Walton & Hersham (1) 1, Guildford City (0) 0
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City disappointingly fell to defeat at Stompond Lane in a game that for long periods had 0-0 written all over it. Chances at either end were at a premium and the only difference between the sides was one defensive error that led to the home side’s first half goal. Make no mistake this match was not a classic, and on a hard bumpy pitch passing football was at a premium. True enough there was plenty of endeavour but there was also plenty of whistle which prevented any prolonged passage of play. This was not a dirty or aggressive match, but somehow the visitor’s picked up six cautions and the referee’s reasoning for a couple of them especially had heads shaking throughout the ground. After just six minutes Perry Coles drove into the box and was sent tumbling but the referee waved away claims for a penalty. Twice in a few minutes Ibby Akanbi picked up loose balls on the edge of the box and twice he attempted to set colleagues up when a direct attempt on goal was needed. On the half-hour a brave goal-saving header prevented Matt Glass hooking home at the near post. Unfortunately the defender was knocked out in the process necessitating the calling off an ambulance. When after a delay of some 16 minutes the game restarted, Glass was incredibly shown a yellow card. This was just one of several incidents that incensed the travelling fans. Glass was facing the ball and would not have seen the defender who attacked the ball bending low. The incident did not warrant even a free-kick and everybody was aghast at the decision. After the break in play the game became scrappier. Ten minutes before the interval though Walton scored the game’s only goal. A speculative diagonal through ball was misjudged in central defence leaving substitute Corey Haywood-Rose free to cut in to beat Jordan Clement from close range.
City lifted their game in the second period but still couldn’t forge the clear openings seen in previous matches. City striker’s Perry Coles and Matt Glass were largely living on scraps, and certainly the home side’s vigorous defending didn’t give them time on the ball. On the hour the impressive Bobby Dormer unleashed a low effort from 30 yards that saw ex-City keeper Liam Beach diving across goal to push the ball wide. City again came close from the resulting corner when Alex Penfold’s volley bounced down and over the crossbar. Harry Mills introduction off the bench in midfield lifted Guildford further, and if any further goals were to come it seemed likely that it would be from City. Guildford’s attempts became more frantic as the game neared its end. An Alex Penfold 35 yard free-kick didn’t trouble Liam Beach, whilst Ibby Akanbi’s glancing header from a free-kick was well saved. Try as they might the visitors couldn’t make headway and the last minutes petered out in a flurry of unnecessary yellow cards. In an apparent CCL season of unusual results this result is not terminal. Fortunately on this occasion the turn-round is quick and Guildford have the opportunity of making amends on Monday morning against Badshot Lea.
Team: Jordan Clement, Bobby Dormer, Darryl Siaw, Shawn Clement-Peter (Harry Mills 63), Martin Dynan, Jordan Johnson, Tom Booth, Ibby Akanbi, Perry Coles, Matt Glass (Lamin Ndoye 85), Alex Penfold. Unused subs: Jake Downs, Greg Haydon, Dave Hill.
Referee: Hugh Gilroy