Badshot Lea (1) 3, Guildford City (0) 1
by Barry Underwood
Sadly, on a wet and dismal evening Guildford City’s performance for much of the game saw them second best to a confident Badshot Lea side. From the off Guildford were on the backfoot, and for much of the game they found themselves working hard, but often chasing shadows from one side of the pitch to another. Such was Badshot’s territorial advantage that during the first period the visitors scarcely troubled the home goalkeeper. In the opening minutes Zack Basey was called into action to save well after a four man move. Greg Haydon also thwarted a shooting chance with a tremendous block. Given the domination it was no surprise when the home side took the lead on 21 minutes. A corner being headed in by an unmarked Andrew Matthews. Matthews stands 6ft 9ins tall and is a threat from all set pieces but on this occasion, he didn’t need to leave his feet to head home. City were stretched and on the half hour Badshot shot inches over after a scramble in the City goalmouth. Minutes before the interval a flicked header gave the home side another shooting chance but again Basey saved well to keep City in the game.
Guildford improved after the break, but they were unable to prevent Badshot taking a two-goal lead after 51 minutes. A free kick on the right was played across the edge of the box where Josh Stepney shot into the corner. It was important that City should score next and they finally got on the scoresheet on 66 minutes. In a period of pressure City rained down shots on goal that were blocked before finally Cyril Ocansey shot home via the post. Guildford had a good spell after the goal and there was a strong sense that a recovery was possible. Mike Coppinger ran strongly at the last line of defence and elected to pass when he might have shot. On other occasions the final ball just wouldn’t run for the visiting side. Then on 83 minutes the result was confirmed for Badshot. Another free-kick into the box was headed home; on this occasion by Billy Upton. In the dying moments Mike Coppinger saw a 30-yard free-kick zip just past the post. But this was a disappointing performance and the visitor’s will need to re-group quickly if they are to fulfil their undoubted potential.
Team: Zack Basey. Jimmy Odagi (Kieran Williams 81), Isy Nzelo, Theo Woodhouse (Jamie Higgins 85), Greg Haydon, Sean Mason, Cyril Ocansey, Sonny Black (Jack Blatchford 85), Andre Smith, Mike Coppinger, Athan Smith-Joseph. Unused subs: David Burton, Josh Everard.
Referee: Chris Williams