Guildford City (1) 2, Horley Town (3) 7
by Barry Underwood
It had to end sometime. Guildford City’s eight match unbeaten run came to a thundering halt at the Spectrum on Wednesday evening, and I think it is to safe to say that nobody present at the match would have envisaged such a result before kick-off. Spectators at the Spectrum have been richly entertained in recent weeks with goals aplenty and whilst this match ticked the latter box, the one-sided nature of the defeat left more than a few perplexed.
Granted City were missing defenders Jordan Taylor, Greg Haydon and Darryl Siaw but there were no excuses and as the score suggests the home side were soundly beaten. In truth the home side looked out of sorts from early. The flowing passing and wing play seen in recent matches was missing and there seemed an air of lethargy about their performance. The highlight of the matches opening spell came from City after Bobby Dormer won a crunching tackle on the edge of the Horley box which resulted in Jacob Lambe firing over a cross that was just inches too high for the predatory Embalo. The first goal of the evening came in strange circumstances. A long throw into Guildford’s penalty area resulted in the referee pointing to the penalty spot. It seemed a soft decision indeed, but then no City player tried to argue the decision. Ace marksman Kyle Hough stepped up and within seconds the ball was nestling in the corner of the net. On 23 minutes the visitor’s came close to extending their lead when they hit the post with a low drive from 30 yards; Hough converted from the rebound but was adjudged offside. Referee Lowe was blowing his whistle a great deal, and out of tune it was as well, and there was little to cheer. Mario Embalo’s fierce effort from outside the box was comfortably saved by Hyde, and a minute later Leon Lalor-Dell’s run on goal was curtailed by the same player. On 34 minutes came one of the game’s defining moments. Horley’s Alex Barbary found himself ghosting goal ward through a large gap and City’s Bobby Dormer, in his effort to win the ball, brought Barbary down just outside the box. Some thought there were covering defenders but it was hard to argue against the resulting red card. To rub salt into the wounds Scott Robson stepped up to brilliantly score from the free-kick, and manager Steve Dormer was sent to the stands for too vigorously arguing a point of football law. Interestingly City did then enjoy a modicum of attacking dominance and when Mike Dixon latched onto Embalo’s flick on to shoot powerfully home it was it seemed game on. What Guildford didn’t want was to concede again before the interval and that is exactly what happened. Horley took a quick free-kick and with home defenders treading water Richard Wetton was able to score comfortably at the far post.
There have been occasions in the recent past where City have been off-colour in the first period but yet stepped up impressively after the break. Would this be one of those occasions? Sadly no is the answer and as the game went on City’s defence became more and more stretched. On 52 minutes the match, if it was in any doubt, was put to bed when Wetton had plenty of time and space to shoot home. With 20 minutes remaining the home side had two half chances; Embalo mistiming his header and Dixon shooting powerfully over the angle between post and crossbar. On 71 minutes Horley scored their fifth when Wetton in acres of space beat Badiali to the ball to walk it into the net, and four minutes later Kyle Hough was free at the back post to score with some ease. With ten minutes remaining Martin Dynan limped off leaving the home side with just nine players. Horley rounded off their scoring bonanza on 86 minutes when Richard Wetton was handed possession and he coolly lobbed Badiali to claim his fourth goal of the evening. Perhaps Horley put their cue on the rack at that point but credit to Guildford for creating three good chances in the final moments. Firstly Tom Booth’s run which took him almost the full length of the pitch was only thwarted by Hyde’s smothering save, while seconds later Shawn Clement-Peter saw a well struck shot saved. The Guildford fans biggest cheer of the evening was reserved for the second minute of stoppage time when Leon Lalor-Dell was on hand to shoot home high into the net for a late consolation after Hyde had blocked an earlier effort.
Team: Luke Badiali, Tom Booth, Jason Thompson, Bobby Dormer, Martin Dynan, Shawn Clement-Peter, Jacob Lambe (Jordan Johnson 46), Will Hoare (Kiye Martin 66), Mario Embalo, Mike Dixon (Tom Bingham 77), Leon Lalor-Dell. Unused subs: Ibby Akanbi
Referee: John Lowe
Attendance – 78