Guildford City (3) 4, Hanworth Villa (0) 1
by Barry Underwood
It was a damp and unpleasant afternoon at the Spectrum but that didn’t stop the City boys turning on the style in impressive fashion. It was heavy going underfoot but right from the kick-off City played the ball forward patiently and before the visitors had touched the ball Dan Stewart had rifled the ball into the top of the net. Not content to sit back on their very early lead, Guildford’s passing football made light of the conditions. Defensively though it was more of a no nonsense approach. The rear-guard was well protected by the impressive Louie Downey, and Luke Beale and stand-in central defender Chris Tancock both enjoyed fine games. On 13 minutes City deservedly extended their lead. A corner from the right was met by Josh Burrowes who headed in his first goal for the club. Robbie Mundow was busy in midfield and looked back to his best as he and Kiye Martin constantly drove the home side forward. On 24 minutes a delicate Martin cross was headed goalward by Dan Stewart but Hanworth keeper Alex Partridge saved acrobatically. A goal was only delayed for one minute however as Kiye Martin slid a ball to Jordan Gallagher who cut across the edge of the box before shooting home through a mass of bodies. Gradually the visitors settled and the nearest the visitors came to a goal in the first period was on the half hour when Luke Badiali had to make a brave blocking save at the feet of a Villa forward.
Guildford were also 3-0 up at the interval in their last home fixture, and on that occasion an early second-half goal for the visitors did much to alter the course of the game. On this occasion though City’s defence was secure, and it was the home side that came close to extending their lead on 53 minutes. Kiye Martin saw an initial shot blocked which led to consecutive shots from Lopes, Stewart and Gallagher being blocked on the line at full stretch. Again it only took a minute more to get the ball into the net. Dan Stewart broke on the right and bearing down on goal he acted unselfishly by sliding the ball across to the unmarked Jordan Gallagher who put the ball into an empty net. Villa looked more dangerous in the second period and they came close when they hit the crossbar from the edge of the box. On the hour Louie Downey was rested following his return from injury, and certainly the home side seemed to miss his competiveness in the middle of the park. Villa won a free-kick on the edge of the box which cleared the crossbar but they did get on the scoresheet minutes later; Jack Buckle’s corner kick sailing over everybody’s head and straight into the net. Encouraged by this success Buckle saw several other corners planted into the danger area and for a few moments City seemed to lose their defensive composure. As the game entered the last 10 minutes Kieran Campbell saw a fierce effort well saved by Partridge. Levi King came close for Villa and as the game entered stoppage time it was Kiye Martin’s turn to make an unselfish pass, but on this occasion Jordan Gallagher’s effort clipped a defender and went inches wide of the post.
Team: Luke Badiali, Shawn Johnson, Josh Burrowes, Luke Beale, Chris Tancock, Louie Downey (Kieran Campbell 60), Kiye Martin, Robbie Mundow (David Opoku 46), Dan Stewart, Jordan Gallagher, Evander Lopes (Nathaniel Williams 72).
Referee: Scott Orchard
Attendance – 41