Guildford City (0) 1 Bishops Cleeve (0) 0
by Alice Curtis
After two disastrous away results last month, Guildford started March on a high with a home win against fellow strugglers Bishop’s Cleeve at The Spectrum. City are now undefeated in their last four home matches, however this was Guildford’s first home game since 22nd January due to the recent poor weather. The game started slowly with the first real chance arriving after ten minutes when the visitor’s Joe Turley whipped his free kick from the left hand side just past the post.
Elvis Defreitas was heroic in stopping another Bishop’s Cleeve attack from developing with a crucial tackle on Jacob Morgan. City started to find a way into the game as the opening stages progressed – a dangerous ball through to Dominic Ogun was intercepted followed by a great shot from Sam Spencer who aimed for the top right corner but this was blocked as it headed for goal. But during the first half it was the away side who arguably came closest to opening the scoring as Jacob Morgan’s chip over Antony Hall flew over the bar with City’s ‘keeper then passing straight to Dave Waters who was only denied by Hall rectifying his mistake with a fine save from his finger tips.
Bishop’s Cleeve were enjoying the majority of possession throughout the first half an hour but there were no clear cut chances for either side. Waters and Morgan were again mostly involved in the visitor’s attacking threats however City’s defence remained resilient. Captain Matt Williams also had a good chance for the Gloucestershire side towards the end of the first half but his header fell straight into the arms of Antony Hall, as the first forty-five minutes remained goal-less.
Half time: Guildford City 0, Bishops Cleeve 0
Guildford started the second half brightly with Joel Greaves setting up Sam Spencer in front of goal however his attempt lacked enough power to truly test ‘keeper Jamie Moore. Dominic Ogun then tried to replicate Jacob Morgan’s first half lob shot but was again unsuccessful as Jamie Moore managed to get his hands to the ball.
The visitor’s then had chances from Joe Turley to take the lead but he couldn’t find the target; firstly his header parried away by Antony Hall and then a powerful free kick from the edge of the area went shot straight into Hall’s arms 20 minutes into the second half. Counter attack proved to be the most efficient way of creating chances as the play in midfield between both teams was fairly scrappy.
Bishop’s Cleeve’s Dave Waters was through on goal only to be denied by Antony Hall who quickly got the ball up to Lance Banton-Brown but he couldn’t find the net. But it was the City substitute that proved to be clinical when it mattered in the 74th minute. A perfect pass from Joel Greaves found Banton-Brown who slotted the ball straight past Jamie Moore, sending the City fans, who were hoping to witness their first win since January, into raptures. Banton-Brown could have even added his second four minutes from time as his found himself with only the ‘keeper to beat but his shot was swiftly pushed away for a corner.
Bishop’s Cleeve gave everything to ensure they travelled home with at least a point during the dying moments – a free kick in the final minute from the left hand side of the box flew in dangerously but skimmed across many heads before it was eventually cleared. A huge three points for City which lifts them off the bottom of the table. Hopefully this will bring confidence when they travel to high flying Paulton Rovers next Saturday.
Team: Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Dammy Bada, Bruce McPhail, Jamie Thoroughgood, Ben Rayner, Jack Guilford, Ben Walshe (Jordan Taylor 73), Sam Spencer (Andy White 67), Joel Greaves, Dominic Ogun (Lance Banton-Brown 57). Unused subs: Callum Attwood, Danny Williams.
Yellow cards: Jack Guilford
Red cards: Nil
Referee: Sam Ogles
Attendance – 85
Photos from GCFC v Bishop’s Cleeve Click Here
Click Here to listen to Manager Kev Rayner as he talks about three vital points for Guildford:
Click Here to hear Goalscorer Lance Banton-Brown talk about the game and the win for City.