown just failed to connect with a superbly delivered cross from Rob McCarry. Two corners followed for City but they could not trouble Molesey goalkeeper, Wester Young. The home side responded and in the 10th minute won a freekick deep in the Guildford half. The delivery was poor however and the visitors cleared and then counterattacked quickly: Lance unlucky to see a decent shot parried to safety by Young. City had a taste of their own medicine a few moments later after Lance won a corner but the ball was quickly cleared to Lewis Ackerman. The Moles striker made a blistering run and was just dispossessed by Tom Penson poking the ball to Hall. As cool as you like, Hall then tapped the ball back to Penson, who cleared to safety.
The visitors continued to forge opportunities, although they were finding it hard to carve out anything decisive. Ben Rayner tried a long range effort in the 18th minute which was well flighted but flew just wide of the post. The home side pushed forward themselves but saw a corner cleared before winning a freekick in a dangerous position near the byline in the 25th minute. They could not trouble the Guildford defence however and the ball was headed to safety. It was at this point that the attention of the home fans was starting to be caught by some of the referee’s decisions which were to be fair a little eccentric at times. A number of offside decisions in City’s favour drew unfavourable responses and the man in black and his assistants increasingly became the target of protests from the crowd. As if to counter-act this the Moles were awarded rather an unjust freekick when Jack Guilford was adjudged to have lifted his boot too high in the 41st minute. The home side finished strongly – Shane Sinclair picking up a loose ball and crossing from the byline but without any of his team-mates being able to connect with it. And the Moles could have scored deep in injury time when Faz Ibrahim-Zadeh saw his header rebound off the bar after a corner.
Guildford upped their game at the start of the second half and looked a lot sharper in the early exchanges. In the 48th minute Lance just failed to beat Young to an excellent through-ball prior to Ibrahim-Zadeh mounting another pacey counter-attack but firing wide. Jack Guilford then went on the attack down the right wing, using his skill to good effect to get goal-side of his marker but firing well over from the edge of the box. The home side started to get a foothold again, squandering a freekick on the byline in the 54th minute and seconds later they had another excellent opportunity. Sam Lampard picked out Shane Sinclair with a fine cross but Antony Hall superbly saved the resulting header at point blank range. Barely had we had a chance to draw breath than Guildford had forged their own excellent chance at the other end – Jamie King seeing his header loop over Young and onto the bar from a corner. Jack Guilford’s impressive overhead kick of the rebound drew an excellent parry from the Moles keeper and the ball was cleared.
This frenetic pace could not be maintained and the match quietened down for a while, both managers bringing on substitutes. It came back to life in the 75th minute however – an impressive cross picking out a Moles forward on the wing whose shot dipped just over the bar from the edge of the box. The match hung completely in the balance at this point but luckily for City some poor defending came to their aid a minute later. The visitors won a corner after poor communication led to Rob Lewis unnecessarily kicking the ball behind. The resulting kick was powered into the box – a City player coming in to try and meet it with his head but the ball falling to Jamie Thoroughgood on the edge of the box who swept it into the back of the net.
Molesey showed admirable determination to get back into the game and on another day could possibly have scored several. In the 77th minute they won a freekick which James McShane fired to the far post but Moses Spender, rising unmarked, somehow headed wide. Moments later Ross Defoe made an impressive jinking run and fired an excellent loss cross to the far post which Andy Graves conspired to put over the bar from barely 6 yards out! Another chance fell to the Moles in the 89th minute – this time a good header from a freekick was deflected behind for a corner which was cleared.
City started to enjoy more possession in stoppage time – Elvis, Guilford and King combining to cause problems with some incisive one-touch passing – but they could not quite forge the killer chance. Nevertheless Rob McCarry could have scored with the last kick of the game, putting the ball just wide from 6 yards out after Guilford had seen his shot blocked.
GUILDFORD CITY: A. Hall; R. McCarry; T. Penson; S. Cooper; E. Defreitas; J. King; J. Brown; B. Rayner; J. Guilford (D. Elgar 69); L. Banton-Brown (J. Gibbs 49); J. Holloway (J. Thoroughgood 71)
Subs not used: S. Carroway; L. Bradnick
MOLESEY: W. Young; A. Graves; R. Defoe (M. Riggon 85); R. Lewis; M. Spencer; D. Coombes; S. Sinclair (J. Pratley-Jones 60); S. Lampard (A. Tawonezvi 60); F. Ibrahim-Zadeh; L. Ackerman; J. McShane
Subs not used: D. Lucas; M. Hughes
Referee: S. Borham