CB Hounslow United (0) 1, Guildford City (1) 1
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City opened their league season at Hatton Road with a hard-earned point against CB Hounslow. Both sides came into the match off the back of FA Cup victories and with a resulting air of confidence. Guildford opened slowly as both sides sparred with each other in the early minutes. In the opening stages Athan Smith-Joseph – who saw a lot of the ball in the first period – pulled a ball back from the by-line but his cross was intercepted by Sam Bersey in the home goal. For the home side a half volley from distance saw Zack Basey save comfortably. Approaching the half hour Zack Basey saved well at the expense of a corner, whilst minutes later Andre Smith’s free kick missed the goal frame by inches. As the half-progressed City took a hold on proceedings and enjoyed good possession. Cyril Ocansey had been starved of the ball on the right. But on 36 minutes he escaped the clutches of the defence but his powerful cross was volleyed over by Andre Smith. Minutes before the interval Guildford took a deserved lead. Andre Smith dispossessed a defender and his low effort from 20 yards crept just inside the post.
As so often the opening period of the second half plays a big part in defining the result of a match. And so it proved on this occasion. Chances to clear were missed and in a tussle on the edge of the box Luke Beale was adjudged to have taken the man and not the ball. Referee Adam Merchant pointed to the spot and the penalty was driven home. Loss of their lead early in the half seemed to put City on the back foot. Play became scrappy and although the visitors found good attacking positions, they couldn’t fashion a clear opening. Zack Basey saved well on the hour while Cyril Ocansey curled a shot wide, and Jordan Cavender’s effort at full stretch was saved by Bersey at the near post. The final ten minutes became stop start with numerous fouls on both sides. In the final moments Zack Basey made an excellent double save to ensure City took a share of the spoils. With virtually the last kick Nemo Adams was shown a second yellow card which was enough to book his early place in the shower.
Team: Zack Basey, Isy Nzelo, Jordan Cavender, Theo Woodhouse, Nemo Adams, Luke Beale, Mike Coppinger, Jamie Higgins (Craig Lewington 76), Andre Smith (Reis Stanislaus 76), Cyril Ocansey, Athan Smith-Joseph (Nathaniel Williams 66). Unused subs: Benn Watson, Josh Everard.
Referee: Adam Merchant.