Guildford City (0) 1, Southall (0) 1
by Barry Underwood
Many seasoned football fans at Wey Court couldn’t recall watching a game where the rain was so incessant and prolonged. Indeed in the end we were lucky to see the match played to a conclusion as the last 15 minutes saw possession becoming increasingly difficult because of standing water, and both sides will be satisfied to take some reward from a game played in atrocious conditions. But don’t assume that the players just went through the motions in the tough conditions. They did not and both sides commendably gave everything in search of victory. This was clearly no game for the purist despite City trying to play their customary passing game. In the very first minute they had a good chance when Eli Ogunseye escaped the attentions of the defence to cross low into the box where Bobby Webbe couldn’t quite get a vital touch. After City’s bright opening much of the first half was spent battling in midfield as the match became increasingly scrappy. To their credit when Southall went forward they looked organised although without seriously threatening the home goal. Southall did see a deep cross headed over at the back post, whilst City worked an opening following good work from Dan Band and Benga Ogunseye. Midway through the half David Burton saw a looping header comfortably saved in a rare moment of action around the Southall goal. In the half’s dying moments Southall twice caused uncertainty in the City defence. Firstly Billy Irving made an excellent covering tackle in the box as the attacking player was about to pull the trigger, and secondly Liam Beach had to push a long range effort around the post as the game entered stoppage time.
There was still little cohesion to play in the second period as conditions became more difficult with heavy driving rain throughout the half. I don’t recall a match where the team’s colours at the opposite end of the pitch couldn’t be distinguished because of the ferocity of the rain. One wouldn’t have been surprised to have seen Noah and his Ark loom out of the gloom. The visitors looked marginally livelier and on 52 minutes Liam Beach was forced into a fine blocking save. This seemed to spur City into action and for a period they enjoyed their best spell of the game. On the hour Benga Ogunseye found space on the edge of the box to fire a low shot towards the corner. Southall’s keeper Rory Mullane was up to the task however making a fine save to his left. Southall’s attacking intentions were then thwarted by a brilliant covering tackle by Luke Beale. On 66 minutes Southall went ahead with what at the time looked as if it might be the only goal of the game. From a deep free-kick Liam Beach saved the initial effort but the rebound was drilled home by Connor Spinks. With fifteen minutes remaining City scored the equaliser that their play and application deserved. Eli Ogunseye had a rare opportunity to run into space and as he cut inside he was brought down and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped Benga Ogunseye to fire home his first goal for the club. A minute later City came close to snatching a winner when Evan Lopes was put through on the left edge of the box. Mullane was fast off his line and was able to block Lopes’s chipped effort. Play became very difficult in the centre of the field in the final stages, and despite a late effort at either end the match concluded with a deserved point to each side. Full credit to the match officials who officiated sensibly and who got through the game without issuing any cautions.
Team: Liam Beach, Sean Mason, Josh Burrowes (Alex Cooper 81), David Burton, Luke Beale, Billy Irving, Eli Ogunseye, Dan Band, Benga Ogunseye, Bobby Webbe (Kyen Nicholas 81), Nathaniel Williams (Evan Lopes 68).
Referee: Nigel Owen
Attendance – 62
Match Photos by Dean Rosin