Guildford City FC were delighted and honoured to take part in the Battle of the Somme centenary event at Surrey Sports Park on Friday. In a football competition, arranged to commemorate the 8th East Surrey’s kicking footballs over No Man’s Land on 1 July 1916, Guildford City came through their qualifying group by winning 2-0 against 3 PWRR, 6-0 against RMA Sandhurst and a 0-0 draw against 2 PWRR. As group winners City then took on Surrey Fire & Rescue in the quarter final. In a tense game the match finished 0-0 leading to a knockout penalty shoot-out. City converted twice through Ibby Akanbi and Ryan Woodford, whilst Dave Hill dived low to save the opponents second penalty.
In the semi-final City faced 1 Welsh Guards who gave City plenty to think about. However in the end City came through 4-2 to face the Army champions the Royal Logistics Corps in the final. The final was played in front of a large crowd including a number of dignitaries but for City it was one match too far. The RLC went two goals up early on and hard as they worked Guildford were unable to get back on level terms.
On Saturday City visited Walton Casuals of Ryman Division One and gave a very promising and hard-working performance. Fielding a number of new players not yet used to playing together, key players such as Matt Anton, Craig Bradshaw, Darryl Siaw missing and several players backing up after the Somme event the day before, it is too early to read much into the City performance. However the travelling Sweeney present would have been very satisfied with the style of football played, the hard work, and indeed some of the skill on show. The home side scored twice within minutes late in the first half and that was enough to win the game, but City showed more than enough to show that the season’s rebuilding is going well.