Hanworth Villa (0) 1, Guildford City (1) 3
by Barry Underwood
A hard working Guildford City side put in one of their finest performances of the season at Rectory Field last evening to claim a fully deserved win at fifth placed Hanworth Villa. In many ways this was a win against the odds, as with an hour still to play City rather unjustly were down to ten men, and playing away at a form side the game looked to be an uphill task. The early stages of the match were an even affair with both sides prompting and probing, but certainly City were showing confidence and looked comfortable on the ball. Both sides exchanged good opportunities before ten minutes were on the clock. Sanchez Benali’s low ball across the box just eluded Matt Anton, whilst for Hanworth Steve Longridge shot into the side netting from an angle. Matt Anton looked especially lively up front and when on 21 minutes a loose ball fell at his feet just outside of the box his early effort fizzed inches wide of the post with Terry Buss in the home goal rooted to the spot. Hanworth responded immediately when Kameron English found space on the edge of the box and his powerful effort dipped just over the crossbar. The game changed on 36 minutes when Jack Battie made a vigorous tackle adjacent to the Hanworth bench. Hard tackle it certainly was, and a yellow card, but when referee Mark Hounsell showed a straight red just about everybody in the ground was astounded. A hard game had just got an awful lot harder. That’s what the watching Sweeney thought. Except this Guildford City side is made of stern stuff and reduced to ten men they upped their game and dominated the remainder of the first half. An unlikely goal even came on 40 minutes and for once City had a slice of good fortune. A Sanchez Benali corner was missed by defenders in the box and went into the net guided off of Chad Goulter’s backside!
It seemed too much to hope that Guildford would hold on to a single goal lead playing with ten men, especially when Hanworth opened the half brightly, immediately going close with a header. The visitors though were not intent on sitting back and trying to hang on. On 50 minutes Matt Anton muscled his way into the box but miscued his final effort, before seven minutes later City scored again. This time Benali’s corner found Harry Mills who headed powerfully home at the near post. Just as everybody was saying “now if we can just hang on for five minutes” Hanworth gained a lifeline when from their first corner of the match Adam Baigent headed powerfully home to reduce the arrears. City to a man were working hard on and off the ball and with the willing Anton running his socks off up front it started to look as if the unlikely could happen. After 66 minutes Matt Anton fired in powerful shot heading for the top corner which Buss saved spectacularly, and on 71 minutes he had a low shot well saved. Then with three minutes of regular time remaining Matt Anton was brought down on the edge of the box, and when Darren Caesar stepped up to curl the free-kick into the top corner joy was unconfined. There was still time for uncertainty as 16 year old debutant George Patterson conceded a stoppage time penalty. But this was an evening when all City players were heroes and Luke Badiali saved the penalty, and brilliantly saved again from the resulting rebound.
Post match interview with manager Dean Thomas can be heard here.
Post match interview with defender Darryl Siaw can be heard here.
Team: Luke Badiali, Tom Booth (Shay Morally 78), James Davies, Harry Mills, Darryl Siaw, Chad Goulter (George Patterson 87), Sanchez Benali (Callum Sexton 90), Jack Battie, Matt Anton, Tyrame Hemmings, Darren Caesar. Unused subs: Martin Dynan, David Koduah.
Referee: Mark Hounsell