Guildford City (0) 0, Raynes Park Vale (1) 1
Match Report by Barry Underwood.
Guildford City fell to a disappointing defeat on Wednesday in a match frankly of few highlights. The game actually had the look of a goalless draw but in the end a solitary goal from Asi Okai after 37 minutes was enough to give Raynes Park the points. The visitors are this seasons Combined Counties League FA Cup heroes having disposed of Ryman League Ramsgate, and only narrowly losing at Billericay, despite having just ten men for the majority of the match. Raynes Park also possess the league’s meanest defence and that was evident at the Spectrum. Fresh from an enterprising and attacking performance at Cove, the City attack found themselves blunted by the highly organised and efficient Vale backline.
Both sides failed to settle in the early stages but it was Guildford who had the first serious attack on goal. Edward Boateng surged forward from midfield and was brought down some 30 yards out from goal. Ben Rayner took the resulting free-kick and debutant centre-back Jordan Phillips glanced the ball wide. The visitors had a similar opportunity when Tommy Tydeman halted a Vale attack in vigorous fashion, and Paul Roberts resultant free-kick was drilled just wide. Midway through the half, after careful approach play, Carlton Murray-Price played Ben Rayner through at an angle but he was caught off balance and his early effort curled just wide. Much of the threat at either end was coming from set pieces and on 30 minutes Ed Boateng’s free-kick was comfortably saved by Sam Filler, whilst two minutes later Vale’s Shane McEntaggart lifted his shot over the bar after a corner. As if to sum up City’s fortune the final result was determined by two moments, both after 37 minutes. Firstly Anthony Baker’s long throw into the box was back headed by Carlton Murray-Price onto the back post, where it rebounded out and was cleared. Within seconds the ball was at the other end. Vale had space on the left to cross the ball across the six yard box. Eventually the ball fell to Ato Okai beyond the back post who drilled home through a mass of bodies.
The match continued in the same vein after the interval with few clear chances created at either end, although in truth it was Vale that looked the most likely to add to their lead. Anthony Baker had a good opportunity when he collected Khari Oriogun’s pin point free-kick in the six yard box but the ball rang away from him as he tried to get a shot away. On the hour Carlton Murray-Price came close when he headed Oriogun’s corner just over. With City still probing for an equaliser, Tommy Tydeman tracked back to make a fantastic covering tackle in the box which kept City in the game. Guildford’s approach became more desperate as the game came to its conclusion and Murray-Price saw an effort go just wide after he shot on the turn from the edge of the box. Perhaps City’s best chance fell in the last minute. A deft touch from Ryan Wallis set up Murray-Price in a good position but sadly his powerful effort passed just the wrong side of the post.
Team: Antony Hall, Anthony Bridgeman (Liam Talbot 85), Cory Knight, Jordan Phillips, Tommy Tydeman (Navid Zandi 72), Ben Rayner, Anthony Baker, Edward Boateng, Carlton Murray-Price, Khari Oriogun (Ryan Wallis 80), Bruce McPhail. Unused subs: Junior Alade, George Baldwin.
Referee: Luis Pinto Nunes
Attendance – 73
Match Day Photographs are available here