Guildford progressed to the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup with this flattering win over hotly tipped Egham Town. City overturned a 1-0 lead with two quick fire goals in the first half courtesy of Joel Hughes and Jaydon Gibbs. The Sarnies threw the kitchen sink at Guildford in the second half and the visitors were extremely lucky not to concede before a clinical strike from Joel Greaves made the tie safe.
The first 7-8 minutes was all Guildford as City continued to impress with their tight passing game. Slowly but surely though Egham started to get a toehold in the game, somehow missing an open goal and hitting the post in the 9th minute before a mix up between Hall and a defender allowed City oldboy Matt Graves to slot into an empty net. Sarnies midfielder Aidy Barrance could have made it 2-0 a few minutes later but somehow missed before a superb Ben Rayner freekick on the edge of the area was tipped over the bar – an excellent save by Gray, the Egham stopper. The next ten minutes was all Egham – the home side hitting the bar on 24 minutes, missing an open net a few minutes later and Hall pulling off an excellent point blank save.
Yet it was Guildford who pulled a goal back in the 31st minute – Joel Hughes heading home from an excellent Joel Greaves cross. Suddenly the Sarnies started to look vulnerable and just 3 minutes later City were ahead. A freekick was won some 20 yards out near the byline and Jaydon Gibbs fired a daisy-cutter to the near post in a typical training ground move. It caught the Sarnies defence napping and the ball deflected off a defender and into the net to the strains of ‘Jaydon for England!’
The visitors started the 2nd half strongly with Ben Rayner hitting the bar with an excellent curling effort from outside the box. Greaves then laid off for Hughes in a slick move but the City striker fired just wide. Egham started to get more possession however and appeared to have scored on 70 minutes – the ball hitting the bar before being bundled home – luckily the ref ruled there had been a foul. Five minutes later, an overlap found two Sarnies players rampaging down the City left wing completely unmarked yet somehow Hall pulled off a point blank save to preserve the lead. A minute later and against the run of play Guildford made it 3-1 – a raking crossfield ball from Simon Cooper finding Joel Greaves on the edge of the box. The striker turned his man before firing home clinically from the edge of the box. The ref seemed intent on playing for the rest of the day but City held on to record an impressive victory.