Guildford City (2) 2, Horley Town (1) 1
by Barry Underwood
Both Guildford City and Horley Town had played out of their socks and gained impressive victories in their previous match. But this was a strange encounter. Throughout the match clear chances in front of goal were at a premium. City for their part struggled to make effective use of the ball, although there was no doubting the strength of their defending. Horley made good use of the ball but were unable to substantially pierce City’s back-line. All of the game’s goals came in the first 20 minutes and it seemed all was set for a cracker of a match. Perhaps it was the heat but the game didn’t develop as had been promised. The first goal came after just three minutes. When Kerran Boylan looped a header goal wards from the back of the box it seemed that City keeper Luke Badiali had the ball covered. However in trying to push the falling ball over the crossbar, the ball hit the woodwork and bounced into play where Ayden Richards was alert enough to prod the ball over the line. Stunned by this soft way of conceding your first goal in 285 minutes of football, City nearly conceded from another header at the back post but Chris Tancock was on hand to block the effort. Gradually City settled and a fine ball from Dan Stewart put Nathaniel Williams through on goal. Unusually though Williams totally mishit his effort which simply dribbled wide. Twelve minutes in though Williams won a penalty when his quick feet was too much for the Horley defender who brought him down in the box for a penalty. Up stepped Kieran Campbell who drilled home his sixth goal of the season from the penalty spot. Guildford enjoyed more possession now but were struggling to forge clear openings. On 20 minutes the home side nudged ahead for what proved to be the winner. Josh Coke found space on the right to fire in a shot goal bound from 20 yards. En-route the ball deflected off a defender leaving keeper George Hyde rooted helplessly to the spot. Horley still posed a threat and Nemo Adams lunged across brilliantly to block a close range effort. Late in the half both City strikers had shooting opportunities; Campbell’s long-range effort being parried by Hyde and Stewart’s, after a neat turn, drifted well wide.
In the second period Guildford struggled to play any cohesive football. Horley enjoyed a territorial advantage for much of the half, and City’s defence had to be at their best to ward off successive attacks, together with a barrage of long throws into the box. Kieran Campbell did see a free-kick from just outside the box blocked by the wall, but until the late stages chances in the Horley area were rare. That said the action at both ends stepped up in the last fifteen minutes. Kerran Boylan headed wide for Horley, whilst on 76 minutes a Nathaniel Williams break out set Kieran Campbell up for a shooting chance which was blazed over. Substitute Marlon Pinder, with his first touch, ran impressively into the heart of Horley’s defence, but he finally ran out of space without a shot being unleashed. Fellow substitute Kyen Nicholas also lifted the watching Sweeney with several strong runs down the right flank. Luke Badiali made an excellent save at short range to cling on to a thumping close range effort from Boylan. Having gone to three at the back in search of an equaliser, Horley pushed forward frantically and Boylan had another shot blocked, whilst from the rebound Cockerill shot over the crossbar. The game’s final moment came City’s way when Kieran Campbell shot wide with a shooting opportunity. Not by a long way a vintage performance from City, but an excellent defensive effort which extends their unbeaten start to the season to five matches.
Team: Luke Badiali, Chris Tancock, Ben Franklin, Luke Beale, Nemo Adams, Loiue Downey (Chad Goulter 61), Josh Coke (Kyen Nicholas 67), Miguel Anderson, Kieran Campbell, Dan Stewart (Marlon Pinder 77), Nathaniel Williams. Unused subs: David Burton, Endrit Dobraj.
Referee: Bogdan Caraghin
Attendance – 74