AFC Hayes (2) 4, Guildford City (0) 1
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City came away from Farm Park on the wrong end of a 4-1 defeat after what had been a highly entertaining game for the 71 spectators present. To be truthful although the score line indicates a heavy defeat this was one of those matches where the scoreboard lies and for the vast majority of this match City gave very much as good as they got. The difference between the teams was in the clinical finishing applied by the home side, whilst City too often were thwarted by excellent defending but also plain bad luck. Guildford opened brightly and Andy Ottley, who looks a different player under the new management, advanced on goal after picking up a loose ball in the middle of the park but his shot lacked real venom and went wide. On seven minutes AFC Hayes issued a warning when Jordan Berry‘s run took him clear but fortunately for the visitors his shot cleared the crossbar. Within minutes the home side nudged ahead when Sam Snyder found himself free in front of goal and he was composed enough to find the corner. The game was still end to end. Akeem Moore fired into the side netting from an angle, and in reply Ronnell Dennis brought the very best out of Liam Beach who made a fantastic save to deny Dennis’s fierce volley. City came perilously close to getting on the scoreboard on 32 minutes. Matt Anton’s shot was deflected for a corner from which Matt York’s header crashed back off of the crossbar and was cleared. Football can be a cruel game and the clearance was quickly moved up field where a lucky ricochet fell to Sam Snyder who shot home from an acute angle. From what might have been an equaliser City suddenly found themselves two goals down.
In the first minute of the second period City had a good opportunity of getting back into the game. Akeem Moore’s pass set Matt Anton free into the right channel. His options as he approached goal were varied but his brave attempt to lift the ball over the imposing Khaira in the home goal was thwarted by the keeper’s long reach. Again as if to make City pay Hayes netted their third when after a failure to clear Matthew Riggs curled a shot inside the far post. To their credit Guildford didn’t sit back on their heels and Andy Ottley almost deceived Khaira when a long range free-kick nearly crept into the corner. Just after Akeem Moore had seen a shot deflected wide for City, Hayes rounded off their scoring when substitute Eugene Asante found himself through on goal and able to slide the ball past Beach. Matt Anton headed over when he saw Josh Everard’s cross late, and James Davies was unlucky to see his effort beat the keeper but hit a covering player on the line. Finally with three minutes remaining Andy Ottley got some reward for his numerous efforts on goal when he stroked home a rebound on the edge of the box into the corner. City will play worse this season and take something from the game, and despite the defeat the travelling Sweeney will have been heartened by much of the performance.
Team: Liam Beach, Tom Booth, James Davies, Matt York, Jack Collins, Andy Ottley, Florin Ramizi (Bruce McPhail 75), Emmanuel Ewuoso (Josh Everard 54), Matt Anton, Edgar Morais (Nathaniel Williams 45), Akeem Moore. Unused subs: Toby Johnson, Nurrudin Hanif.
Referee: Tim Dowdeswell
Attendance – 71