Guildford City, by their own admission, made hard work of this victory over a good South Park side in the FA Vase. In the end it was substitute Ben Camara’s finish with his first touch that separated the sides and sent City through to face Horley Town in the next round.
It took a while for the game to settle as both sides found their feet after exploits against Ryman Premier sides in the FA Cup last weekend. Antony Hall and Simon Cooper were alert to stop South Park as their quick forwards broke through early on. On the half hour, Joel Hughes chased a loose ball but his cross was picked up easily by James Wastell in the South Park goal. It was around about this time that Lofty and Andy Backhurst burst into a heart warming rendition of the Elvis classic ‘Suspicious Minds’. Shortly before the break, City were denied an opening goal as Tom Penson was beaten to a cross and then Joel Hughes’ shot was saved a minute later. There was still time for South Park to launch an attack, with a powerful shot blocked by a City defender.
The start of the second half belonged to South Park, with Antony Hall coming to the rescue twice in two minutes as he saved at the feet of oncoming attackers. City regained their composure and Joel Greaves shot across goal went just wide on the hour. And it was ‘the Cat’ who supplied the cross for Ben Camara to score the only goal of the game on 66 minutes, following an elegant passing move from City. The game was still open despite the efforts of an over pedantic referee, but the visitors were having good chances to extend their lead. Jaydon Gibbs crossed from the byline but Joel Greaves’ shot was kept out by the leg of the Park keeper. Just two minutes later the hosts were awarded a very debatable free kick on the edge of the area which Hall managed to parry away. In the dying moments a home player was sent off for a second caution, and they then went close with a last ditch attempt from a corner. Guildford City held on to progress to the First Round Proper of the FA Vase.