Walton Casuals (1) 1, Guildford City (1) 1
(Walton Casuals win 4-1 on penalties)
by Barry Underwood
After a scintillating performance at the league leaders on Saturday, Guildford City travelled to face joint competition favourites Walton Casuals in the second round of the Surrey Senior Cup. Casuals these days play their football in the Bostik Premier Division which is two levels higher than the Combined Counties League. It was therefore a tough ask for City to maintain a run of good current form against esteemed opponents playing on their home 3G pitch. Thank goodness for the 3G by the way as leading up to kick-off the heavens had opened depositing a deluge of water that had been enough to postpone many other matches in the area.
City both opened and closed the match in lively fashion with a long period in between when they put in an impressively disciplined defensive display. That wasn’t necessarily the intention but Walton were strong in possession; building from the back and prompting and probing for openings. But to Guildford’s credit there weren’t openings to be found. Walton’s class showed on occasions by being faster to react or stronger in challenges, and this was certainly no match for shrinking violets. Every player will have known at the end that they had played in a fully competitive cup-tie.
From the off Eli Ogunseye looked lively down the right. From one such run on six minutes the speedy wide player cut in before being brought down just outside of the box. Up stepped Bobby Webbe who coolly stepped up to curl the ball round the wall and into the top corner. On 16 minutes another excellent Eli Ogunseye run saw him get to the by-line but his low cross couldn’t quite find his brother, the prowling Benga. Gradually Walton started to exert themselves on the game, and twice Oneal Garnes had to be alert as the last line of defence. Eventually the pressure told when Latley Sarpong drifted across the field before unleashing an absolute piledriver from 30 yards. The shot was straight down the middle of the goal but such was the power and dip that Garnes had no chance. As the half came to a close Walton still dominated but they largely resorted to long shots that didn’t pose a significant threat to the City defence.
The second half was more of the same, with Walton’s slow build up looking for an opening. They came close on 54 minutes when after good approach play they drilled a low effort just wide of the post. It wasn’t all one way however as Dan Band made a determined run forward out of midfield which finished with a powerful long range effort that Denzel Gerrar, the Walton keeper, gathered comfortably. Around the hour mark the heat was on for City’s backline and twice Oneal Garnes saved impressively to maintain parity. With 20 minutes remaining City noticeably came alive in an attacking sense. Benga Ogunseye shot from an acute angle; an effort that went across the face of goal, and several times Guildford broke forward but the final ball wasn’t right to release one of the Ogunseye brothers. Walton for their part had a succession of set-pieces in Guildford’s half. Fortunately for the visitors many of them were overhit and drifted harmlessly for goal kicks. There was a lengthy period of stoppage time at the end of the game following two long breaks for injury to Oneal Garnes. During that time Taurean Roberts shot wide from a good position, and later Garnes again made a good save.
With no extra-time in this competition the game moved to penalties where sadly City had lost their shooting boots. Walton scored four from four, whilst only Nemo Adams was successful for City. Exit it is then from the Surrey Senior Cup but to all intents and purposes this was an away draw gained at the home of a more than useful Walton side, who currently sit above Farnborough, Basingstoke Town and Staines Town in their league table.
Team: Oneal Garnes, Isy Nzelo, Josh Burrowes (Sean Mason 70), David Burton, Nemo Adams, Luke Beale, Eli Ogunseye, Dan Band (Alex Cooper 70), Benga Ogunseye, Bobby Webbe, Nathaniel Williams., Unused subs: Billy Irving, Jordan Hurlow.
Referee: Shaun Farrer
Attendance – 102