Epsom & Ewell (4) 4, Guildford City (0) 0
by Barry Underwood
In-form Epsom & Ewell swept Guildford City aside with a near perfect first half performance that had home manager Glyn Mandeville and “Salt” fans quite rightly purring with satisfaction. You would be forgiven for thinking that being on the wrong end of a four goal deficit at the interval City had been outplayed. In one sense they had been, but as Mandeville said post-match Guildford hadn’t done much wrong and very few teams would have lived with his side’s clinical performance during that first 45 minutes. City to be fair were missing a number of players due to both injury and a wedding including Martin Dynan, Harry Driver, Adam Turner, Andy Ottley and Matt Anton, which clearly didn’t help their cause but with this performance it is hard to think that the result would have gone any other way. Certainly City gave as good as they got in the opening stages but as so often in recent weeks it was the visitors who netted with their first real effort on goal after seven minutes. A high cross beyond the back post was headed back across goal and Tom Neill was on hand to accept an easy chance. Within minutes City came perilously close to equalising when Curtis George’s skilful half volley agonisingly missed the far post by a hair’s breadth following a flick-on from a corner. In what was an end to end game Liam Beach saved well low down from Kyle Hough, before on 18 minutes the same player was hand to convert from close range after a quick counter attack down the right. For City Adam Nditi’s first touch twice let him down from Curtis George through balls and then having been taken too wide the chances on goal was lost. Both Remi Mongeaud and Liam Flanighan chanced their arm on goal from distance and Flanighan in particular forced a good save from the towering Michael Eacott. On 34 minutes Epsom scored a third and a fantastic finish it was from Matt Farrell and certainly there was an air of inevitable disbelieve amongst the travelling Sweeney. City weren’t performing like a side being torn apart but yet they were three goals down with one in the half still to come from the prolific Kyle Hough. As regular City watchers will know the answer lies in taking chances as they come. Certainly Epsom’s finishing on the day was of the highest order whilst over several weeks Guildford either hasn’t had the luck or are trying to sometimes overplay that invariably sees chances disappear, or perhaps and more likely it is a combination of the two.
Credit to Guildford in the second-half. They rolled up their collective sleeves and fought hard when it was quite possible that they might have fallen apart. Big Connor French up front did a good job leading the line and certainly showed that on another day and with more support he will do a significant job. Liam Beach twice saved well to prevent further goal scoring and at the other end City almost got on the scoreboard when Adam Nditi’s dipping free-kick smashed against the crossbar when it had originally appeared to be heading for the car park! With the very last kick of the game Epsom themselves reciprocated by hitting the woodwork which for the effort expended would have been a cruel finish for the visitors. Guildford City will now dust themselves off after eight consecutive away matches and will return to home league action against Ashford Town at the Spectrum next Saturday.
Post match interview with assistant manager Martin Dynan can be heard here.
Team: Liam Beach, Tom Booth, Liam Flanighan, Bradley Pegg, Jack Collins, Remi Mongeaud, Curtis George, Callum Sexton (Chad Goulter 46), Connor French (Scott Fitzsimmons 62), Adam Nditi, Nathan Chambers.
Referee: Caspar Vick