Guildford City (1) 2, Farnham Town (0) 1
by Jack Underwood
Guildford City’s unbeaten opening to the new league campaign continued at the Spectrum on Wednesday evening. Following their point at the weekend against Chertsey Town, City went into their first home match in confident fashion. Manager Don Chislett was forced into a late change of personnel with Jack Collins injured during the warm up, and Josh Drew stepping up from the bench to join the starting line-up. From the start Guildford looked to play their enterprising football and although the visitors did enjoy more of the possession in the first period Myles Jones and James Ryan’s athleticism and energy in midfield helped to break down the visitors attacks and set City moving forward again. When Farnham did threaten City coped well defensively with Venta and Josh Drew, making his debut, featuring well at the heart of the defence. On 16 minutes the deadlock was broken in City’s favour. Athan Smith-Joseph’s strong run and resulting cross from the left saw visiting keeper Pett’s fail to hold the ball and Myles Jones was on hand to side foot home for his first goal in Guildford colours. City did have an opportunity to go into the break with a two goal advantage; Dan Stewart being played through but his low shot was comfortably saved.
The momentum of the match changed in the second half. Notably Farnham keeper Matt Pett’s booming kicks from the hand caused some difficulty for the Guildford back-line, giving the visitors more possession deep in City’s half. It was therefore no great surprise when on 56 minutes Steve Ramsden equalised, latching onto a cross from the right and converting the cross at far post. As the half proceeded Farnham looked increasingly dangerous with Liam Beach frequently in action in the home goal.
Those more faint hearted City supporters in the stands were ready to settle for a point as it seemed likely that the visitor’s would net again. But Beach was having none of it and with save after save he kept Farnham at bay, with a miraculous effort at close range diving low to his right being the pick of an impressive bunch. With five minutes remaining Dan Stewart had the chance to relieve the pressure following a free-kick but sadly his fierce effort rattled the crossbar, and many in the Sweeney perhaps thought that hopes of a home winner had gone.
Then with a minute left on the clock substitute Andy Ottley took the ball from deep in his own half, past several challenges, and after advancing on goal he unleashed a 25 yard pile driver past the diving Petts and into the corner of the net for a memorable winner. Jubilant talk amongst the Sweeney on the terraces already has Ottley’s effort down as an early contender for goal of the season. Farnham will undoubtedly have left the Spectrum peeved that they hadn’t taken something from the game, but for City the momentum builds.
Team: Liam Beach, Alex McWilliam (Harri Findlay), Connor Hall, Myles Jones, Tadej Venta, Josh Drew, Rory Cornelius (Kiyanu Pillay), Matt York, Dan Stewart, James Ryan (Andy Ottley), Athan Smith-Joseph. Unused sub: Stuart Searle.
Referee: Caspar Vick
Attendance: – 96
Photos from the match are on-line here