Banstead Athletic (0) 0, Guildford City (0) 1
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City came away from Merland Rise last evening with three valuable points after another tense 1-0 victory. Unlike the weekend this wasn’t a pretty game of football. Merland Rise, the home of Banstead Athletic, high up on the Epsom Downs, is notoriously prone to the extremes of weather. And so it was last evening. Much of the first half was played out in torrential rain with the pitch becoming increasingly sodden. After the break the rain eased a little, but the wind strengthened. In the conditions cohesive football was impossible and play was scrappy, but in the circumstances both sides did well to put on a display at all. Like City Banstead had won at the weekend at a fancied side and they didn’t lack confidence. Much of the early possession was with Banstead, and on 14 minutes Zack Basey was forced into a smart save when a slip enabled a gap to open. As the half developed Guildford came more into the game, carving out several good chances. A fierce Kieran Campbell shot was blocked in the box by a fellow City player, and minutes later Josh Ogunseye cut in from the left to see a shot blocked. On the half hour from a corner Nemo Adams volleyed wide from six yards and even now will be wondering how he missed the target. It wasn’t all one way though as Zack Basey made a fine reaction save after the City defence failed to clear their lines. On 36 minutes Josh Ogunseye reacted speedily to dispossess the keeper. He then went past two defenders, but his low shot was a whisker wide of the far post. A minute later from a deep cross Kieran Campbell headed back across goal for Cyril Ocansey who headed wide of the post.
From the restart the home side pushed forward and won a succession of corner kicks. From one a header cleared the crossbar, whilst from another Zack Basey was forced into a save. City were playing into a considerable wind and were constantly looking to break forward, and a nicely timed Josh Ogunseye run came to an end when his cross was blocked. On 71 minutes Banstead’s keeper Stefan Rotal rashly came out of his box aiming to clear. Dan Stewart was able to make room for a shot which from 25 yards curled wide. Finally on 80 minutes a goal for City finally came. A deep cross into the box from Billy Irving was made by Kieran Campbell who took a clout for his pains. The loose ball fell to the lurking Cyril Ocansey who was able to hook the ball into the net. With five minutes remaining Theo Woodhouse shot wide, but in the late stages Banstead won a succession of free-kicks and corners. But City’s backline – who had played superbly throughout – was equal to the task, and City held out for another important win.
Team: Zack Basey, Billy Irving, Sean Mason, Theo Woodhouse, Leavan Sullivan, Nemo Adams, Josh Ogunseye (Wayne Ridgley 66), Ryan Dacres-Smith, Kieran Campbell (Benga Ogunseye 81), Dan Stewart, Cyril Ocansey (Isy Nzelo 87). Unused subs: Josh Burrowes, Dan Harding.
Referee: Samuel Ingrey