Guildford City recorded a comprehensive victory against local rivals Ash United on a cold night at the Spectrum. The hosts got off to a perfect start as Joel Greaves netted in the second minute. His hat-trick came on the half hour mark. Tommy Tydeman capped the first half with an excellent strike from distance. Ash, who’d had James Blason sent off in the first half, were down to nine men when Lance Banton-Brown was brought down in the penalty area. Ben Camara scored the resulting spot kick, before Lance himself scored a beautiful curling shot to round things off.City started brightly, winning a free kick outside the Ash penalty area. Simon Cooper’s kick was knocked around in the area before Joel Greaves found the finishing touch to put City ahead. As Guildford’s own matchday summariser Will Heavey, watching from the stands due to suspension, put it, “It was a drilled free kick into the lower quadrant, supported by the rest of the top City players before Joel found the net.”
Ash were not going to roll over however, and had a number of chances in the next quarter of an hour. Jamie Thoroughgood used his pace well to thwart a number of counter attacks. The visitors nearly capitalised on a defensive mix up but Antony Hall was able to grab the ball as the striker tried to round him.
Joel Greaves (sort of) made it 2-0 in the 28th minute, with his hopeful shot taking a wicked deflection to deceive Adlam in the Ash goal. United were on the attack immediately, and City survived a goalmouth scramble before launching a long ball forward to Ben Camara. His shot was headed onto the post, before the ball was laid back to Greaves who scored his, and City’s, third.
A minute later former Guildford player James Blason was sent off for his part in a tussle, having received his second caution. Ash had a powerful shot saved by Hall, but shortly before half time the game was put beyond them – if it wasn’t already – when Tommy Tydeman hit a composed strike through a crowd of players following a rebound from a Ben Rayner free kick.
The scoreline perhaps flattered the hosts, but City were considerably more dominant in the second half against a demoralised Ash side. Ben Rayner’s feet got stuck under him with the goal at his mercy early on, before substitute Lance Banton-Brown rounded the goalkeeper. His touch was too heavy, but he recovered to lay the ball off to Rayner. His cross was met by Jack Guilford whose shot went wide.
Ash’s night was made worse when they were reduced to nine men when Banton-Brown was brought down as he broke through the visitors’ defence. Ben Camara, who was always going to get on the score sheet one way or another, stepped up to convert the penalty and give City a 5-0 lead.
Lance himself then added a touch of gloss with a superb curling shot over the head of Adlam from outside the area. A thoroughly deserved win for City, the biggest margin of victory so far this season and all despite never really getting out of second gear.