Guildford City (0) 0, Shortwood United (0) 0
By Alice Curtis
A gloriously sunny afternoon at The Spectrum saw a goalless game between Guildford City and Shortwood United. The game grew into life as time went on, and was overall a very good point for City who were solid in dealing with an array of Shortwood attacks.
The first ten minutes were fairly quiet, with both teams passing well but lacking any sort of movement in the final third. When Shortwood did threaten up front Guildford were quick in response, especially Elvis Defreitas who was fearless when stopping the visitor’s main danger of Duncan Culley. Though it was Adam Price who had the best chance of the early stages but he scuffed his shot straight into Antony Hall’s hands.
However Jamie Thoroughgood did have the opportunity to put City in front early in the first half but his powerful header missed the target. Guildford again showed their resilient defence when Adam Price had another chance for Shortwood as his curling shot seemed to be heading for goal, but Dammy Bada got his body brilliantly in front to block the ball. As the half an hour mark approached the best goal scoring opportunity of the first half came. A good through ball to Duncan Culley saw himself with only Antony Hall to beat but his shot was just inches past the left post.
This spurred Shortwood on as Kevin Slack sent a teasing cross towards the face of goal but no player was there to finish it. But City also had chances to draw the first blood. Dom Ogun and Bruce McPhail found themselves within shooting distance but their first touches lacked the power needed to cause an impact and both shots were blocked. Then Duncan Culley was again so close for Shortwood as his back heel pass skimmed past the left hand post. The striker then had the perfect chance to give the visitors the advantage going into the break as he managed to pass three City players who surrounded him but his eventual shot flew comfortably past the right hand post.
Half time: Guildford City 0 Shortwood United 0
The second half had barely begun when again Duncan Culley should have seen his name on the score sheet but his shot flew agonisingly close to the right post. Then City brought on a reliable attacking threat of their own as Lance Banton-Brown made his one-hundredth appearance for the club, who hoped to mark this milestone with a goal.
But Culley was again so close to scoring as his header was inches away from goal, before Kevin Slack’s cross was just wide. However Guildford had numerous chances to take the lead; Sam Spencer got himself in a good position but his shot had too much power and flew over the bar, before Lance Banton-Brown could have made his one-hundredth appearance a memorable one as a brilliant touch took him past the defence but his shot was blocked.
The game was starting to liven up as Shortwood captain Jake Parrot forced Antony Hall to palm away his powerful free kick, before Sam Spencer fed a dangerous corner into the visitor’s box but was punched away by ‘keeper Tom King. Antony Hall was again called into action as a good save managed to deny Duncan Culley on the break. As the game approached the end Hall was heroic in denying the visitor’s a goal, as he produced a fantastic double save to deny the increasingly frustrated Culley.
But five minutes from time City conceded a penalty as Shortwood substitute John Cant was brought down in the area, a real set back after all their efforts in denying Shortwood. Duncan Culley stepped up to take it and a great performance from Antony Hall was reinforced as he fantastically saved his shot. But Culley had the rebound in the net, however to the anger of the Shortwood players the referee mysteriously ruled it out.
The fairytale appearance and result for Lance Banton-Brown could have finished the game but his shot flew straight over the bar. An excellent result for City at The Spectrum who dug deep until the final whistle, and along with perhaps a bit of luck, kept a great clean sheet and a point to show for their efforts.
Team: Antony Hall, Antony Bridgeman, Dammy Bada, Elvis Defreitas, Jamie Thoroughgood, Jordan Taylor, Bruce McPhail, Ben Walshe, Sam Spencer, Andy White (Lance Banton-Brown 58), Dom Ogun. Unused subs: Callum Attwood, Nuna Pereira.
Yellow card: Anthony Bridgeman
Red Card: Nil
Referee: Chris Wade
Attendance – 83
Click Here to see match photos.
You can listen to the Kevin Rayner interview here
Anthony Bridgeman talks about the draw and the important clean sheet, listen to it here