Epsom & Ewell (2) 4, Guildford City (1) 1
Match Report by Barry Underwood.
Despite an encouraging first half, Guildford City again fell to a disappointing defeat against Epsom & Ewell at High Road. With Elvis Defreitas and Tom Penson missing through suspension and Liam Harwood through injury, the City defence once again took on a makeshift formation. Utility players Anthony Bridgeman and Bruce McPhail filled the full-back positions whilst midfielder Jordan Taylor dropped into the centre of the defence. In actual fact within two minutes of the start the makeup of the defence was quickly forgotten; Khari Oriogun finding some space in an advanced position and his slide rule pass was tucked home by Navid Zandi.
With the confidence of an early lead City played some good football, but the home side always looked lively breaking forward down the channels and Anthony Hall was forced into early action to deny Sam Robinson. Epsom & Ewell gained momentum as the game progressed and it was no surprise when the equalised on the half hour; a powerful shot from 20 yards was parried by Hall and prolific goal scorer Kyle Hough was on hand to drive home the rebound. Three minutes later the home side took the lead. On this occasion George Murphy rose unchallenged to head home a corner from the left. Although City’s tempo had dropped they still were making regular forays into the Epsom box with Stefan Joseph in particular posing problems. On 39 minutes Khari Oriogun raced clear after a moment of hesitation in defence. Miraculously however a brilliant last ditch tackle prevented Oriogun bearing down on goal. There was still time before the interval for Epsom to twice come close but when the half-time whistle blew with the score at 2-1 Guildford were very much in the game.
It was the home side that raised their game by several levels after the break. Indeed they nearly went further ahead after just five minutes when Anthony Bridgeman grossly under hit a back pass and it took a tremendous covering tackle from Ray Guilford to keep City in the game. On 64 minutes Antony Hall was forced into acrobatic action, tipping over Sam Robinson’s effort. A minute later it was in effect “game over” when Kyle Hough cut in and fired a low shot into the bottom corner. With Epsom dominating Hall again saved brilliantly. The fourth goal though came on 85 minutes when Robinson latched onto a loose ball in the box to drive powerfully home. Certainly a disappointing second half performance from City after early promise. With reinforcements to the squad promised, City now move on to Saturday’s encounter at unbeaten league leaders Cove.
Team: Antony Hall, Anthony Bridgeman, Bruce McPhail, Ray Guilford, Jordan Taylor, Ben Rayner, Junior Alade (George Baldwin 89), Jack Guilford, Stefan Joseph (John Barrow 82), Khari Oriogun, Navid Zandi (Liam Talbot 74).
Referee: Anand Desai
Match Photographs are here
Post Match Interview can be listened to here