Didcot Town (3) 3, Guildford City (1) 2 By Barry Underwood
Despite another battling performance City fell to another narrow defeat at Didcot’s Loop Meadow stadium. Guildford couldn’t have had a worse start when they went behind after just 23 seconds. Ben Whitehead, who was to enjoy a fine a game, had acres of time and space on the left and his pin point cross was met by an unmarked Jack Longford who headed in over the diving Antony Hall.
Playing into a strong wind in the first period City were visibly struggling to adapt to the conditions and the uneven bounce. It wasn’t all one way however and on 16 minutes Sam Spencer fed Joel Greaves on the left. Greaves beat two men and cut in from the by-line to fire a low shot that was saved for a corner by Foster in the home goal. A minute later City were back on level terms. A corner was cleared to the edge of the area where it was met exquisitely by Ben Walshe who spectacularly half volleyed home to the delight of the travelling Sweeney behind the goal.
Parity lasted for eight minutes before, having failed to clear their lines, City went behind once again. Antony Hall parried an effort from the edge of the box, only for right-back Sam Elkins to net from an acute angle. On 38 minutes the visitors were 3-1 behind. A corner was needlessly conceded and City were made to pay when Jack Longford headed home over the attending defender on the line.
Half-time Didcot Town 3, Guildford City 1
It was a very different second period. Despite the worst of the wind having died away it was City who still edged the second half. Initially Guildford’s best efforts were from long range with both Ben Walshe and Joel Greaves having powerful long range attempts saved comfortably by Foster. On 70 minutes Antony Hall was called into action, making a good diving save from Matt Woodley’s free-kick.
A minute later the impressive Matt Oldring brilliantly cleared Whitehead’s low shot of the line at full stretch. As the minutes ticked on, and especially after the introduction of Nuno Pereira up front, City dominated proceedings. On 79 minutes Ben Walshe’s delicately played in free-kick were inches away from being glanced in by Matt Oldring.
On 83 minutes City deservedly got on the score sheet again. After fine footwork by Nuno Pereira, a quick interchange of passes led to Joel Greaves slipping a low shot inside the far corner. With Jamie Thoroughgood pushed up front for the final stages it was all City and the previously vociferous home crowd went quiet.
With three minutes remaining Guildford had a glorious opportunity to net a valuable equaliser. Jamie Thoroughgood’s through ball saw Nuno Periera through on goal. With Joel Greaves unmarked alongside him, Pereira chose the unselfish option and squared the ball where sadly for the visitors it was intercepted by a relieved Foster. So another battling performance but with no reward and with rivals gaining unlikely victories the battle at the bottom will seemingly be going to the wire.
Team: Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Dammy Bada, Matthew Oldring, Jamie Thoroughgood, Ben Walshe, Callum Attwood (Nuno Pereira 78), Jordan Taylor, Joel Greaves, Sam Spencer (Bruce McPhail 73), Dominic Ogun. Unused subs: Aaron Hennessy.
Yellow card: Jamie Thoroughgood.
Red card: Nil
Referee: Daniel Leach
Attendance – 103
Match Photos are Here
Kevin Rayner’s post match interview is here