North Greenford United (1) 2, Guildford City (1) 1
by Barry Underwood
On a windy day at Berkeley Fields North Greenford and Guildford City fought a tough battle which resulted finally in the home side claiming the points by two goals to one. Overall City probably deserved at least a point although their direct efforts on goal were kept to a premium by a solid Greenford defence. Within minutes of the start Tom Bingham and Evan Lopes both tried their hand from distance but their efforts drifted harmlessly wide. In the first half Greenford had more possession and territory although City did try to build through midfield. Evan Lopes was City’s best hope on the left side. With the ball at his feet his trickery caused problems although too often there was no outlet for his efforts. On the half hour the home side took the lead from the penalty spot. Sandro Costa, who looked equally impressive on the left for Greenford, beat his man and was brought down as he entered the penalty area. Alfie Cain stepped up to hammer home the spot kick. Six minutes later City were level and there was a hint of controversy. Shawn Lyle gained possession in the Greenford box and the linesman was seen to raise his flag. A second later he put it down under the instruction of the referee and within a moment Evander Lopes had shot home from 12 yards. Just before the break Greenford might have scored again when Carl Bower volleyed wide at the far post.
Guildford looked more threatening in the second period but still without carving out too many clear chances. A Kiye Martin free-kick brought the home keeper James Harry into action on 54 minutes. Moments later a fine run and cross by Tom Booth caused confusion in the home defence but was cleared. Just after the hour Tom Booth was in action at the other end of the pitch. A chipped shot came back off the crossbar and Booth appeared out of nowhere to prevent the rebound being converted. A Tom Bingham run and shot forced Harry into a diving save but a minute later Greenford scored what proved to be the winning goal. From a high ball into the box there resulted a huge scramble which resulted in the ball being tapped into an empty net. City started to push forward to gain something from the game and certainly the addition of Marlon Pinder and Miguel Anderson livened things a little. Pushing forward means gaps at the back and twice Kallum Lunn saved well. In a final flurry of free-kicks and corners City fired crosses in to the box but couldn’t claim an equaliser.
Team: Kallum Lunn, Tom Booth, Kiye Martin, Greg Haydon, Nemo Adams, Dan Akinwande (Alvaro Castano 80), Evan Lopes, Bobby Dormer, Tom Bingham, Shawn Lyle (Miguel Anderson 71), Robbie Mundow (Marlon Pinder 60). Unused subs: David Koduah.
Referee: Alastair Higgs