Guildford City (0) 0, Sutton Common Rovers (0) 1
by Barry Underwood
On a sunny but bitterly cold day, Guildford returned to their early season habit of playing some great football, creating chances but sadly not taking them, and subsequently falling to defeat from one of SCR’s only two chances. But SCR are not battling in the promotion places for no reason. Although they will certainly have played better this season, they were organised and defended well, but most importantly were clinical to take one of their few chances. City manager Chris Balchin watched the match from the Spectrum car park courtesy of a stadium ban but he was delighted with the way his side played excepting losing the match to a late goal from a rare City mistake. City opened really brightly and they might well have taken the lead on four minutes when Kiye Martin gave Shawn Clement-Peter a clear shooting chance that Callum Hodgson saved well. Minutes later a high bouncing ball caused confusion in the visitor’s defence which gave Kiye Martin space for a shot but his dragged effort drifted across goal. On 11 minutes Kieran Campbell opted for a more direct approach and his 30 yard effort brushed the top of the crossbar as it cleared the goal. The home side came close twice more in the opening quarter of the game; Shawn Clement-Peter had a shot saved, and Dan Stewart saw a looping header clear the keeper but also the crossbar. As the half developed SCR saw more of the ball but were unable to create a significant opening. For City Jordan Gallagher cut in only to see his effort blocked at full stretch, whilst Kieran Campbell and Shawn Clement-Peter both saw efforts go wide of the post.
City again came close in the opening minutes of the second period. A carefully flighted chip from Kiye Martin cleared the crossbar, whilst from a corner Shawn Clement-Peter misjudged his header and a Guildford boot wasn’t able to turn the ball home in the ensuing scramble. On 68 minutes a home free-kick into the box saw Nemo Adams and Luke Beale go for the same ball causing their joint effort to go wide of the goal. Minutes later SCR had their best chance of the game to that point. A deep cross to the back post was just too high for Asa Rixon-Nicholls who couldn’t get his header on target. On 78 minutes though the visitor’s scored what proved to be the match winning goal. City spurned two opportunities to clear the ball, and when Sam Johnson laid the ball square Daryl Cooper-Smith made no mistake from 15 yards. The pessimists in the crowd had feared just such a situation, and SCR were wise enough not to let the points slip away after taking a hard earned lead. Nemo Adams had one last chance but saw his header go wide of the post. When the final whistle was blown by the excellent Sam Gregory, City was mightily disappointed not to get something from the game but they can take great heart from their performance.
Team: Mohammed Sampat, Chris Tancock, Josh Burrowes, Luke Beale, Nemo Adams, Louie Downey, Shawn Clement-Peter, Kiye Martin, Kieran Campbell (George Pilbeam 65), Jordan Gallagher (Evander Lopes 75), Dan Stewart. Unused subs: David Opoku, Robbie Mundow.
Referee: Sam Gregory
Attendance – 64
*Photographs courtesy of Gary Brigden