Southall (1) 4, Guildford City (0) 1
by Harry Vidgen
In Guildford’s last game of the season the players would have most likely wanted to enjoy the occasion and play some football. But the match was tarnished by a combination of gale force winds and questionable refereeing decisions. 11 minutes into the game, Peter Dean and Darreon Mark of Southall linked up and caused Nemo Adams problems as he failed to shield the ball out of play and Darreon Mark got in behind him but luckily nothing came from the chance as the cross was cleared. Nine minutes later, Benga Ogunseye had a great chance to score the first goal of the game as he was given time on the edge of the box but his shot was fired over the bar. The first questionable decision from the officials came when the ball was passed to Kiye Martin, but knowing he was offside he stopped and Isy Nzelo ran onto it instead. Nzelo closed the keeper down and blocked his clearance. The ball spun into the centre of the box just waiting for Benga Ogunseye to prod home as he charged into the box. But offside was given for Isy’s role in the move. Interesting that it was given as offside when Isy had started his run from the halfway line? Shortly after that Peter Dean aggressively pushed Kiye Martin after he committed a foul and was inevitably booked for it, tensions started to rise. On the stroke of halftime, Billy Irving slid in to attempt to block a cross and the player next to him, Southall’s No.11, threw himself to the ground dramatically. It was very unsportsmanlike from the player as he rolled around on the ground. However, he had deceived the referee who pointed straight to the spot. Veteran Gary Senior, who was set to retire after this game, stepped up and converted from the spot.
The second half started and Guildford were dealt a crushing blow as Southall scored again just three minutes in. A short corner was taken and a low cross was whipped in, Bobby Webbe attempted to clear it but the ball ended up going directly upwards and when it came back down Stuart Norman fumbled the ball under pressure and then Southall’s James Gurteen volleyed home a bouncing ball as he fell to the ground. Southall’s lead grew. The second goal seemed to knock the wind out of Guildford’s sails but also to spur Southall on and in the 65th minute, Southall scored their third goal. A free-kick was won deep in Guildford territory and the initial effort hit the wall but then the ball bounced down and then sat up kindly for Gary Senior who volleyed home for his second goal of the game. Most of the play was kept in the middle of the park before the 84th minute where Guildford did score what proved to just be a consolation. A corner was taken and Nemo Adams met it with a confident half volley that flew into the back of the net. Nemo Adams showed appreciation for the travelling Guildford fans as he applauded them on his way back to his position. The game was then put out of sight for Guildford as straight after the restart, a simple lobbed ball forward caught Guildford’s whole back line off-guard and Southall substitute Aaron McLeish went through to make it 4-1 to Southall. Another season has ended for Guildford City Football Club and it has involved a lot of up and downs but the team have represented themselves well putting in some excellent performances to finish in seventh position. A message of appreciation should also go out to the fans who travel to every game to watch the team. Fans make a club. Onto next season!
Team: Stuart Norman, Sean Mason (Jamie Phillips 85), Isy Nzelo, David Burton (Nathaniel Williams 61), Luke Beale, Billy Irving, Eli Ogunseye, Nemo Adams, Benga Ogunseye, Bobby Webbe (Ben Cotton 77), Kiye Martin. Unused subs: Kyle Carton, Dan Hurlow.
Referee: Philip Jones