Guildford City (0) 0, Bedfont Sports (1) 2
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City’s burgeoning unbeaten run came to an abrupt end at the Spectrum yesterday as Bedfont Sports completed a 2-0 victory that sees the hosts drop to 16th in the league table. City did indeed look out of sorts. Bedfont though looked supremely organised and as hard as they tried the home side couldn’t make significant inroads. For a side in the lower reaches of the table Bedfont concede very few goals and from the evidence of this match it is clear to see why. The early stages were uneventful, although Connor French was on the end of City’s best moments and within a five minute spell he saw a volley go wide, a 30 yard effort clear the crossbar, and a half-chance mishit from Sanchez Benali’s fine cross. Somewhat against the run of play on 24 minutes Bedfont took the lead and it was courtesy of a fine decision from the referee. Julius Mngadi was hauled down just outside the area but referee Phillip Jones played a good advantage and Sports player-manager Paul Johnson fired a spectacular effort into the top corner from 20 yards. Within minutes City came close to hitting back but Jack Battie’s scissor kick from the edge of the box slipped just wide of the left hand post. Bedfont came close to taking a two goal lead into the interval when Mngadi ran forward unimpeded but Luke Badiali was alert to the danger and came out well to block the effort at close range.
The second half opened with Guildford having more possession but struggling to make incisive inroads into the visitor’s defence. Consequently City’s first effort of the half came after a patient build up and resulted in a Sanchez Benali 25 yard effort clearing the crossbar. Connor French, so effective with his back to goal, received a low ball into the box by Jack Battie but his shot on the turn went across the goalmouth and just beyond the far post. City’s best chance of the match came on the hour. A high cross into the danger area confused two defenders and Spencer Benali was first onto the ball and from close range his effort was well blocked by visiting keeper Josh Richardson. A goal at that moment with half an hour still to play might well have changed the course of the match. As so often happens though Bedfont immediately made City pay. From a free-kick just inside Guildford’s half Adam Roberts had an unimpeded run into the box allowing him to head home powerfully from close range. As hard as they worked the home side struggled to fashion a strong response, although from another low ball into the box Connor French did force a fine save from Richardson. Late in the game Oliver Reynolds saw a long range effort whistle past the post, but Guildford’s game was best summed up in stoppage time when the ball fell to Darren Caesar on the edge of the box, but despite time and space his effort sailed high and wide. There is no doubt that City has a talented bunch of players but on occasions it just doesn’t come together, and this was one of those days. The CCL is a tight league this season and we must hope that days such as this are few and far between.
Team: Luke Badiali, Tom Booth, James Davies, Martin Dynan (Oliver Reynolds 57), Darryl Siaw, Harry Driver (David Koduah 72), Jack Battie, Darren Caesar, Matt Anton, Connor French, Sanchez Benali (Luke Reynolds 64). Unused subs: Chad Goulter, Callum Sexton.
Referee: Phillip Jones
Attendance – 77