Mile Oak (0) 0, Guildford City (1) 3
by Barry Underwood
City made progress in the FA Cup in deepest Sussex, but not before the home side had given a very good account of themselves and had given City cause for thought. On a bobbly and sloping surface it was never going to be easy for the visitors to play their crisp passing football, and as you might expect in the FA Cup the home side came out powerfully in the first ten minutes, taking the game to their higher level opponents. Gradually though City started to play more fluently and their first chance on goal came when the speedy Matt Glass escaped down the right to cross for Tom Bingham whose effort was comfortably saved. From the resulting corner Martin Dynan flicked the ball on with his head and Matt Glass’s diving header was saved by Kieran Howard. Matt Glass wasn’t going to be denied long when on 19 minutes he put City ahead with a quite exquisite chip from 20 yards. Looking up briefly he saw Howard off his line and he lifted the ball tantalisingly slowly over the keeper and into the net off the post. It wasn’t one way traffic though and certainly Mile Oak were winning a number of free-kicks and corners from which they were able to test the Guildford back-line. Indeed their best effort of the first half saw Jamie McKenzie find space between City defenders but his early effort went wide when more composure was required. Minutes before the interval the visitors twice went close to extending their lead. Firstly the impressive Jordan Johnson saw his free-kick into the box bounce in the penalty area and lift up and over the crossbar. Then Perry Coles with another free-kick from just outside the box forced Kieran Howard into a flying save.
After their coaching team’s words of wisdom, Guildford’s football in the second period was certainly more composed although on several occasions City were guilty of overplaying on the edge of the box when perhaps a shot on goal might have been in order. It seemed after 57 minutes that the visitors would take that all important two goal advantage. The battling Matt Glass in the box was held back and referee Osofa was on the spot to give the penalty kick. Perry Coles stepped up but Kieran Howard made a magnificent diving save and you just wondered whether this might be a turning point in Mile Oak’s favour. It just might have been when the ball was lost cheaply in midfield the home side broke through on the right and Jordan Clement was forced to make a fine save with his legs. It was that man again Matt Glass who finally calmed the nerves; showing persistence in the box he forced his way past a defender to slot home past Howard from close range. Glass almost completed a hat-trick a minute later when Matt Anton set him free but his effort with the outside of the foot drifted inches wide. Guildford were not to be denied long. This time Shawn Clement-Peter slid through a defence splitting pass and it was Perry Coles who latched onto it to slide the ball home. Mile Oak came close themselves with a close range header in the final minute but Jordan Clement was equal to the task making a fine save.
In a match played in sweltering conditions, on a difficult surface and against determined opposition, City gave a good account of themselves and certainly they left the field to the acclaim of their large travelling support. Probably the scoreline doesn’t reflect Mile Oak’s contribution to the game, but certainly Dean Thomas and Steve Dormer will be delighted to make progress in the competition and they now go on to face Chessington & Hook at the Spectrum in the next round.
Team: Jordan Clement, Jake Downs, Alex Penfold, Jordan Johnson, Martin Dynan, Tom Bingham (Ibby Akanbi 55), Matt Anton, Spencer Forte (Greg Haydon 70), Perry Coles (Shaun Lydon 83), Shawn Clement-Peter, Matt Glass. Unused subs: Andre Morais, Lamin Ndoye, Dave Hill.
Referee: J. Osofa
Attendance – 95