A blistering first half display set the foundation for Guildford City to maintain their 100% start to the league season. Goals from captain Simon Cooper, making his first start of the season following suspension and Joel Hughes gave City a 2-0 lead before Cove pulled one back immediately. But the visitors responded perfectly with a smart move finished off well by Tony Chaplin. Cove were much more of a match for City in the second half, but Tony Chaplin put the result beyond doubt with his second, and City’s fourth, goal with seven minutes remaining.
After three matches where City had scored in the opening five minutes, it took the visitors a little while to reach their stride. Joel Hughes saw his header blocked on the line before Simon Cooper controlled a sweeping free kick and netted past Cove’s Josh Street. A flurry of chances followed, as City pressed forward regularly, although the City defence was being kept on its feet by some pacey breaks from the hosts.
In the 35th minute, Joel Hughes doubled City’s lead when he slotted home. Cove went straight up to the other end and pulled a goal back, but the third goal in three minutes came when Tony Chaplin (or was it Cesc Fabregas?) played a neat one-two pass to bring him behind the Cove defence and bury past Street.
The second half was much more even, with Cove marking tightly and looking to exploit City down the wings. However, it was City who had an excellent chance immediately after the restart, with Street pushing away from close range. A number of chances were wasted by the hosts, who also saw a shot cannon back off the post. Martin Debrah, signed from Bromley in the summer, came off the bench to make his début – replacing Jack Guilford who was making his 50th appearance for City. Despite their improved second half performance, a Cove comeback looked unlikely and FabraChaps scored his second of the day (and doubled his City career total in the process of one evening!) in the 83rd minute. All in all an exciting match played in an excellent spirit with barely a bad challenge made, and more importantly, the right result – well, for us at least!
Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Ben Rayner, Simon Cooper [capt], Jamie Thoroughgood, Corey Holder, Dan Moody, Tony Chaplin (Cory Knight 84), Austin Gacheru, Jack Guilford (Maritn Debrah 65), Joel Hughes (Dan Clayton 78).
Unused substitutes: Luke Bradnick, Michael Hall
Referee: T. Ellams