Guildford City (0) 0, Petersfield Town (1) 1
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City disappointingly exited the FA Cup on Saturday to a hard-working and committed Petersfield side. In a competition where both glory and financial reward is available, City’s performance was underwhelming and in the first half especially the step six visitors’ looked much the livelier side, carving out a number of clear chances. City were better after the break but just couldn’t fathom a way through Town’s organised defence.
The first clear opening fell to the visitor’s on 21 minutes when Luke Payne headed wide from a good position. One hoped that this scare would fire City into positive action, but when they did go forward the build-up was slow and usually resulted in a long range effort that caused few problems for Tim Jackson in the Town goal. City was still looking lack lustre and Tim Payne was given a great chance in front of goal but thankfully for the home side he fired over. It was no surprise when the visitors scored what proved to be the only goal of the game. A ball from the right found Olly Kershaw in acres of space and his curling effort found the corner of the net. Guildford’s best chance of the half came just prior to the interval. The ball was pushed wide to Mark Watkins who shot over from a tight angle.
Surely with 45 minutes remaining City would come out fighting in the second half. There is no doubting the home side upped the tempo and much of the play took place in the Petersfield half. But with Town understandably defending in numbers, obtaining a clear sight of the target was proving elusive. Early on Chris Tancock volleyed wide from the edge of the box; whilst Dan Stewart’s quick shot from an angle was saved by Jackson. On 53 minutes it seemed certain City would score. Mark Watkins cross found Jordan Gallagher at the back post. A header might have done it but Gallagher chose to volley and somehow the scrambling defenders managed to block his attempt. It wasn’t all one way traffic and Jordan Neal got behind City’s defence but blazed his effort over. Evan Lopes and Bobby Webbe were introduced off the bench on the hour, and immediately Lopes managed to get a shot away that was comfortably saved. With ten minutes remaining play was becoming more desperate. Bobby Webbe saw a shot saved and from a good opening Ric Campbell lifted an effort over the bar. On 85 minutes a fine overlapping run from Chris Tancock saw his pull-back missed by two City players at the near post. In one last effort Mark Watkins free-kick on the edge of the box took a deflection inches wide. A hugely disappointing result for City but full credit to the visitors whose battling display showing what the FA Cup is about.
Team: Liam Beach, Chris Tancock, Josh Burrowes, David Burton (Ric Campbell 78), Nemo Adams, Billy Irving, Robbie Mundow (Bobby Webbe 62), Bobby Dormer, Dan Stewart, Jordan Gallagher (Evan Lopes 62), Mark Watkins. Unused subs: Courage Moda, Isy Nzelo, Tariq Straker.
Referee: Mudiwa Gifford Manyange
Attendance – 87