Southall (1) 1, Guildford City (0) 0
by Barry Underwood
An impressive Southall side maintained their promotion push with a single goal victory over a mid-table Guildford City side. City battled manfully throughout, but all bar the first 15 minutes they were generally second best. This was no disgrace as a number of those present thought Southall an accomplished side and worthy promotion contenders. In the early stages Ryan Dacres-Smith and Wayne Ridgley both saw long range efforts comfortably saved. Southall responded on 13 minutes when a goal bound effort was superbly saved by a full-stretch Zack Basey. City’s best forward movement came minutes later. Great interplay on the edge of the box between Marlon Pinder and Benga Ogunseye saw Pinder in a shooting position, but full credit to Southall keeper Laurencin Berkley who bravely saved at Pinder’s feet. Southall’s goal came on 21 minutes and a strange goal it was. The home side’s skipper Ben Long took the ball across the edge of the City box but his under hit shot was perfectly placed and rolled into the corner of the net. For the rest of the half Guildford came under considerable pressure and they could make little head way. As the game edged towards half-time a shot into the side netting, and then a fine tackle from Josh Burrowes prevented a second goal. Seconds before the whistle a Southall break led to a powerful shot that whistled just over the City bar.
There was no doubting Guildford’s work rate in the second period. But however hard they tried they couldn’t break down the home defence. A Wayne Ridgley free kick from wide out nearly deceived the Southall keeper but he scrambled back and dug the ball out from under his crossbar. With 15 minutes remaining Zack Basey twice saved well to keep City in the game. With a minute remaining City nearly stole an unlikely equaliser. Josh Ogunseye found space to cross and substitute Kieran Williams stole in at the back post, but under pressure he couldn’t make strong contact and the ball looped wide of the goal. Striker Benga Ogunseye cut a despondent figure throughout the second period as he had been living on scraps for the duration of the game. Yet again there was terrific travelling numbers from the Sweeney who sang their support throughout the second half.
Team: Zack Basey, Sean Mason, Josh Ogunseye, Theo Woodhouse (Bobby Webbe 67), Luke Beale (Youcef Azzouz 81), Josh Burrowes, Marlon Pinder, Ryan Dacres-Smith, Benga Ogunseye, Wayne Ridgley, Cyril Ocansey (Kieran Williams 75). Unused sub: Isy Nzelo.
Referee: Stephen Matthews