Guildford City 0 – 3 Thatcham Town

After twelve pre-season friendlies and league matches on the road, City finally returned home to the Spectrum to face a Thatcham Town side themselves looking to bounce back from a heavy defeat at the weekend. The early period of the game saw both sides probing but without significant outcome at either end. The first real effort on goal came after 11 minutes when George Bowerman’s long range effort was comfortably saved by Ashley West in the visitor’s goal. A minute later Calvin Thomas won a midfield challenge to supply Bowerman but his first time effort comfortably cleared the crossbar. City’s best moment of the first half saw skipper Ben Walshe slide a delightful ball to Dominic Ogun on the right, and his equally delightful cross just eluded George Bowerman’s outstretched foot, when possibly a headed attempt was more viable. Thatcham though were winning many of the midfield battles and constantly looked lively up front. Alex Charlick for the visitor’s saw a glorious 35 yard effort graze the crossbar with Aaron Bufton beaten, and minutes later only a full stretch effort from Tom Mudge prevented a close range goal-scoring chance. Guildford though were not having any luck in front of goal. Firstly Bowerman pulled a shot wide from a good position, and then the hard-working Pat Cox in space on the left under hit his attempted lob over the keeper. Just sadly just as half-time approached City were caught on the break; Sam Hamilton evading offside to slide the ball past Bufton.

Manager Dean Thomas introduced Andrew Dalhouse and Kambo Smith after the interval in an attempt to forge the vital breakthrough. It was Thatcham though that dominated the possession in the second half. And on 54 minutes they scored a second goal. Defensive indecision giving Alex Charlick the opportunity to shoot home from 15 yards. The evening’s final defining moment came on 70 minutes. Big striker Andrew Dalhouse found space to smash a powerful effort against the crossbar from 20 yards. The rebound came straight back to Dalhouse, who thumped the ball back goalward only to see it once again smash against the crossbar. Minutes later in a brief period of pressure Kambo Smith got to the by-line on the left and his cross into the six yard box was hooked clear. If the home side had scored at this point with twenty minutes remaining the result could perhaps have been different. However predictably perhaps City were made to pay and after 78 minutes Charlick’s 30 yard effort was heavily deflected past Bufton to give the visitor’s an unassailable lead. Three attempts on goal in the final moments proved this was not to be City’s evening in front of goal. Firstly Dalhouse’s low cross just eluded a stretching Pat Cox in the six yard box. Seconds later Dalhouse won a header in the box that dribbled inches wide of the post, and finally after a one-two with Ben Walshe, Calvin Thomas’s powerful shot went straight to the keeper. It was obviously not to be for City on the night, and thankfully with a fast turn round they have chance to make amends against Yate Town on Saturday.

Team: Aaron Bufton, Josh Clayman, Tuan West, Tom Mudge, Ryan Bernard, Calvin Thomas, Kieran Burrell (Kambo Smith 45), Ben Walshe, George Bowerman (Andrew Dalhouse 45), Pat Cox, Dominic Ogun (Darren Evans 73). Unused Subs: Bruce McPhail, Will Dukes.

Referee: Matthew Lee

Attendance – 83