Manager Dean Thomas said in his pre-match programme notes “once we become solid as a defensive unit we will pick up points sooner rather than later”. Well two goals did find their way into the home net but defensively this was much improved on previous performances. Indeed Thomas selected himself in central defence, but he limped out of the game early on to be replaced by Bruce McPhail who moved from full-back to a central defensive position.
It was City who had the first attempt on goal after five minutes when George Bowerman shot wide after a patient build up. Enjoying more possession of the ball than in recent weeks, City looked comfortable going forward. Pat Cox headed just wide, and then after 14 minutes City thought they had gone ahead. Tuan West fired over the first of several excellent crosses. George Bowerman attacking the ball in the six yard box stooped low to head home. Sadly celebrations were curtailed when it became evident that the linesman’s flag was aloft. In a flowing encounter young debutant Tyler Myers produced a splendid block when it seemed Fleet would get on the score sheet. Guildford were soon attacking and Calvin Thomas’s threatening run from the right was only halted when he overran the ball. Will Dukes made a fine low save, and then on 28 minutes the elusive Simba Mlambo broke from midfield, and taking a return pass he swivelled in the box to put the visitor’s ahead. Not deterred City were level within 60 seconds. George Bowerman found space on the left and his low cross was converted by Pat Cox in the six yard box. The home side were fortunate on 38 minutes when Ben Walshe lost the ball in midfield, and Jordan Carter had space to run forward and smash a 30 yard effort against City’s crossbar. There was still time for Guildford to threaten once more before the interval. Calvin Thomas’s delightful cross fell to Darren Evans on the edge of the box. His first time effort was mistimed, as was a resultant second effort from Pat Cox.
Half-time: Guildford City 1 – 1 Fleet Town
The visitor’s stepped up the pace in the second period and Will Dukes was forced into action, saving with his feet. Minutes later Fleet took the lead. Craig Davis had acres of space in midfield to advance forward and his precise ball found Rob Carr who lofted the ball over Duke’s head into the far corner. Not allowing the goal deficit to deter them City, prompted by Ben Walshe and Darren Evans, pushed forward, and from Tuan West’s cross Pat Cox headed down for George Bowerman who first time effort was blocked. Moments later West cut in from the right again and this time chose to shoot; his powerful effort being parried by Price for a corner. From the resulting corner Pat Cox reacted fastest in the box to head home his sixth goal of the season. At 2-2 both sides pushed forward for the winner. George Bowerman saw a curling effort go well wide, and at the other end Rob Carr saw a cross run right across the goalmouth. Tuan West saw another low effort saved for a corner by Price, and then on 85 minutes Guildford scored what proved to be the winner. Dominic Ogun’s cross was laid off by Pat Cox, and George Bowerman created some space for himself before drilling home from 18 yards. Two minutes later Pat Cox headed over whilst under pressure after another superb West cross. As the time ticked down City’s nerves were jangling, but the home team saw the game out, and at the eighth attempt City had got a win on the board.
Team: Will Dukes, Bruce McPhail, Josh Clayman, Tyler Myers, Dean Thomas (Courtney Cann 21), Darren Evans, Calvin Thomas (Dominic Ogun 75), Ben Walshe, George Bowerman, Pat Cox, Tuan West. Unused subs: Alex Afful, Mike Woods, Kambo Smith.
Yellow card: Dean Thomas
Referee: Andrew Dine