Epsom & Ewell (0) 1, Guildford City (1) 2
by Barry Underwood
High Road hasn’t been a happy hunting ground in recent seasons, but last night City advanced to the quarter-finals of the Surrey Senior Cup with a determined and at times battling performance against Epsom & Ewell. The home side were once winners and five times finalists of this once prestigious competition and Guildford’s victory against their fellow CCL opponents was fully deserved. Epsom made the livelier start to the match with smart movement in the middle of the park and a succession of high balls into the danger area. Robert Hendry blazed over from an acute angle when he might have squared to unmarked colleagues, and from a ball that was crossed a shot from the edge of the box went wide. Gradually though Guildford fought their way back into the game with Lee Hall and Dan Akinwande gaining some dominance in the middle of the park. Debutant Alpha Cauwenbergh was providing an aerial threat up front and Mario Embalo was energetically working in the channels. On 35 minutes the visitors took the lead after a period of pressure. Kiye Martin won possession just outside the box and his effort beat the diving Turpie. With the confidence of the goal City dominated the rest of the half and with the ball looked to play some good football.
City maintained their form after the break and defensively their backline of Siaw, Booth, Haydon and Rose were able to negate any threats from the home side. Twice Lee Hall volleyed efforts just wide from the edge of the box, whilst Alex Rose was increasingly looking dangerous down the left flank. From one such run on 66 minutes Rose’s excellent cross was headed home at the far post by Mario Embalo. A little later Rose was injured in another forward move and he limped from the field causing a defensive reshuffle. The loss of Rose on the left gave the home side more time and space and as the game reached its final stages Epsom posed more of a threat. A 35 yard effort from Robert Hendry found the corner of the net with nine minutes remaining and inevitably City were backs to the wall for the remainder of the match. Man of the match Greg Haydon twice blocked goal bound efforts at full stretch in the final moments, but hold out they did and City now await the draw for the quarter-final stage.
Team: Luke Badiali, Darryl Siaw, Alex Rose (Leon Lalor-Dell 75), Tom Booth, Greg Haydon, Dan Akinwande, Bobby Dormer, Lee Hall, Mario Embalo, Alpha Cauwenbergh (Rob Wickenden 65), Kiye Martin. Unused sub: Lewis Leonetti.
Referee: Zach Jacquart
Attendance – 52