Bognor Regis Town (3) 5, Guildford City (1) 1
by Barry Underwood
The final score line shows that this was a comprehensive victory for the home side, although there is no doubting that Guildford City made a significant contribution to the match. A goal inside two minutes was the worst possible start for the visitors against their confident Ryman Premier opponents, who had days before put their south coast rivals Worthing to the sword 5-0 in a highly charged league game. Although the result would suggest it, this wasn’t one of those one sided battles with Bognor forever camped in the Guildford half. Guildford looked confident on the ball and going forward impressed, and it was a mark of their performance that the announced man of the match was Bognor’s central defender! Defensively though the season long vulnerability showed itself again and with the more clinical finishing seen at Step 3 the score-line eventually blew out putting a slightly unfortunate gloss on the final result.
Having gone behind early City did respond on the break with Ibby Akanbi proving troublesome down the right flank. Perry Coles saw a close range shot blocked at full stretch, whilst after good interplay Matt Glass’s run into the box was only thwarted by a great tackle. On 18 minutes Bognor edged further ahead when Jimmy Wild was brought down on the edge of the box. Up stepped Darren Budd who curled the free-kick over the wall and into the corner of the net. On the half hour Guildford twice owed Jordan Clement for keeping them in the game; the big keeper making two fine saves within a minute of each other. The home side couldn’t be denied for long however and when City failed to clear and subsequently close down effectively, James Crane had time to drill a low shot home from 25 yards. At this stage City were looking down the barrel but full credit they still went forward and minutes before the interval a fine Jordan Johnson pass gave Perry Coles the chance to lift the ball over the advancing Billy Granger to put City on the scoresheet. A minute later a low Akanbi cross was met by Coles 15 yards out and his powerful effort was blocked when it might well have been heading in. At the interval Guildford were very much back in the game.
For the second half City reverted to three at the back with new signing Marcel Henry-Francis being added to the front-line. For the first ten minutes City gave it their all and were on top. Firstly Perry Coles saw a curling effort miss by inches, and then Jordan Johnson saw his shot from Bamba’s cross saved for a corner. Then against the run of play Bognor broke quickly and within seconds Jimmy Wild had the ball in the back of the net for a game clincher. City were still looking to narrow the deficit and Henry-Francis and Perry Coles both had good efforts on goal. After 72 minutes Bognor scored their fifth and final goal when a deep cross fell to Alex Persons who had no problems converting from close range. With ten minutes remaining a curling effort from Youssef Bamba hit the post and Perry Coles had another effort that cleared the bar after fine approach work. Bognor did hit the woodwork themselves in the late stages and in stoppage time Jordan Clement again made a fine save. Guildford’s cup run has thus come to an end but the team can hold their heads up on their performance against a fine side who are challenging at the top of a league two levels higher.
Team: Jordan Clement, Harry Mills (Marcel Henry-Francis 46), Alex Penfold, Darryl Siaw, Martin Dynan (Tom Booth 75), Bobby Dormer (Shawn Clement-Peter 65), Ibby Akanbi, Jordan Johnson, Perry Coles, Matt Glass, Youssef Bamba. Unused subs: Greg Haydon, Charlie Bussetti.
Referee: Martin Bloor
Attendance – 396
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