Guildford City’s first truly western adventure for nearly 40 years ended in defeat at the Glass Consultants UK stadium. Travelling Sweeney fans ventured west eager to see City’s new playing squad in action and despite conceding five goals will take some positives from the encounter. The Guildford fans were still taking their place behind the goal as the home side struck twice in the first three minutes. Shell-shocked Sweeney fans perhaps feared the worst but showing commendable spirit City fought back but sadly was never able to bridge that early gap.
Amazingly it was City who had the first effort on goal. Dominic Ogun’s neat lay off setting up Pat Cox for a 20 yard effort that was comfortably saved. Seconds later the ball was pumped deep in to City’s half and from a resultant corner Ben Hunt headed home unchallenged in the six yard box. Before Sweeney fans had recovered from the shock it was 2-0; a low cross from the right being expertly turned in by Jamie Reid. To their credit City settled and worked their way back into the game. Laurie Walters cross from the right after 14 minutes only just eluded Pat Cox in a threatening position, but just a minute later City had put themselves on the scoreboard. George Bowerman was fouled some 22 yards from goal and up stepped the skipper Ben Walshe to curl a free-kick into the bottom corner. With the confidence of a goal City were looking good with Walters and Ogun threatening down both flanks. Then perhaps in the games defining moment disaster struck. A high hopeful ball forward from the home side caused fatal miscommunication in the visitors defence and Ben Hunt shot home after Aaron Bufton had saved the first effort. Now on the back foot Aaron Bufton was twice forced into spectacular action and the inevitable happened minutes before half-time when after some fine movement up front Ashley Williams fired low past Bufton. Crucially City kept in touch in stoppage time and from a deep corner Pat Cox was on hand to bundle the ball home.
City undoubtedly had more of the play in the second period and after 46 minutes they came close to narrowing the margin further. The impressive Calvin Thomas fired a long range effort into the box and Dominic Ogun’s glancing effort spiralled over the bar. Still looking vulnerable at the back, Aaron Bufton was twice forced into impressive action to keep City in the match. City did have a further opportunity after 51 minutes when Ben Walshe latched onto a loose ball in an advanced area, and his early effort sliced just wide. Late on Dean Thomas introduced big striker Andrew Dalhouse to a three man attack in an all-out effort to get something from the game. The ploy saw some results when on 81 minutes Calvin Thomas set Pat Cox free on the right but his attempted lob of keeper Kevin Sawyer just cleared the crossbar. Minutes later a header by Tom Mudge suffered the same fate, and then in the final minute, with City pressing forward in numbers, a Mangotsfield break saw Dave Stone slide home the clinching goal. Fighting to the end in stoppage time, Pat Cox worked hard to win the ball deep in home territory. A resulting cross from George Bowerman was met by Andrew Dalhouse who headed home at the second attempt.
Most certainly a disappointing result but offensively City looked more than useful, and we mustn’t overlook that this is a brand new squad; indeed two of yesterday’s players, having signed late on Friday, only met their team mates an hour or so before kick-off. With two home matches during the coming week, the City faithful will have an opportunity to welcome our new faces.
Post match interviews from Ian Plested will be follow soon.
Team: Aaron Bufton, Kershaney Samuels, Tuan West, Tom Mudge, Ryan Bernard, Calvin Thomas, Laurie Walters (Andrew Dalhouse 72), Ben Walshe, George Bowerman, Pat Cox, Dominic Ogun (Kieran Burrell 61). Unused subs: Bryan Harrison, Darren Evans, Will Dukes.
Yellow Cards: Aaron Bufton and Ryan Bernard
Referee: Adam Penwell
Attendance – 118