Godalming Town (0) 1, Guildford City (0) 0
by Barry Underwood
Godalming Town deservedly came out on top in Tuesday’s Surrey Senior Cup derby tie. In front of a bumper crowd the home side enjoyed much of the territorial advantage and chances on goal, but Guildford City gave a battling performance and in the second half had several good goal scoring opportunities. City, still missing striker Matt Anton, fielded new signing Connor French up front in tandem with ex-Horsley front man Sam Wright. Additionally Curtis George passed a pre-match fitness test and took his place in midfield. Much of City’s threat in the first half came from set pieces and the first chance of the game saw Adam Nditi’s free-kick dip just over the crossbar. Shortly after Godalming responded when Jon Gray drove wide from the edge of the box. Darren Wheeler, the home side’s cult hero, was enjoying plenty of space and throughout the first half he posed a real threat down the left flank. In a rare foray forward good work from Adam Nditi saw his cross to Sam Wright intercepted at full stretch. In a concerted spell of home pressure Gray again fizzed a shot just over, before a minute later Wheeler’s deep cross was headed back across the goal by George Frith and Tom Willment’s effort hit the post before being eventually cleared. Credit though the hardworking City defence who performed heroically against the barrage of home pressure.
Fans were still settling into their places for the second half when Godalming broke the deadlock. Adam Cornell broke free down the right and as he advanced on goal he unselfishly slid the ball across the box for Darren Wheeler to turn home. City were more adventurous after the interval and minutes later they had a good chance to equalise when Brad Pegg’s cross was met by the towering Sam Wright unmarked in the box but his glancing header fell just wide of the post. In an attacking sense this was City’s best spell of the match. On 54 minutes another Bradley Pegg cross caused Gees keeper Richard Ossai, under pressure from Sam Wright, to punch the ball down in front of him leaving debutant Connor French with a great opportunity. Sadly for City his attempt to keep his shot down caused him to completely miskick and the chance was gone. Minutes later a rather subdued Adam Nditi saw a curling 25 yard effort go just wide with Ossai scrambling across his goal to cover. Godalming had a golden opportunity to wrap the game up on 66 minutes when Tom Booth’s ambitious back pass was intercepted by Cornell who saw his first effort come back off the post. In the excitement of the moment his follow-up effort was less composed and it sailed over the crossbar. Nathan Chambers, on from the bench for French, livened things up for City with more pace in the front line and despite Gees always looking dangerous there was always a threat in the second-half that City could force an equaliser. Matt York saw a header go wide from a corner after seeing the ball late, and on 75 minutes a delicate curling effort from Andy Ottley from 20 yards saw Ossai save well. In a desperate effort to take the game to penalties Matt York was pushed up front for the final stages and in stoppage time City did come perilously close; Josh Everard fashioning space in the box to fire in a powerful effort that Ossai saved well at close range. There were no complaints about the final result, or the Guildford City performance against a side playing one level higher. We wish Godalming well as they progress in the competition; a cup they have won twice in the last seven seasons.
Team: Liam Beach, Tom Booth, Bradley Pegg, Matt York, Martin Dynan, Harry Driver (Josh Everard 75), Andy Ottley, Curtis George (Nathan Chambers 61), Connor French (Darren Caesar 61), Sam Wright, Adam Nditi. Unused subs: Jack Collins, Josh Drew.
Referee: Matt Eva
Attendance – 296