Farnham Town (1) 1, Guildford City (1) 2
by Tom Hudson
On a sunny day at the Memorial Ground in Farnham, the stage was set for another edition of the Hogs Back Derby to see who could claim bragging rights over their local rivals. In summary, both teams had their chances with both sets of midfielders creating multiple opportunities for their forwards but eventually it became a case of which team could convert the most chances. After referee, Stephen McKee, blew his whistle to start the first half, City were out the blocks fast and midfielders Jack Battie and Kiye Martin immediately started making chances for their forwards up front. However, for the first 10 minutes of the game, the Farnham defensive line held strong with Tom Smith and Jordan Stepney making some brave tackles stopping the Sweeney getting a shot at goal.
City’s first goal of the game came on 13 minutes after an interception at the half way line by a Guildford City player, who took control of the ball, passing it to Jack Battie who slipped it through to Nathaniel Williams who was just outside the box. After Jordan Stepney applied pressure, Williams took a shot which was saved by Adrian Giles; however the rebound fell straight to Dan Stewart who slotted it home to open the scoring. Approaching the 20 minute mark, City’s confidence was growing rapidly, with more crosses coming into the box with the Sweeney pursuing yet another goal. Gradually though Farnham Town went on the offensive and Nick Medcroft dribbled his way forward from midfield to take a shot at goal which was saved comfortably by Ziobrowski in the 22nd minute. Minutes later City nearly scored again, this time with the corner flag assisting the team! Josh Burrowes was cleanly tackled in the box resulting in the Farnham defence clearing the ball. However the clearance came off the corner flag and Burrowes picked the ball up. Burrowes passed to Kiye Martin who attempted to slip the ball through to Dan Stewart, around the penalty spot but unfortunately the ball was intercepted by the keeper. However, as City’s confidence peaked, so did Farnham’s and when Nick Medcroft made a good run downfield. Jack Cox slipped the ball through to him and Medcroft placed it comfortably into the bottom left corner. Just before the break Adam Horton blazed past Opuku and made a fantastic low cross to Medcroft, however he could not make contact with the ball. Farnham did look as if they had a chance of scoring but Guildford was spared when the half time whistle was blown.
Fortunately, the sun was still shining when the second half began and on the 50th minute the referee made a controversial call when Kiye Martin was taken down on the line of the box. After a tense discussion with the linesman, the referee awarded a free kick to City. Martin struck it well but Giles made a tremendous save to his left clearing the ball out of play. Guildford had another chance minutes later when Jack Battie made a tight pass to Dan Stewart on the right hand corner of the box. For a moment, Giles slipped and Dan Stewart suddenly took advantage, by attempting to place it into the bottom left corner narrowly missing by inches.
As the second half progressed past the 75 minute mark it became clear that City were the better side, but like many other games this season they could not convert their chances! In the midfield, Man of the Match contenders Jack Battie and Kiye Martin pushed on relentlessly and in the 78th minute Kiye chipped the ball over Farnham’s back four where it fell to Dan Stewart who struck it on the volley but the effort was well wide of the target. Both teams fought extremely hard throughout the second half but in the end Jordan Gallagher managed to receive the ball deep in Farnham’s box after an earlier shot from Dan Stewart. He passed it low to City’s super sub, Evan Lopes, who took a touch before smashing home from six yards. Lopes barrelled away in celebration after scoring the goal in the 87th minute. According to the fans that travelled in numbers, it was a well-deserved win for City and it was the first time the club had won three consecutive matches since October. To quote Chris Balchin… ‘We go again!’
Team: Kornel Ziobrowski, David Opoku, Josh Burrowes, Luke Beale, Chris Tancock, Robbie Mundow (David Burton), Kiye Martin, Jack Battie, Jordan Gallagher (Will Kouadio), Dan Stewart, Nathaniel Williams (Evander Lopes).
Match Photos: Click here
Chris Balchin Interview: