Cinderford Town (3) 4, Guildford City (1) 2
By Barry Underwood
This was another day on the rollercoaster ride that is Guildford City Football Club. Following Tuesday evening’s fantastic come-back victory against Taunton, hopes were high that another three points could be garnered in the fight against relegation; and on this occasion against a side with an indifferent home record. Granted Cinderford had replaced their manager midweek which is often a precursor to improved results, but nevertheless City made the long journey to The Causeway in confident mood.
On an unexpectedly heavy pitch after overnight rain, Guildford opened the game slowly. Missing both regular central defenders due to suspension and holiday saw Elvis Defreitas and Bruce McPhail combining in the middle of defence. For the first quarter however both players appeared strangers to each other, and on seemingly numerous occasions Cinderford’s forwards were finding their way through in alarmingly easy fashion. On just two minutes Dammy Bada cleared off the line under heavy pressure and it was no surprise when the home side went ahead after nine minutes; Andy Lewis picking his spot from the edge of the box.
It certainly was not one way traffic however and offensively City were looking the part. Indeed just prior to the game’s opening goal, a fine Alex Afful pass found Andy White in front of goal but his placed effort had been saved for a corner. After 14 minutes City were two down. Clayton Green swung over a high cross to the far post when the lanky Lewis rose to power home an unstoppable header. In terms of possession it was tit for tat and the visitors were carving out chances.
Nuno Pereira’s curling free-kick was tipped over for a corner, and minutes later Dom Ogun smashed a 25 yarder inches wide. On 24 minutes it was 3-0 when Garyn Preen had far too much time to pick his spot after yet another ball over the top. A minute later City had a great chance to get on the score sheet.
A great Afful cross saw Andy White’s close range effort well saved, amidst a great scramble of bodies. Similarly on 34 minutes another almighty scramble in the home goalmouth saw three City players attempt to force the ball over the line but to no avail. Guildford deserved a goal before the interval and it came on 40 minutes when a powerfully hit Dom Ogun free-kick eluded everybody to fly into the net. As the half drew to a close there was time for Antony Hall to save brilliantly from close range, and Andy White to miss a challenging Pereira cross when unmarked in front of goal.
Half-time Cinderford Town 3 Guildford City 1
In common with recent matches City dominated the early stages of the second half without carving out clear cut opportunities. Substitute Callum Attwood saw a cross cum shot curl just wide, and minutes later Nuno Pereira saw a curling effort well saved when perhaps a pass might have been a better option.
As the game entered its final stages City were visibly wilting on the heavy pitch and Cinderford were starting to find gaps. From one such gap Antony Hall excellently saved from a one on one, with Alex Afful completing the “save” by clearing the spinning ball off the line. On 82 minutes from another one on one Lewis had his shot parried by Hall, only on this occasion for Phil Veale to side foot home.
Frustration crept in as well in the late stages and Elvis Defreitas was deservedly shown red for an agricultural challenge. There was still time for City to put some gloss on the score line when Joel Greaves dispossessed the home defence to race clear and round Harris to shoot home. On this occasion there was to be no miracle finish and Guildford must move on in their search for relegation saving points.
Team: Antony Hall, Anthony Bridgeman (Callum Attwood 43), Dammy Bada, Elvis Defreitas, Bruce McPhail, Jordan Taylor, Nuno Pereira (Dida Alsaffar 82), Alex Afful, Joel Greaves, Dom Ogun, Andy White.
Yellow cards: Dammy Bada, Nuno Pereira, Alex Afful.
Red cards: Elvis Defreitas
Referee: Kevin Howick
Attendance – 132
Match Photos Here