Guildford City (0) 0, Sutton Common Rovers (0) 1
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City’s early season problem of not converting pressure into goals struck again at the Spectrum. There was very little wrong with City’s performance, and that they didn’t win this game was annoying; that they lost it was very frustrating indeed. The home side were, as an opposing player later said, “mugged”. The visitors enjoyed the first 15 minutes of the match firing in a number of efforts on goal that zipped just wide, or just over the crossbar. Thereafter Rovers barely had a sight of goal as Guildford gradually grew in confidence. On 18 minutes Mario Embalo latched onto a long clearance to fire a fierce shot goal ward which was well held by Craig Bradshaw. Minutes later Shawn Lyle’s fine run and cut back saw Rashid Obbadi smash a shot from 15 yards against the crossbar. On the half-hour the in-form Leon Lalor-Dell crossed low into the danger area and from a half clearance Shawn Lyle’s overhead kick when harmlessly wide. A similar attack on the left saw Alex Rose storming forward and his excellent low cross was half-cleared at full stretch before Dan Akinwande put the loose ball wide. Just prior to the interval Rose again fired over a low cross and this time Leon Lalor-Dell shot goal ward forcing Bradshaw into a smart reaction save.
The second-half continued in the same vein. On 52 minutes the overlapping Alex Rose cut in and blazed a shot over the crossbar when perhaps a cross was a wiser option. During the second period Guildford forced a succession of corners and free-kicks which were conceded by an over worked Rovers defence. Twice City players slipped on the greasy surface in the act of shooting and for all their pressure the home side couldn’t find a way through. If you are a Guildford supporter it was almost inevitable that when the goal came it would be for the visitors. It came on 81 minutes and it was a splendid goal. A brilliant cross from wide out on the left across the edge of the six yard box found 17 year old Matt Auletta whose run in behind the defence allowed him to tuck the ball in inside the near post. Although knocked onto their heels by going behind, City came straight back and should have immediately equalised. A teasing ball into the box from Lalor-Dell was missed in front of goal by Terence Cariba who admittedly was under heavy pressure. City pushed players forward in the late stages to try and get something from the game. Inevitably this left gaps at the back and Michael Campbell twice came close to sealing the victory. This was at the end of the day just one of those games. Rugby coaches hold great store in the performance of their sides, saying that if the performance is there the results will come. There can be little doubt that if City play as they did here for the rest of the season they will win far more games than they lose.
Team: Luke Badiali, Suleiman Djalo, Alex Rose (Jacob Lambe 85), Greg Haydon, Tom Booth, Dan Akinwande, Lee Hall, Rashid Obbadi (Kiye Martin 56), Mario Embalo, Shawn Lyle (Terence Cariba 80), Leon Lalor-Dell. Unused sub: Jordan Goater.
Referee: Reuben Simon
Attendance – 65