Guildford City (1) 3, Badshot Lea (2) 2
by Barry Underwood
And so Guildford City’s winning streak goes on! This was yet another display of spirit, mixed with guts and determination that saw City come back from two goals down to win with yet another late goal. Both sides had come into the game with confidence having picked up some results in recent weeks. City’s pre-match plans were hit when leading scorer Matt Anton failed a late fitness test, joining Harry Mills (work) and illness victims David Koduah and Shay Morally on the side lines. On the plus side Darren Caesar returned from suspension and took his place in the midfield. When the match started Guildford opened brightly indeed. Within minutes of the start neat inter-play involving Jack May and Tyrame Hemmings gave Darren Caesar a shooting chance from the angle that grazed the crossbar. Two minutes later City once again came perilously close to scoring. This time Caesar beat the offside line but from his low cross Jack May shot just over under pressure from the defence. After nine minutes the same players combined again; Darren Caesar winning an aerial challenge and Jack May’s effort from the loose ball being blocked at full stretch. There was a hint that Guildford might have missed their best chances to score as gradually the visitors worked their way back into the game. The home defence also looked a little lethargic and after 10 minutes debutant keeper Noel Keeble saved brilliantly from close range pushing Paul Coventry’s shot onto the post. After 17 minutes Badshot again came desperately close. On this occasion a poor headed clearance went straight to Darren Blake in space, and again his shot was well saved by Keeble diving to his right. This period of Badshot pressure was interrupted briefly by Jack May charging down a clearance but his attempt from long range was under hit. This was just a brief interlude in the visitor’s pressure and on 26 minutes Badshot took the lead when Darren Blake was unmarked in the box to head home a corner. Two minutes later Badshot took a two goal advantage. From another corner the ball was only cleared to the edge of the box where Paul Coventry swivelled and shot into the bottom corner. If City were going to get something from the game you felt they had to score before the interval. And in the 45th minute that’s exactly what they did, albeit out of the blue; the graceful Tom O’Connor seizing a shooting opportunity to curl a shot into the top corner from fully 30 yards.
Unsatisfied with his side’s first half performance manager Dean Thomas gave his charges “the rounds of the kitchen” during the interval. Whatever was said it was soon apparent that it had had a good effect as City went on to dominate the second half. Within minutes of the restart Tom O’Connor drove powerfully back in the box where Chad Goulter stuck out a leg and deflected the ball just over the bar. On 54 minutes the home side came close to getting back on level terms when Jack May’s run took him behind the defence but his low shot was saved by Pat Kinsella’s leg. The dominance was almost total and it was just a question of whether an opening would come. Tom O’Connor ran across the edge of the area before having a shot blocked, and from a resulting loose ball Sanchez Benali miscued a shot wide. Then on 71 minutes the equaliser finally came. Jack May again ran onto a clever through ball and this time made no mistake in forcing the ball past Kinsella. Several long shots were fired in on the Badshot goal but Kinsella wasn’t troubled. It seemed with five minutes remaining that Guildford must score when a low cross was powered across goal but two City players had overrun the ball and the danger was cleared. Full-back James Davies appeared in the box to power a header goal ward but keeper Pat Kinsella just managed to stop the ball crossing the line. Then on 88 minutes to the jubilation of the City support Guildford scored their winner. The impressive Chad Goulter played a delicate ball into the box where Tyrame Hemmings did well to get to the by-line where he turned it inside for Jack May to nudge the ball over the line. Without undue concern City saw out the remainder of the game to now make it five consecutive wins and just one defeat in the last 11 games.
Team: Noel Keeble, Tom Booth, James Davies, Darryl Siaw, Martin Dynan, Chad Goulter, Sanchez Benali, Tom O’Connor, Jack May, Tyrame Hemmings, Darren Caesar. Unused subs: Steve Lang, Callum Sexton.
Referee: Craig Kissi
Attendance – 67