Guildford City (0) 1, AFC Hayes (1) 1
by Ian Plested and Barry Underwood
Guildford City are making a welcome habit of pulling games out of the fire and on this occasion it was Matt Anton who rose to the occasion in stoppage time to claim fully deserved reward for a good City performance. There is no doubting the spirit in the camp that Dean Thomas’s young side play to the final whistle, and this was actually the third time in the last five matches that a stoppage time goal has gained City a point. Of course going onward it is to be hoped that the side will not be in a position to have to chase games and that should have been the case here as City created plenty of chances, especially in the first period. It was a damp, dull afternoon at the Spectrum and it was the visitors who had the first sight of goal, shooting over the bar from a good position. City soon responded and Matt Anton’s shot was well saved by Hayes goalkeeper Bobby Khiara, as was Sanchez Benali’s free kick moments after. It wasn’t all one way traffic though as Luke Badiali was called into spectacular action to save from a free-kick. This was a warning shot across the bows as on 25 minutes Bradley Hand gave the visitors the lead shooting across Badiali and into the far corner. For the remainder of the half City pressed forward with Jack Battie having a good effort saved and a Spencer Benali cross almost creating an opening in the box. The general consensus amongst the City faithful at the interval was that we are not sure how we are losing!
Within minutes of the restart Guildford’s task was made more difficult when Darren Caesar collected two yellow cards for over-zealous tackles. You could be forgiven for thinking at this point that this wasn’t to be City’s day…. again! However City kept pressing and again Matt Anton’s shot was saved well. Jack Battie shot wide and then shortly after the same player crossed dangerously into the box just beyond several outstretched legs. As the game reached its final stages new signing Shay Morally shot just past the post and in an attempt to get something from the game Dean Thomas switched to just two at the back. With the precious minutes ticking down Guildford got their just reward. A long throw into the box was headed on by Martin Dynan, to be met by a leaping Matt Anton who directed his header inside the bottom right corner for a glorious equaliser. This was the cue for relieved celebrations that some reward was to be gained for the effort expended. This performance was a marked improvement on last week’s defeat to Bedfont Sports, and on another day City would have taken all three points.
Team: Luke Badiali, Harry Mills, James Davies (David Koduah), Darryl Siaw, Martin Dynan, Chad Goulter, Darren Caesar, Tyrame Hemmings, Sanchez Benali (Tom Booth), Matt Anton, Jack Battie (Shay Morally). Unused subs: Remi Mongeaud, Callum Sexton.
Referee: Harrison Read
Attendance – 53