City started the New Year with a thrilling, and all important, win against Clevedon Town. The visitors came into the game having lost the services of their manager midweek, and consequently themselves were fielding a side with a number of debutants and younger players. City for their part gave a debut to Cyprus international Tom Williams in the centre of defence, and a “second debut” to club record goal scorer Joel Greaves. City opened the game brightly, winning two consecutive corners as they applied pressure to the visitor’s goal. Clevedon though responded when Joe Teall had space to turn in the box but his effort was saved brilliantly by Antony Hall. Immediately City responded when Joel Greaves broke free but from a good position his lobbed effort cleared the crossbar. Guildford were made to pay for this miss when on 11 minutes full-back Joe Swift cut in to shoot from the edge of the box; Antony Hall managed to parry his effort but Joe Teall was on hand to slide the ball home. Joel Greaves managed a shot into the side netting, before on 17 minutes, the home side got back on level terms. Sam Spencer shimmied past two defenders on the right hand edge of the box before thumping a thunderbolt in the far corner, via the post. Minutes later City should have taken the lead when Spencer got behind the defence but Clevedon keeper James Dunn saved well with his feet. The game turned though when Elvis Defreitas conceded what was a soft penalty in the corner of the penalty area, and Matt Thorne stepped up to drill low into the corner. City almost responded immediately when Dom Ogun, who was enjoying a fine game, shot from 30 yards only to see his effort hit the post and then the back of the goalkeeper’s head, only then to roll harmlessly across the goalmouth. There was time for a further scare in the home defence when Antony Hall miskicked a clearance straight to Teall 20 yards from goal. Thankfully for the Sweeney, Hall rescued the situation by brilliantly turning Teall’s resulting effort round the post for a corner.
Half-time – Guildford City 1 – 2 Clevedon Town.
City visibly upped their game in the second period, enjoying more possession and territorial advantage. On 51 minutes Dom Ogun’s cross was met by Sam Spencer at the near post but his headed effort was blocked for a corner. Two minutes later the impressive Tom Williams curled in a superb out swinging cross that Dom Ogun, not renowned for his heading prowess, glanced wide from six yards. Almost immediately Ogun half-volleyed a fine effort just over the bar. On 54 minutes City deservedly got back on level terms. Following Tom Williams cross the ball fell kindly to Sam Spencer who drilled a low effort home from an acute angle. Guildford suffered a scare on the hour when Antony Hall slipped and missed the ball whilst mopping up a loose ball out by the touchline. Fortunately Joe Teall’s resultant shot on an empty goal was rushed and missed the target. On 65 minutes City took the lead for the first time in the match. Sam Spencer’s corner from the left caused confusion in the Clevedon box and Matt Thorne could only head into his own net for an own goal. The home side did sit back somewhat after taking the lead, inviting Clevedon to come to them. On 82 minutes Matt Thorne’s effort forced Hall into an excellent diving save, and deep in stoppage time Clevedon’s Jack Hewlett ran unimpeded deep in City’s box before shooting inches wide of the post. Scare over the defence superbly marshalled by Tom Williams and Jamie Thoroughgood saw the game out to claim a very valuable three points.
Team: Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Dammy Bada, Tom Williams, Jamie Thoroughgood, Ben Rayner (Ryan Wallis 87), Bruce McPhail (Andy White 58), Ben Walshe (James Jewers 76), Sam Spencer, Joel Greaves, Dominic Ogun. Unused subs: Corey Knight, Danny Williams.
Yellow cards: Ryan Wallis
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Dan Berry
Attendance – 77
Match Day Photographs Here