Sutton Common Rovers (0) 0, Guildford City (1)1
by Barry Underwood
In a splendid performance at Gander Green Lane, Guildford City finally gained their first league win of the season. And how it was needed! Now after this excellent win City can gather themselves for concerted climb up the table. City’s first-half performance was on-par with anything seen over the last few years. The zip of pre-season was back with fast passing, fine wing play and above all plenty of hard work. On just three minutes Cyril Ocansey drove a shot wide, and minutes later the same player had another good opportunity from a low cross but his first touch let him down. The home side themselves moved the ball confidently and on ten minutes Daryl Cooper-Smith shot over from the edge of the box. Guildford certainly were lively up front with Campbell and Stewart linking well, and it was no more than City deserved when they took the lead on the half hour. What a goal it was! Billy Irving found Dan Stewart in an advanced position. In an instant Stewart summed up the situation and brilliantly lobbed Craig Bradshaw from 20 yards for what surely will be goal of the season. Right from the kick-off Dan Stewart almost scored again, but his effort was this time saved by Bradshaw. Just before the interval Cyril Ocansey crossed but the ball just eluded the lurking Eli Ogunseye.
It was always likely that SCR would come back into the game in the second half as they themselves sought to avoid a third consecutive defeat. Certainly this was a different looking half with the home side enjoying much more of the ball. But City’s defensive quartet and the shield of Woodhouse and Dacres-Smith performed excellently and no one more so that the returning Nemo Adams. There were a number of free-kicks and corners played into the City box but the defence stood firm. Cooper-Smith had a half chance that went wide but City themselves still had chances. Billy Irving headed over from a corner, and Theo Woodhouse shot just wide from the edge of the box. With 20 minutes remaining Leavan Sullivan limped off to be replaced at full-back by Wayne Ridgley who performed brilliantly in an alien position. There was a scare on 73 minutes when Zack Basey chose to punch clear. The loose ball was played straight back into the danger zone and it seemed certain SCR would score. But again sterling defence won the day and the ball was cleared. With nine minutes remaining a power shot was cleared off the line by Dacres-Smith, and a minute later City should have wrapped up the win when Eli Ogunseye set up Cyril Ocansey who sadly slipped at the moment of shooting. Such was the spirit of the City team that they saw out the remaining stages, including nine minutes of stoppage time, to claim that all important three points.
Team: Zack Basey, Billy Irving, Sean Mason, Theo Woodhouse, Leavan Sullivan (Wayne Ridgley 70), Nemo Adams, Eli Ogunseye (Benga Ogunseye 89), Ryan Dacres-Smith, Kieran Campbell, Dan Stewart (Dan Harding 86), Cyril Ocansey. Unused subs: Stefan Joseph, Kiyanu Pillay.
Referee: Nigel Owens