Guildford City (0) 1, Swindon Supermarine (1) 1
by Barry Underwood
Despite a more than spirited performance against promotion chasing Supermarine the relegation trap door finally opened for Guildford City as rivals Fleet gained a vital three points. When news from Calthorpe Park filtered through the atmosphere at the Spectrum was both melancholic and optimistic. Over the Easter weekend the City players had given their all with two fine performances and at the final whistle yesterday, with relegation now confirmed, there was both an audible and visible outpouring of pride for the players and the club in general. The Sweeney were out in force, vocally supporting their club from early, and during the second-half the singing in support of the lads was almost non-stop. Of course as well as all the outpourings of emotion a football match had also taken place.
In such an important game it was vital that City got off to a good start and it very nearly went wrong in the first minute; a powerful effort from the edge of the box being tipped over at full stretch by Antony Hall. For much of the first period City found themselves sitting deep, seemingly inviting Swindon to come to them. Antony Hall made another excellent diving save after eight minutes, but he couldn’t do anything when Chris Taylor smashed in a 35 yard pile driver right into the top corner of the net.
For City a Jack Guilford header forced a diving save from Sam Warrell, but in turn Swindon’s Bradley Gray fired in an attempt that glanced off the crossbar. In the minutes just prior to the interval City came to life in front of goal. In a remarkable spell Jack Guilford’s goalbound header was parried by Warrell and from the rebound another cross came into the box which again Guilford met with his head only to be denied again by Warrell at close range. Seconds before the half-time whistle a fine Andy White effort was saved low down by Warrell who in the space of three minutes had kept his side in the lead.
Half-time Guildford City 0, Swindon Supermarine 1
A minute into the half Scott Todd found space on the right to deliver a delightfully curling cross that was just too high for Andy White and Joel Hughes in the box. Josh Parsons and Bradley Gray both had chances for the visitors, the latter saved by Antony Hall’s legs.
On 63 minutes Joel Hughes latched onto a loose ball wide on the left. After using his strength to cut in he laid the ball off to Alex Afful on the edge of the box. With time to pick his spot Afful snatched at the chance and his effort sliced over the crossbar. With the Sweeney singing in the rain from the “Bus Shelter” the team responded, and with Jamie Thoroughgood pushed up front for the final stages, Guildford were pushing hard.
On 85 minutes City made their breakthrough. Anthony Bridgeman hooked the ball forward under pressure for Andy White to win a physical battle with the Swindon defence. After turning inside the covering defender he calmly slotted the ball under the advancing Warrell. With five minutes remaining City still pushed forward looking for the winner. Inevitably gaps were to be found at the back and on 88 minutes Antony Hall saved at close range.
In the final minute there were astonishing scenes. Swindon’s Josh Parson’s broke free and seemingly slotted home a late winner. With the visiting players jubilant, many of the City players surrounded the assistant vehemently drawing attention to a handball in the build-up. At length after considerable discussion and to Swindon’s fury the goal was overturned, and both sides had to settle for a point.
Team: Antony Hall, Bruce McPhail, Alex Afful (Dammy Bada 63), Matt Oldring, Jamie Thoroughgood, Tom Penson, Scott Todd (Anthony Bridgeman 63), Jack Guilford, Andy White, Joel Hughes, Dominic Ogun. Unused subs: Aaron Hennessy.
Yellow cards: Tom Penson, Matt Oldring.
Red cards: Nil
Referee: Louis Marks
Attendance – 94
City manager Kev Rayner gaves his reactions to Ian about the game, the Tiverton game, the season, next season & confirming he will be staying on as manager next season. Listen to the interview here
Jamie Thoroughgood and defender Matthew Oldring also interviewed here
Match Photographs are Here