Guildford City (2) 3, Badshot Lea (1) 2
By Barry Underwood.
Guildford City finally, at the sixth time of asking, gained a much need league victory that will restore some much needed confidence to a side who have undoubted ability, but also seemingly the propensity to switch off for periods of a match. For the third time this season City took a two goal lead, playing some delightful football in the process. An uncharacteristic Antony Hall error gifted the visitors a way back into the match before the interval and for much of the second half it seemed that once again the game was going away from the home side. On this occasion though, despite a nervy five minutes of stoppage time, City held on to claim that all important three points.
The home side started the game brightly and it was quickly apparent that Surrey Uni student Navid Zandi’s wing play would have an influence on the game. Indeed Zandi’s fine cross from the left created the game’s first clear opening which fell to Anthony Baker whose powerfully driven effort was blocked by the keeper’s legs. Minutes later Zandi was instrumental in the game’s opening goal. His delicate ball from midfield put Jack Guilford clear and the combatant City player did well to place the bouncing ball into the corner. Buoyed by taking the lead City upped the ante and Anthony Baker’s pass gave Jack Guilford the opportunity to repeat his previous success; this time however Matt Watson in the visitor’s goal was equal to the task, saving with his legs. A second goal wasn’t delayed long though. On 27 minutes Jack Guilford successfully chased a lost cause wide on the left. Cutting in he squared to the on-rushing Navid Zandi who thundered the ball into the roof of the net off of Watson’s diving body. Five minutes before the interval Guildford characteristically conceded a goal. Antony Hall looked to have the ball in his hands but it spun away for Dayo Oshitola to nod the ball home from close range.
City’s weakness of conceding goals early in the second half came to the fore once again. This time on 48 minutes substitute David McCullum drilled a low shot into the corner from 20 yards. Once again City had given up a two goal lead. As so often a goal lifts a side and so it proved for Badshot Lea who for much of the second period looked the more dangerous side. A deft chip from Stef Joseph that was tipped over at full stretch almost put City back in front but largely the home side were on the back foot. The towering Callum Nimmo headed a corner straight at Antony Hall, and the City keeper pulled off a fine double save after Darren Blake was allowed to wriggle into the area. On 77 minutes Guildford did net the all-important third goal. Ben Rayner’s curling cross was flicked on amidst a mass of bodies and Anthony Baker was on hand at the far post to tuck the ball home. Dayo Oshitola continued to pose City problems, but the home side had a great opportunity to calm jangling nerves when Liam Harwood put Jack Guilford clear one on one with Watson. Watson once again came out on top saving well with his legs. On this occasion however City held on to claim the much needed points which hopefully will kick start their season.
Team: Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas (George Baldwin 64), Bruce McPhail, Liam Harwood, Ray Guilford, Ben Rayner, Jordan Taylor, Jack Guilford, Anthony Baker, Khari Oriogun (Junior Alade 79), Navid Zandi (Stefan Joseph 45). Unused subs: Sam Spencer, Ryan Wallis.
Yellow card: Ray Guilford
Red card: Stefan Joseph
Referee: James Hurst
Attendance – 80