Sutton Common Rovers (3) 4, Guildford City (0) 1
by Barry Underwood
On Saturday SCR sloshed around in the Uckfield mud in the FA Vase. They lost and failed to do themselves justice. On the 3G at Gander Green Lane last night they got their Vase exit out of their system in spectacular fashion. Throughout this Southern Combination cup-tie, and especially in the first half, the home side played some scintillating passing football which in the first 45 minutes especially was just too good for Guildford. This might have been a cup match but based on this performance, and having seen all of the contenders, I’d be surprised if SCR don’t go on to win the league.
Right from the off SCR were moving the ball quickly, and also closing City down when in possession even more quickly. Twice in the opening minutes SCR went close before on eight minutes they went ahead. Guildford lost possession deep in their half and they were punished when the ball was moved quickly to ex-AFC Wimbledon striker Neset Bellikli who slotted home. Three minutes later it was two and such was the constant pressure a rout seemed a possibility. Again City failed to clear their lines effectively and Bellikli ran across the edge of the box with the ball before shooting home. Twice more the visitors lost possession cheaply in their own half leading to attempts on goal but fortune favoured the team who were undoubtedly under the cosh. Just when it seemed Guildford had stabilised SCR scored their third goal. It came on 39 minutes and Josh Uzan found space to ghost through the middle and fire under the approaching Oneal Garnes. Craig Bradshaw, the SCR keeper, was little troubled in the first period, although with the last kick of the half a free-kick from Bobby Webbe missed the upright by inches.
After impassioned and heartfelt speeches from the coaching team at the interval, Guildford found the spirit to show something of their true selves in the second period. Just minutes into the half Eli Ogunseye showed his pace down the right. His cross was met on the volley by Benga Ogunseye but his effort went wide. On 53 minutes Evan Lopes laid the ball across the box to Dan Band whose effort from 20 yards forced Bradshaw into a fine save. Just when it seemed that City were back in the match SCR scored their decisive fourth goal. Bellekli was given too much space on the right and he cut in towards goal to shoot low into the net for his hat-trick. Amidst a raft of substitutions from both sides Bellikli left the field to warm applause from the home fans. City for their part continued to play and Eli Ogunseye shot wide following Benga’s delicate pass. With fifteen minutes remaining the roles were reversed and Benga headed wide from Eli’s cross. Guildford’s second-half efforts received some reward with two minutes remaining. Bobby Webbe found Benga Ogunseye in space in the box, and the powerful striker got his feet in order to shoot powerfully home. With the very last action of the game the unlikely figure of Nathaniel Williams won a header at the back post which forced Bradshaw into an excellent reflex save. SCR now march on to host Dorking Wanderers Reserves in the next round.
Team: Oneal Garnes, Isy Nzelo (Sean Mason 66), Josh Burrowes, Dan Band, Luke Beale (Billy Irving 66), Nemo Adams, Eli Ogunseye, Bobby Webbe, Benga Ogunseye, Evan Lopes (Alex Cooper 57), Nathaniel Williams. Unused sub: Chris Tancock.
Referee: David Lunani
Attendance – 74
Cover Photo supplied by Gary Brigden