Guildford City (1) 2, Abbey Rangers (0) 0
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City returned to winning ways at the Spectrum on Saturday. After four consecutive defeats a win was important, and although not a vintage performance, City played decently right across the park to claim the three points. The treatment table has been busy at the Spectrum leading up to this game with the skipper Nemo Adams and fellow central defender Luke Beale struggling with hamstring injuries, and goalkeeper Luke Badiali struggling with a chest injury after a heavy knock at Redhill midweek. In the event none of these players passed muster and were able to start against Abbey. 19 year old Kornel Ziobrowski made his debut in goal, and the more experienced Max Fitzgerald came in to the centre of defence. After the disappointment in midweek, City started this match positively. After just 30 seconds Miguel Anderson swivelled in the box and shot over the crossbar, whilst minutes later Darryl Siaw got to the by-line but his cross was intercepted. Siaw was causing problems down both flanks and after a strong run his cross was met by Kieran Campbell, but his header was deflected wide for a corner. Defensively City looked sound, but for comfort they were giving away too many free-kicks in advanced positions. From one such infringement on 30 minutes Jordan Timbrell’s curling effort hit the crossbar and was cleared. Guildford’s leading goal scorer Kieran Campbell limped off on 29 minutes after a heavy fall, to be replaced by Kyen Nicholas. As the half advanced there was action at both ends. A ricocheted ball fell kindly for Abbey to shoot over the bar from the edge of the box, and for City Miguel Anderson received the ball with his back to goal but couldn’t turn to get the shot away. On 38 minutes the opening goal came, and the chance came from Darryl Siaw’s trickery. It seemed the move might have broken down but Siaw’s excellent cross from the right with the outside of his foot was met by the lurking Kyen Nicholas who headed home from close range.
Conceding free-kicks in threatening positions continued to be a problem for Guildford in the second period. Shortly after the break Abbey won another free-kick twenty yards out, and this time Timbrell’s effort cleared the crossbar. City responded almost immediately when a fine piece of interplay between Stewart and Siaw gave Kyen Nicholas a shooting chance but his effort under pressure cleared the bar. Debutant Max Fitzgerald was lucky to escape a red card for a poor challenge, but from the resulting free-kick Fitzgerald brilliantly atoned by clearing a flicked header off the line. Abbey enjoyed a territorial advantage at this stage and Chad Goulter reacted brilliantly in his own box to block a goal bound effort. A minute later the impressive Chris Tancock also headed off his goal line as the visitors went forward in a concerted manner. As the game entered its final stages City began to pass the ball more effectively, and Kyen Nicholas’s smart turn and shot went just past the post. On 80 minutes City scored that all-important goal that gave them some breathing space. A fine overlapping run by Darryl Siaw ended with him brought down in the box, and Dan Stewart stepped up to the spot to place the ball in the top corner. It seemed that Abbey were certain to score as the minutes ticked down, but young Kornel Ziobrowski got across to save brilliantly from close range. In the final minutes Darryl Siaw again drove into the box; this time he elected to shoot but his effort went wide of the far post. As the game entered stoppage time Max Fitzgerald and Dave Burton were dominate as a series of high balls were pumped forward by an increasingly desperate Abbey side. In the end City claimed their victory to shake off their poor run of results.
Team: Kornel Ziobrowski, Chris Tancock, Ben Franklin, Max Fitzgerald, David Burton, Chad Goulter, Darryl Siaw, Miguel Anderson (Robbie Mundow 62), Kieran Campbell (Kyen Nicholas 29), Dan Stewart, Nathaniel Williams (Sam Marks 75). Unused subs: Louie Downey, Nemo Adams.
Referee: Derrick Laing
Attendance – 67