Guildford City made light work of Badshot Lea in familiar surroundings at Godalming’s Wey Court ground. The visiting side applied lots of pressure in the first half and were rewarded with two fine goals from Banton-Brown and Gibbs. Badshot Lea pulled a goal back shortly before the break but the City lead never looked too threatened. Dan Moody secured the three points with a header late in the game.
This much anticipated match started well for City as they pushed forwards from the off and tested Badshot goalkeeper Liam Stone numerous times in the opening half an hour. In the 11th minute, Lance Banton-Brown received the ball with his back to goal. With few options open and two players marking him tightly, Lance flicked a cool back-heeled shot into the corner of Stone’s goal to give City the lead. Minutes later, Jack Guilford found himself facing goal with just the goalkeeper to beat but dragged his shot wide (I’m sure I saw the ball bobble just as he went to shoot!). Jaydon Gibbs’ low free kick was flicked on to the post by Stone while Cooper also went close. In the 26th minute Gibbs cut inside past a stream of defenders and unleashed a powerful shot from the edge of the area to put City 2-0 ahead. The lead was halved on the stroke of half time when Badshot Lea scored with one of their first attacks of the match.
City continued in a similar vein in the second half, backed by a strong vocal following from Guildford. Lance Banton-Brown’s powerful run through the Badshot defence was halted illegally as he was one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but somehow the perpetrator escaped with just a caution. The hosts were having more possession in the second half but Elvis de Freitas was cutting out the threat from the left hand side while the City defence and midfield ensured they had little time on the ball. In fact Badshot Lea barely got a sniff at Antony Hall’s goal, although they came close to levelling when a shot struck the outside of the post. The introduction of Joel Greaves and Will Heavey gave City fresh impetus and strength. The City midfield, in particular the ever lively Gibbs, kept a steady stream of chances presenting themselves with Greaves and Rayner coming close.
Late on, Heavey showed he was a cut above the rest with a superb cross that was met by the head of Dan Moody to rid any doubt of City claiming all the points. Tommy Tydeman unfortunately failed in his bid to go a season without being sent off, having picked up a second caution for kicking the ball away after a particularly unusual refereeing decision.