Hanworth Villa (1) 2, Guildford City (0) 3
By Barry Underwood.
Guildford City’s run of improved results continued last evening amidst a highly charged atmosphere at Hanworth’s Rectory Meadows. This was remarkably the first cup tie the club has won in 11 attempts, dating back to 15 September 2012 when Cirencester were defeated in the FA Trophy. This win however will be remembered principally for other reasons, and truth be told City struggled to a win that they barely deserved against an enterprising Hanworth side that played the entire second half with just nine men.
With a number of players unavailable, the City side once again had the look of a makeshift line up with Bruce McPhail playing in his third playing position in three matches, and Presley Mason making his debut. Another debutant was goalkeeper Lee Allen who soon showed his worth with a spectacular diving save from a Hanworth free-kick. The early stages belonged to the home side and twice more Allen came to the visitors rescue with important saves. Jack Guilford saw a long range effort spilled by Dane Buss in the home goal but a City player wasn’t on hand to apply a final touch. It was no surprise when Hanworth scored after 15 minutes; Michael Ruffles long range effort skidding off the wet surface, off Allen, and into the net. With the home side enjoying the majority of the possession there were signs that City could be in for a long evening.
The game changed on 24 minutes when Carlton Murray-Price was brought down just outside the box when through on goal. The home players thought contact with the ball had been made but referee Matt Foden disagreed and showed Matt Baines a straight red card. Not surprisingly with a man advantage Guildford settled, but they still struggled to play as fluently as they have in recent weeks. Ryan Wallis shot over the bar following good build up, and on 34 minutes a strong run and shot from Jack Guilford forced Buss into a diving save. City were guilty too often of being caught in possession, causing undue pressure on their makeshift backline. It looked as if City might get themselves back on level terms when Presley Mason appeared to be brought down in the box, but the referee Foden had a good look and waved play on. A minute into first half stoppage time the bear pit atmosphere generated by some of the home support following the earlier sending off went up several notches. Khari Oriogun, in possession deep in Hanworth’s half, was send into orbit following a wild challenge from Prosper Ezewzie and once again a red card was brandished leaving Hanworth with nine men as they went into the interval.
With a two man advantage Kevin Rayner moved to a three man backline, pushing John Symons forward into a central midfield position. Given the advantage it was no surprise when from Oriogun’s slide rule pass Carlton Murray-Price ran through on 50 minutes to beat Buss and put City back on level terms. Thoughts however that this would now turn into a one-sided encounter were quickly dispelled when the home side, showing remarkable enterprise in the circumstances, continued to go forward and a number of times Lee Allen was forced into spectacular action. The introduction of Navid Zandi from the bench gave City a lift and on 75 minutes a fine run and cross gave Presley Mason a shooting chance. Minutes later a similar run from Zandi led to Jack Guilford shooting narrowly past the post. In reply a Matt Graves header for Hanworth missed by inches, but on 80 minutes the same player was able to give the home side an unlikely lead from the penalty spot. Ray Guilford being the guilty party having been judged to have held back Graves. After consultation with his assistant the referee showed Guilford a yellow card, instead of red, which further infuriated a by now incandescent section of fans.
With City facing the ignominy of losing to nine men their urgency in firing balls forward to their front men intensified. On 85 minutes they got their reward when John Symons firmly headed a clearance back towards goal and the strength of Stefan Joseph took him clear to shoot past Buss. With extra-time looming City gained what proved to be the winner in 88 minutes; Navid Zandi taking possession out by the corner flag but after arcing around the edge of the box he fired in a curling effort that found the bottom corner. Guildford saw out the remaining minutes to advance to the next round after a game in which they often struggled against a depleted side. However in the cold light of day it was another victory to maintain the side’s resurgence.
Team: Lee Allen, Anthony Bridgeman, Bruce McPhail, Ray Guilford, John Symons, Presley Mason, Jack Guilford, Carlton Murray-Price, Stefan Joseph, Ryan Wallis (Navid Zandi 66), Khari Oriogun.
Referee: Matt Foden