City travelled west for the second time in five days to face a Bridgwater side looking for their first win since 22 October. In a highly entertaining encounter City were certainly a match for the Somerset side, and the final scoreline doesn’t fairly reflect the nature of the game. In an end to end encounter the effort on goal fell to Guildford; Ben Walshe’s crisp pass finding Lance Banton-Brown whose early effort from long range went wide.
It was the home side who somewhat fortuitously went ahead after 11 minutes. A long ball down the right found Aaron Wilson who appeared to be some yards offside. With play waved on Wilson cut into the box to blaze high into the net from an acute angle. City responded from this set back by gaining an increased toehold on the game.
On 20 minutes Kevaugn Ward headed back across goal and just eluded Anthony Bridgeman in the box, and then moments after Bridgeman’s sharp turn and shot lacked the power necessary to threaten Chris Wright in the home goal. City were now looking the better of the sides and they fully deserved their 36th minute equaliser. Anthony Bridgeman played a nice ball into the box where Ben Rayner’s first touch enabled him to finish clinically. The home side responded and Mitchell Page curled a shot just wide on 41 minutes.
There was a sense that if City could survive until the interval a result was a real possibility. Sadly some bad fortune and a cool finish put paid to such thoughts. Antony Hall correctly came out of his area to head clear a threatening ball over the top. His header looped forward but fell kindly for Page whose delicate lob from some 35 yards nestled in the back of the City net.
Half-time: Bridgwater Town 2 – 1 Guildford City
Looking to kill the game off Bridgwater stormed into the second-half and Antony Hall was on top form to deny Mitchell Page from point blank range. Gradually the visitors worked their way back in the game, with Kevaugn Ward’s run and cross just eluded Anthony Bridgeman.
On 55 minutes City came desperately close to equalising; Ben Walshe’s corner being met powerfully by Jamie Thoroughgood at the far post, but his header sailed just wide of the post. Minutes later Dom Ogun latched onto a loose ball to run at the home defence. The ball was played on to Bridgeman whose low shot went into the side netting. On the hour Bridgwater took a two goal lead. A high ball in the City box glanced off the head of a stretching Elvis Defreitas, and Danny Wring had the space in the box to slide the ball under Hall.
There was still a feel that the visitors could get back in the match but gaps were opening at the back as City pushed forward. On 70 minutes the result was confirmed when an exposed Defreitas brought down Mitchell Page in the box. Up stepped Joe Bushin to convert the penalty. To their eternal credit City still went forward and with ten minutes remaining a cross from debutant Danny Williams was met on the volley by Ben Rayner. With keeper Wright beaten the ball glanced away off of the woodwork.
On 86 minutes City were on the scoresheet for a second time. Lance Banton-Brown’s powerful run into the heart of the area was halted by illegal means and up stepped skipper Ben Walshe to powerfully convert from the penalty spot; City’s first penalty kick of the season after 23 matches! There was still time for one last attempt on goal when Jamie Thoroughgood’s flick-on saw Banton-Brown shoot just inches over.
Team: Antony Hall, Bruce McPhail, Dammy Bada, Elvis Defreitas, Jamie Thoroughgood, Ben Rayner (Joe Thoroughgood 83), Kevaugn Ward (Jordan Taylor 77), Ben Walshe, Lance Banton-Brown, Anthony Bridgeman (Danny Williams 60), Dominic Ogun. Unused subs: Aaron Hennessy.
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Referee: Glenn Barter
Attendance – 105