Westfield (3) 5, Guildford City (0) 0
by Barry Underwood
A clinical display of finishing from Westfield’s fearsome forward line put City to the sword on Saturday. To be honest Guildford didn’t play poorly, and on their overall performance and contribution to the game they didn’t deserve to lose by such a large deficit, but Westfield are not champions elect for no reason. They were supremely organised and their prolific forward line were as confident and as sharp as any I’ve seen at this level. The game was played throughout in drizzly rain on a pitch that became heavier as the game developed. There was little to choose between the sides in the opening minutes until on eight minutes the home side went ahead when Karle Carder-Andrews rose highest to head the ball home from a corner. This wasn’t the start City had hoped for and defensively both Shaun Johnson and Chris Tancock were called upon to make excellent last ditch tackles. It wasn’t all one way though and on 21 minutes a fine Louie Downey pass gave Jordan Gallagher the chance to cut inside and fire in a low curling effort which Gary Ross tipped round the post at full stretch. A minute later following a corner Louie Downey himself drove a low effort towards goal that Ross held comfortably. Just as it had seemed City might get back on level terms they conceded a second. A low cross from the right wasn’t held by Luke Badiali and Max Blackmore turned in the loose ball. Badiali was fast off his line to save well just before the interval but sadly he couldn’t prevent Jamie Byatt reacting first to another low cross to put Westfield 3-0 at the interval.
Any realistic hope of a City recovery in the second-half was quashed three minutes after the restart. On this occasion a high cross was only cleared to the edge of the box where Bobby Dormer hooked the ball home. Two minutes later a mistake in defence gave Westfield the chance for their fifth; a low cross being converted by Arron Watson. To their credit City didn’t crumble and for the remainder of the game they tried to play their football. They should have scored on the hour when Kiye Martin’s cross should have been converted by Louie Downey or by Dan Stewart from the rebound. Kiye Martin himself shot just wide from the edge of the box and Dan Stewart was put through one on one but Gary Ross was equal to the task saving with his legs. In the late stages Luke Badiali twice saved well to prevent further goals, whilst in stoppage time Dan Stewart saw another effort saved for a corner. A special mention for Westfield defender Kyle Bailey who departed the field in the second-half suffering from severe concussion; an injury that necessitated a visit to hospital. Happily Bailey was allowed home later in the evening with a big headache but otherwise none the worse for wear. Also a big shout out to the travelling Sweeney who were still singing their support for the lads despite being five goals down.
Team: Luke Badiali, Shaun Johnson, Josh Burrowes, Luke Beale, Chris Tancock (David Burton 72), Louie Downey, Kiye Martin, Robbie Mundow (Shawn Clement-Peter 48), Dan Stewart, Jordan Gallagher, Evander Lopes (Kieran Campbell 48). Unused subs: David Opoku.
Referee: Bogdan Caraghin