Guildford City (1) 2, Westfield (1) 4
by Barry Underwood
On a bitterly cold day Guildford City and champions elect Westfield played, what in the frozen circumstances was a highly entertaining affair for a sparse derby day crowd. Full credit to those spectators who attended on such a bitter day of extreme wind chill temperatures. It was a day where hard bitten City fans of some years standing were struggling to remember a colder Saturday afternoon at the Spectrum. Both sides opened brightly and within minutes of the start Westfield fizzed a shot just over the bar. Guildford looked to employ a slower build up with their precise passing football. Jordan Gallagher on the left looked lively and on three minutes his effort was comfortably saved by Gary Ross. In the early stages the CCL’s leading goal scorer Max Blackmore twice had sight of goal but his efforts went wide. On 13 minutes City opened the scoring on the counter-attack, and what a goal it was. Again Jordan Gallagher cut in from the left and this time his 20 yard effort found the top corner despite Ross’s best efforts. Westfield responded and was twice unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, with firstly Aaron Watson shooting across goal and Max Blackmore having a low shot well saved by Luke Badiali. Aaron Watson again shot wide from an acute angle but the deserved goal finally came minutes before the interval. From a deep corner the ball came out to Blackmore who drove the ball towards goal where it deflected into the net.
Guildford looked more of an attacking threat after the break with Jordan Gallagher in particular enjoying a man of the match performance down the left flank. Minutes after the restart it was Gallagher who supplied the cross for George Pilbeam to head over the bar. Westfield always looked lively and on 55 minutes Luke Badiali again saved well at the near post. Just after the hour the home crowd were lifted when City took the lead. Again it was Jordan Gallagher who provided the cross and Kiye Martin was on hand to shoot home from close range. The lead only lasted two minutes though as Westfield found plenty of space in the left channel, giving Max Blackmore time to pick his spot. City’s best efforts in the late stages came from set pieces with Nemo Adams twice heading wide from Martin’s free-kicks. Westfield showed Guildford the way in the scoring stakes by nudging ahead for the first time in the match. The home side lost the ball cheaply in midfield and breaking quickly Luke Beale slipped under pressure and despite Luke Badiali saving the first attempt, Josh Cover drilled the loose ball home. With five minutes remaining Westfield put a rather unfair gloss on the score line when Aaron Watson rounded Badiali and scored from an acute angle. Westfield will now march on to their inevitable championship, whilst City should be lifted by their performance in defeat. With nine matches still remaining and 27 points available there is still much to play for.
Team: Luke Badiali, David Opoku, Will Kouadio, Luke Beale, Nemo Adams, Louie Downey, Dan Stewart, Kiye Martin, George Pilbeam, Jordan Gallagher (Andre Morais 83), Sanchez Benali (Nathaniel Williams 58). Unused sub: Shaun Johnson.
Referee: Peter Georgiou
Attendance – 47
Photos by: Woking News & Mail newspaper.