CB Hounslow United (1) 2, Guildford City (0) 1
by Barry Underwood
A goal eight minutes into stoppage time at the end of the game gave Hounslow a win that frankly their play throughout the match deserved. For Guildford though it was heartbreak as after a shocking first half performance they had pulled themselves up by their boot straps to equalise with five minutes remaining. The game was already two minutes into stoppage time when Hounslow’s Iriatarias Skaptis was guilty of a poor foul on a City player. The challenge was enough to see players from both sides come together in a heated confrontation. When peace was restored Skaptis and Hounslow’s Dunnel King were shown red cards, as was City’s Benga Ogunseye. Whoever was guilty both sides agreed that it was not Dunnel King who was certainly a victim of mistaken identity. But what the stop in play did do was break the momentum of play and with virtually the last kick of the match a desperate miscued defensive clearance from a City defender flew over debutant keeper Stuart Norman’s head and into the net.
The match was played with a strong wind blowing down the length of the pitch and right from the off City struggled to settle. Indeed they didn’t get a meaningful touch of the ball until seven minutes had been played. Hounslow for their part were comfortable in possession and they passed Guildford to death for much of the first half. Hounslow won a couple of early free-kicks in threatening positions which Guildford’s defence scrambled clear. In a rare attack Billy Irving fired a long range effort on goal which Rhys Forster saved comfortably. City were under pressure and after an uncertain start Stuart Norman showed his class with a string of impressive saves. Additionally the impressive Billy Irving twice cleared the ball off the goal line. Guildford had no rhythm to their play and looked off the pace. In a rare bright moment Benga Ogunseye’s through ball put Eli Ogunseye goal side but he was judged to be marginally offside. On 36 minutes the home side took a deserved lead when from a corner the ball was headed home at close range.
Guildford were better after the interval, and the introduction of Evan Lopes from the bench was a factor. Stuart Norman still had to make a fine early save, but the passing and movement looked more like the side we know. On 52 minutes Nathaniel Williams shot from the edge of the box was saved low down, but in return Billy Irving was forced to clear a dangerous moment in the City box. Hounslow plied pressure with set pieces, both corners and free-kicks but City stood firm. With twenty minutes remaining an astute tactical switch saw the introduction from the bench of Alex Cooper, with Nemo Adams dropping into the backline. Evan Lopes pushed forward with Bobby Webbe playing deeper. All of a sudden things clicked for City and on 79 minutes Nemo Adams shot across goal. The ball could have deflected anywhere and in the event it went straight into the goalkeepers arms. A minute later a bouncing ball fell to the edge of the box and Bobby Webbe’s half volley went over the crossbar. Finally on 85 minutes City found their way to goal and there was an air of good fortune. Jordan Gallagher cut in from the left and his low shot took a pronounced deflection and just did enough to find the corner despite Forster’s best efforts. It seemed City had rescued a vital point until that minute in stoppage time when Skaptis’s foul changed the course of the match in dramatic fashion.
Team: Stuart Norman, Sean Mason, Josh Burrowes (Alex Cooper 72), David Burton (Evan Lopes 46), Luke Beale, Billy Irving, Eli Ogunseye, Nemo Adams, Benga Ogunseye, Bobby Webbe, Nathaniel Williams (Jordan Gallagher 61). Unused sub: Isy Nzelo.
Referee: Bogdan Caraghin
Attendance – 45