Guildford City (0) 0, Badshot Lea (1) 1
by Barry Underwood
Guildford’s transitional period under new manager Paul Barnes continued at the Spectrum on Saturday, in a game where the home side were unlucky to finish on the wrong end of the result. From the kick-off City played positively and twice in the early moments they carved out half chances that keeper Kallum Lunn saved comfortably. The home side were set back on their heels on seven minutes when a mix up in defence gave Jake Hawker the chance to lift the ball over Stuart Norman from outside the area and into the net. Still recovering from going behind Guildford looked vulnerable for a period. Firstly, a Badshot effort from outside the box hit the joint of post and bar, and then on 20 minutes England Schoolboy international Dean Rule raced clear only to be foiled by an excellent cover tackle from David Burton. Immediately City responded when Max Oldham fed Cyril Ocansey in space, but his effort went narrowly wide. Then an excellent near-post corner moments later was missed by two onrushing City players and another goalscoring opportunity was lost. City still pushed forward with a Fred Hill free kick comfortably saved and then on 36 minutes a more contentious moment. Harvey Kirk won the race to the ball on the right-hand edge of the box. His attempted lob dropped just wide of the goal, but many present felt that the follow through challenge on Kirk was both a foul and inside the box. But the referee felt otherwise on both accounts, and the game commenced with a goal-kick. Guildford maintained their momentum and Mike Coppinger set Cyril Ocansey free just prior to the break. Sadly, the speedy forward pondered too long on his options and was dispossessed by a fast-arriving defender.
With five substitutes allowed in the Fripp-Smith Trophy there was a raft of changes after the break, and perhaps this led to a less flowing half of football. But Guildford still carved out a number of half chances. Cyril Ocansey had to stretch too far from a corner, and from a free-kick Dave Burton’s glancing header forced Lunn into a save at the foot of his post. On the hour Max Oldham’s deep cross was met on the volley by Coppinger who was unable to generate enough power to worry the keeper. On 66 minutes it appeared that Badshot Lea had wrapped up the game. From a corner the ball was headed towards goal and converted by a player who evidently was in an offside position. With just two minutes remaining Cyril Ocansey headed over in front of goal and it just hadn’t been his or City’s day.
Team: Stuart Norman (Mike McEntegart 46), Isy Nzelo, Fred Hill, Josh Everard (Prince Mbengui 60), David Burton Jamie Higgins, Harvey Kirk (Ruairi Byrne 61), Max Oldham, Mike Coppinger, Cyril Ocansey, Ryan Ferrari (Anselme Daho 65). Unused sub: Sean Mason.
Referee: Nigel Owen
MATCHDAY PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL BURGMAN