Evesham United (1) 1, Guildford City (0) 1
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City’s season long adventure in the Calor South & West division has finally drawn to a close. Having rattled up over 4000 miles of travelling during a season of struggle on the field, City will now return to the familiar surroundings of the Combined Counties League. With nothing resting on the outcome of the match for either side the match was a typical end of season encounter. That said following the side’s 1-1 draw against promotion chasing Swindon Supermarine on Easter Monday, Kev Rayner and the players were keen to exit this level of football having shown something of their true worth.
The game’s first real chance fell to the imposing figure of Evesham’s Nathan Jackson. Fortunately for the visitors his effort from the edge of the box sliced wide. Although Evesham enjoyed more of the possession, and created more of the threats, in the first period City still had chances on the break. The first came from Ben Walshe’s pass to Alex Afful wide on the right. Afful’s first time cross into the danger area seemingly confused Andy White and Nuno Pereira, and with the two City strikers going for the same ball the chance came to nothing.
On 17 minutes the home side opened the scoring. A smart through ball was taken round Antony Hall by James Bowen and from his square pass Nathan Jackson was on hand to fire low past the City defenders covering on the line. A fine run from Andy White saw him sadly miscue his snatched effort, and as the half progressed Evesham twice came close. However on the stroke of the interval it was City who nearly claimed an equaliser. First Joe Thoroughgood’s deep cross was headed down by his cousin Jamie, only for Nuno Pereira to fire the ball inches wide of the post. Then moments later the impressive Matt Oldring found Andy White in the box but again his snatched effort failed to threaten Louie Barnfather in the home goal.
Half time: Evesham United 1, Guildford City 0
Evesham’s Nathan Jackson had played a significant role for the home side in the first period. Sadly for United, Jackson picked up a second yellow card after 52 minutes and gradually the emphasis of the game started to shift. With the City defence comfortably mopping up what became a limited threat; City enjoyed the majority of possession going forward.
On 73 minutes they got their reward when Matt Oldring fired a long cross into the box where Nuno Pereira leapt to brilliantly head home the equaliser. Minutes later City came close to going in front. Alex Afful slid the ball to Ben Walshe 20 yards out and his side foot effort was tipped round the post at full stretch by Barnfather.
As the season entered its final minutes Antony Hall saved well with his legs before at the other end Pereira’s delicate pass just eluded Anthony Bridgeman in a threatening position. Evesham did have a golden chance in the final minute when the ball was pulled back to James Bowen on the edge of the area but fortunately for Guildford he completely and harmlessly miskicked his shot.
Team: Antony Hall, Bruce McPhail, Dammy Bada, Matt Oldring, Jamie Thoroughgood, Ben Walshe, Alex Afful, Anthony Bridgeman, Andy White, Nuno Pereira, Joe Thoroughgood (Dida Alsaffar 90).
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Referee: Mark Billingham
Attendance – 280
Match day photographs are here
Kevin Rayner interview here
Bruce Mcphail interview here