Guildford City (1) 1, Knaphill (1) 3
by Barry Underwood
It should come as a surprise that Guildford City lost this match 3-1. This was the third occasion this season that these two sides have met and on each occasion Knaphill came out on top by 3-1. During the first half of this game that score line seemed unlikely as City played some good football, although they were guilty again of missing presentable chances which ultimately is costing them dear. Knaphill to their credit took their chances when they came, whilst the young City side became increasingly frustrated at the physical approach shown by the visitors, and the apparent lack of protection from the match officials. Late in the game City went down to nine players as frustration got the better of the home side’s players. All of this seemed unlikely in the opening minutes when City enjoyed good possession and played some good football. It was therefore no surprise when Kiye Martin opened the scoring. His run and wall pass off Dan Stewart gave him space to shoot from the edge of the box and although his effort wasn’t the cleanest it managed to find the corner of the net. Luke Badiali came out sharply to close down Rob Kersley as Knaphill had their first real chance, whilst a minute later Nathaniel Williams did well to round the defence but from his cross Jordan Gallagher headed wide. On 21 minutes Rob Parrott’s misdirected cross hit the top of the crossbar, whilst for City a Tancock cross from the right was headed wide by Kieran Campbell. As the game edged towards half- time City had two excellent chances that went begging. First Williams again got round his full-back. He pulled the ball back to Dan Stewart whose right foot effort went wide. Moments later Dan Stewart’s free-kick drifted right through the danger area with somehow three City players unable to get a touch. To rub in this profligacy Knaphill equalised on 38 minutes. Guildford’s defenders switched off for a moment and Ross Cheek got behind the defence to shoot home from close range.
Guildford couldn’t have had a worse start to the second half when a failed clearance went straight to Ross Cheek who had the composure to lob Luke Badiali from fully 40 yards. Knaphill substitute Danny Taylor entered the field of play and reprised his recent fine performance against City. On this occasion his pace took him past several defenders and although the ball ended up in the net the referee ruled that Taylor had been held back and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped Jimmy Norman who tucked the penalty into the corner. The home side had it all to do and the game became increasingly fractious. Knaphill’s Timmy Taylor saw a shot saved by Luke Badiali at the near post, whilst twice in a minute Dan Stewart forced excellent saves from the diving Aaron Bufton. New signing Francois Gabbidon was introduced off the bench to add impetus to the attack, but within four minutes he departed after being shown a straight red card. Gabbidon kicked out after being pulled back by a Knaphill player as he advanced into a dangerous position. City’s frustration was evident to all and several times City players rose to the challenge and let themselves down. A hugely disappointing result for the home side after a fine first-half performance, but the ability to play good passing football doesn’t guarantee winning football matches.
Team: Luke Badiali, Chris Tancock, Luke Beale, David Burton, Bobby Dormer, David Opuku (Francois Gabbidon 69), Dan Stewart, Kiye Martin (Robbie Mundow 58), Kieran Campbell, Jordan Gallagher, Nathaniel Williams. Unused subs: Endrit Dobraj, Shaun Johnson.
Attendance – 80