Guildford City (0) 2, Camberley Town (2) 3
by Mark Redhead
On the first warm spring-like day of the year this was a close fought competitive game where much of the play took place in the central third of the pitch, with Camberley sharper in front of goal than City. City’s thoughts at the start of the game may well have been on the Specsavers Surrey Senior Cup semi-final on Wednesday as they started sluggishly, but City did finish strongly and were pressing for a late equaliser. In the first minute Camberley won a corner which resulted in the first of many scrambles in the City defence with the ball eventually going out for a goal kick. With the game taking place mainly in midfield Camberley were getting to most of the loose balls first, but City’s defence was repelling their advances well, with good defensive work from Lewis Leonetti and Nemo Adams stepping in to break up play, Bobby Dormer disrupting the Camberley midfield and Dan Akinwande supporting the defence with some important interceptions. There were few clear attempts on goal, but what there were came from Camberley, with Freddie Kelsey through but caught offside, a Luke Haskell shot through a crowd which was easily picked up by City keeper Kallum Lunn and a free kick by Dan Jewell passed over the bar of the City goal. Most of the Camberley play was coming down their left wing, and there were some prodigiously long throws from Chris Ellis into the City box. In the 16th minute Camberley had a free kick about 30 yards out which was blocked by the City wall and cleared.
In the 18th minute another free kick from Camberley was blocked by the wall and went out for a throw. From the resultant long throw the ball bounced through the penalty area untouched until it hit Shawn Lyle’s hand as here tried to clear it from about shoulder height. To the astonishment of the City fans the referee awarded a penalty which was duly scored by Mark Corbett in the 20th minute. City did respond a little at this point with the highlight of our play being a wonderful run from 30 yards into the heart of the box by Evan Lopez which was cleared to a City player who was fouled resulting in a free kick being taken by Robbie Mundow which was blocked by the Camberley wall. This was followed quickly by keeper Lunn rushing out to sweep way danger from a Camberley through ball and a free kick to City which was sent into the box, cleared by Camberley who then broke dangerously down the right flank until a well-timed interception from Nemo Adams broke up the counter attack. After 30 minutes came Camberley’s second goal. Awarded a free kick on the right this was sent in by Liam Robris and punched clear by Lunn; the resultant battle for the loose ball resulted in a free kick to Camberley on the edge of the D which was sent in low and hard into the corner of the net by Dan Jewell. City then had their best spell of the first half. From the kick off City attacked but the cross by Lopes was wayward. Then a shot from Leonetti was easily saved by Camberley keeper Stuart Norman and this was followed by a free kick on the right being sent into the Camberley area by Mundow where Shawn Lyle headed it on for Matty Brown to shoot wide of the goal. City then won a corner after an excellent interchange of passes by Akinwande and Callum Wilson down the right wing, the resultant corner finding Nemo Adams in the 6 yard box but unfortunately he headed over the bar. In the 42nd minute Camberley broke from the City attack with Luke Haskell having his header saved by Lunn and from the resulting scramble in the box Camberley won a corner which was sent in for Adam Warlham to send his free header over the bar, much to City’s relief. Just before the half time whistle Akinwande won a corner on the left which was taken by Lopez and headed narrowly wide by Akinwande.
City were slow to get back on the pitch for the second half and straight from the kick off Camberley surged forward ending with a Kelsey shot going wide for the visitors. City responded with a good through ball by Mundow which would have put Brown in but for a foul. From the free kick Browns header was excellently saved point blank by keeper Norman. In the 57th minute a through ball put Kelsey clear on left hand the edge of the box, his cross/chip over the keeper into the net may not have been meant, but either way that was 3-0 to the visitors. There was then a period of Camberley pressure with strong City defence, especially of the very long throws of the Camberley centre back Ellis who was sending the ball into the centre of the penalty area with each throw. City started to get back into the game with a through ball from Lopes to Lyle and a Brown header from a Lopez cross showing some intent from the home side. Then came something City fans did not want to see before our match with Woking, a potentially bad injury to Bobby Dormer. The City central midfielder mistimed a tackle and was seemingly going to be booked until the Camberley player interceded on Dormer’s behalf, but a minute later it was clear that Dormer could not continue and he was substituted and eventually taken to hospital for a scan on this foot. We now understand that he has very bad bruising and swelling but it is not, as we feared at the time, broken. After a delay for the substitution City started to dominate the game for the first time, with much probing but not being able to get a shot off. However this changed in the 78th minute when a cross towards the penalty spot by substitute Darryl Siaw was turned in by Robbie Mundow for a cleverly worked goal. City continued to press with a shot from Lopes deflected over the bar after an excellent team move through the centre of the field; from the corner Tom Booth headed just past the post.
City then nearly gifted a goal to Camberley, with a loose back-pass being intercepted by Eliot Amadilu who rounded the keeper but Leonetti managed to get back and make a tremendous block on the line to save his team mates blushes. The game was now drawing to a close when City decided to liven the last few minutes up a bit by scoring their second goal. An excellent through ball by Mundow put Siaw clear on the right of the box, his cross was side-footed calmly through several defenders and into the back of the net from eight yards by substitute Tom Bingham.
In a final attempt to level the scores City sent everyone forward for a free kick in additional time but the ball into the box was cleared by Camberley and soon after the final whistle sounded.
City now look forward to their match on Wednesday evening when they entertain National League side Woking in the semi-final of the Surrey Senior Cup.