Horley Town (1) 1, Guildford City (1) 3
by Barry Underwood
With the confidence of a win the previous week, Guildford opened this match in a confident fashion. The starting line-up saw one change with Dan Band unavailable but Bobby Webbe stepping back into the midfield following his suspension. Throughout the match City had the better of the game and they thoroughly deserved their victory. The only question had been whether Guildford’s overall superiority would be converted into goals. As early as the fourth minute Andrew Mensah cut in to the box but the chance came to nothing. On 10 minutes Isy Nzelo’s cross was pushed out by the keeper and Eli Ogunseye was only denied by a desperate block. Horley were keen to remind all present that there were two sides in this match, and from a corner Stuart Norman was forced into a fine save from a near post header. A neat 1-2 between Mensah and Ogunseye saw Eli through on goal but after a heavy touch George Hyde was able to smother the attempt. Guildford enjoyed a great period where they pinged the ball impressively around the last third. Andrew Mensah saw a shot blocked for a corner after the ball was won back by a great Woodhouse tackle. Then an unmarked Nemo Adams headed a corner wide, whilst the impressive Theo Woodhouse saw a shot from the edge of the box go just wide. As so often the first goal when it came fell to the side who had thus far been second best. A simple ball forward eluded the City defence, and Martin Smith scampered away to shoot past Norman. Three minutes later Guildford got back on terms. Andrew Mensah was put through and Hyde dashing out took the player down and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Nemo Adams stepped up and drove the ball home. As the half came to a close Mensah crossed but Bobby Webbe’s snatched effort sliced wide.
Guildford were given a scare just after the restart. The ball was lost near the corner flag and Stuart Norman was forced into an acrobatic save from the resulting shot. The Gods were looking down kindly as the shot from the rebound cleared the crossbar. City still looked dangerous going forward and Andrew Mensah forced Hyde to save with his legs at the near post. Minutes later a Gallagher pass gave Eli Ogunseye a shooting chance from an angle but his low effort was just wide of the far post. On 70 minutes City finally took the lead that their play deserved. Bobby Webbe’s pass released Isy Nzelo on an overlapping run. Nzelo’s low cross was met first time by Kyen Nicholas whose effort had too much power for Hyde and found the back of the net. Stuart Norman saved again at the near post to retain City’s lead. On 77 minutes Guildford should have wrapped the game up. Andrew Mensah burst through but his thunderbolt of an effort cleared the crossbar. In attempting to block the effort Horley keeper George Hyde damaged a shoulder and had to leave the field. With eight minutes remaining Tom Griffin timed his run perfectly but his effort was saved by the replacement keeper’s legs. Seconds later the unlucky Mensah saw a shot go just wide. Eventually on 86 minutes the match confirming goal came courtesy of Eli Ogunseye. Ogunseye skipped past two defenders into the box before rifling an effort into the roof of the net from six yards. In stoppage time Sean Mason made a magnificent block to prevent a Horley effort on goal, at the same time calming City’s nerves.
Team: Stuart Norman, Sean Mason, Isy Nzelo, Theo Woodhouse, Nemo Adams, Luke Beale, Eli Ogunseye, Bobby Webbe, Kyen Nicholas (Tom Griffin 76), Andrew Mensah (Alex Cooper 86), Jordan Gallagher (Nathaniel Williams 68). Unused subs: David Burton, Billy Irving.
Referee: Scott Orchard