Match report by Alice Curtis.
A feisty Wey Valley Derby under the lights saw Guildford and Godalming battle in unfavourable rainy conditions as both sides shared the points in this lively encounter. Kevin Rayner made two changes to the side who won against Clevedon with Lance Banton-Brown and Darren Stapleton coming back into the side as City looked to earn back to back wins at The Spectrum.
A high tempo start opened the first 15 minutes as both sides passed the ball well despite the difficult conditions. A long range effort from Joel Greaves saw City’s first attempt on goal but it fell straight into the arms of Godalming ‘keeper Zaki Dualah, before Darren Stapleton’s long free kick was cleared after it headed dangerously into the box. City continued to have the best chances of the opening exchanges as Dammy Bada made an impressive long run down the middle but Dom Ogun couldn’t find the target from his resulting pass.
Lance Banton-Brown then had the chance to get his name on the score sheet but his cross shot was tipped over by Zaki Dualah. But this hard work was overshadowed when Jamie Thoroughgood was shown a red card with 16 minutes played after a challenge on the last man. Godalming then had the opportunity to go one up from the resulting free kick but Jack Broome’s effort narrowly flew over the crossbar.
The visitors used their one man advantage as a chance to draw the first blood of the game dominating the right wing with a handful of throw ins and free kicks, but Dammy Bada controlled the Guildford defence to see off any danger. The game quieted down in terms of chances until the end of the first half as a Sam Spencer corner forced Zaki Dualah to punch the shot away, then at the other end of the pitch Antony Hall denied Godalming’s Graeme Purdy with a great save to keep the score line goalless at the break.
Half time Guildford City 0 – 0 Godalming Town
The second half started in dramatic fashion as a foul just inside the box saw Godalming earn a penalty kick. Graeme Purdy stepped up to the spot but Antony Hall parried the shot behind for a corner fantastically denying the Godalming striker. However Godalming piled a lot of pressure onto the home side earning a succession of corners which were dangerously delivered by Jack Broome, one of note which seemed to be heading to the back of the net but the referee signaled for a foul in Guildford’s favour.
Godalming continued to create a lot of chances but lacked that clinical edge in the final third; again Jack Broome was notably linking up well with the two forwards before a Chris Musgrove header rattled the crossbar. But of the clear chances the visitors did have Antony Hall was there to defuse their efforts, pulling off a great triple save from three quick successive shots. But then Godalming were also reduced to ten men as Graeme Purdy was dismissed for a foul on the City ‘keeper just after the hour mark. This spurred Guildford to create some chances of their own as Andy White found himself through on goal but he shot straight at the Godalming ‘keeper, before a Tom Williams free kick was caught by Dualah from the right. Antony Hall was again at Guildford’s rescue to whisk away a Godalming corner and then Chris Musgrove saw his attempt from 25 yards fantastically blocked by the Guildford ‘keeper.
However City were reduced to 9 men as the game saw its third red card as Darren Stapleton was sent off with 7 minutes remaining after a challenge on Godalming captain Gavin Miller. The game ended with the visitors on top but they couldn’t find that decisive chance to earn them the win. Antony Hall was again called into action in the dying moments as he caught Chris Wales’ last gasp attempt to put the visitors ahead. The game ended goalless thanks to a heroic performance from Antony Hall to give City’s nine men a hard earned point.
Team: Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Dammy Bada, Tom Williams, Jamie Thoroughgood, Ben Rayner, Darren Stapleton, Lance Banton-Brown (Bruce McPhail 78), Sam Spencer (Andy White 66), Joel Greaves (Ryan Wallis 90), Dom Ogun. Unused subs: James Jewers, Danny Williams.
Yellow Cards: Antony Hall, Andy White
Red Cards: Jamie Thoroughgood, Darren Stapleton (two yellows)
Referee: Sam Ogles
Attendance – 163