Spelthorne Sports (0) 3, Guildford City (1) 3
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City bounced back from their midweek debacle and they were grossly unlucky not to leave Staines Road with the three points. It’s not that City dominated the match because they didn’t, and a draw was probably a fair result. But several big decisions went against the visitors that made claiming that all important victory a very difficult task. Guildford had Luke Beale out suspended and Dave Burton unavailable and so the defence had something of a makeshift look about it. Chris Tancock filled in in central defence whilst Shaun Johnson and Daryl Bryan-Samuels took the full-back roles. For the first ten minutes Spelthorne looked the livelier of the sides and they saw a couple of efforts wide of the target. Gradually though City settled and on 11 minutes they had a major shout for a penalty. Mark Watkins crossed from the right and as Kiye Martin rounded a player in the middle his leg was clipped and down he went. For the first but not the last time in the afternoon the referee took an opposite view and play was waved on. To really rub things in Kieran Campbell was scythed down as he rounded a defender on the by-line. This author was a mere three yards from the incident and a clearer penalty you couldn’t wish to see. City fans present, and a good few home fans, were astonished when the match official showed Campbell a yellow card for diving. Guildford’s players were visibly fired up by this decision and they played their best football of the match leading up to the interval. Minutes later Campbell fired in a powerful shot from the edge of the box which saw Patel pull of a spectacular save. However a goal wasn’t delayed long when from the resulting corner Nemo Adams rose highest to power home the game’s opening goal. On 34 minutes a great pass from Kiye Martin set Mark Watkins free and bearing down on goal. Sadly his second touch as he entered the box was too heavy and Patel saved at his feet. Late in the half Shaun Johnson limped off and the visitor’s makeshift defence saw Dan Stewart show his versatility by dropping into the back-line.
Similar to the first half Spelthorne opened the brighter and City couldn’t regain their earlier composure. Five minutes after the break the home side drew level. There appeared to have been a clear foul on Kieran Campbell on the halfway line but again play went on. The ball was fired forward into the box and the ball was hooked home. Spelthorne had more of the ball but it didn’t stop City breaking and from a fine move City won a free-kick on the edge of the box. Kiye Martin’s effort curled round the wall but missed the post by inches. On 65 minutes Jordan Gallagher received the ball in space at the far edge of the box but play was brought back for an earlier foul when surely there was a major advantage on offer. Three minutes later the home side took the lead when a corner was allowed to bounce into the box before being turned over the line. As the game livened up Jordan Gallagher put Guildford back on level terms when he received the ball on the edge of the six yard box and rifled a shot into the roof of the net. The game became end to end. The home side headed wide from a good position, whilst Nemo Adams galloped forward with the ball and forced a fine save from Patel. With two minutes left on the clock Mark Watkins forced Patel into another save, and on 90 minutes Watkins set up Nathaniel Williams who cut inside and drilled a low shot under Patel for his first league goal of the season. The City players celebrated thinking they had clinched a last gasp victory. Sadly in the third minute of stoppage time, and from another corner, the ball ran loose and was bundled over the line for a last gasp Spelthorne equaliser. Actually it wasn’t last gasp because Luke Badiali and Kieran Campbell were unwise enough to utter intemperate language towards the referee and were shown red cards. For the final moments Mark Watkins went between the sticks as Spelthorne sensed a last gasp victory themselves. Fortunately for City the final whistle blew with both sides taking a point.
Team: Luke Badiali, Shaun Johnson (Robbie Mundow 39), Daryl Bryan-Samuels, Chris Tancock, Nemo Adams, David Opuku, Jordan Gallagher, Dan Stewart, Kieran Campbell, Kiye Martin (Nathaniel Williams 61), Mark Watkins.