Guildford City (0) 1, Spelthorne Sports (4) 4
by Barry Underwood
In an amazing opening to the game Guildford inexplicably found themselves three goals down after just 12 minutes of play. Amazingly before the onslaught Guildford had hit the crossbar themselves. But whether lacking concentration or otherwise, the home side were soon stunned by Spelthorne’s lethal finishing as City players found themselves staring like rabbits caught in the headlights. It was Greg Haydon who headed against the underside of the bar in the second minute, and within a further minute Nathaniel Mensah found himself in plenty of space in the box to drove home. Six minutes later Lewis Flatman shot home from 20 yards, and three further minutes on the same player headed home in the box from a right-wing cross. Guildford were visibly stunned but a bright spot was Cyril Ocansey who several times used his pace well to get to the by-line. The home side were again rocked back on 27 minutes when they went four behind. This time a ball from the left was converted by Mensah at the far post. With an hour still to play a rout was a possibility. Guildford did rally to the extent of creating half chances; Ocansey seeing a deflected shot just go wide, and Theo Woodhouse and Greg Haydon both seeing headers from corners go wide.
In an effort to spark a response Guildford made a triple substitution at the interval. The arrival especially of Andre Smith and Mike Coppinger certainly improved matters although in truth the game was to all intents and purposes over. Athan Smith-Joseph made space down the right, but his low cross was too near the goalkeeper. Andre Smith had two shots wide of the target, whilst Cyril Ocansey couldn’t turn in a low cross at the near post. A Smith long throw bounced in the box and Ocansey’s looping header was touched onto the bar by Henry Poole. It wasn’t all one way, and, on the hour, Zack Basey saved well with his feet, and Spelthorne had a good spell and twice more Basey saved well. With six minutes remaining an Andre Smith piledriver skimmed the top of the crossbar and a minute later the same player won a penalty when he was fouled challenging for a high ball. Andre Smith picked himself up to score from the spot. Fellow substitute Mike Coppinger impressed during the second half and in the dying moments he turned nicely in the box only to see his powerful effort blocked.
Team: Zack Basey, Jimmy Odagi. Isy Nzelo, Theo Woodhouse, Greg Haydon, David Burton (Nemo Adams 46), Josh Everard, Jamie Higgins (Mike Coppinger 46), Cyril Ocansey, Athan Smith-Joseph, Nathaniel Williams (Andre Smith 46). Unused subs: Jack Blatchford, Kieran Williams.
Referee: Callum Peter
Attendance – 112