Guildford City (1) 1, AFC Varndeanians (1) 2
by Barry Underwood
For the second consecutive season City’s interest in the FA Cup was ended by a Step 6 club. For Guildford this was a big day; the return to the Spectrum after 15 months away. A lot of work had gone into making the venue spick and span and there was much anticipation for the return. Perhaps the events of the day got to the players, because beyond doubt this was a disappointing result. Varndeanians for their part may be a step 6 club but they haven’t lost a game of football since February, and they despatched another Step 5 side Crowborough in the last round. Guildford couldn’t have had a better start. After 50 seconds a deep corner was met by Cyril Ocansey who shot home from the edge of the box. For a short while the Brighton side were rocking and Eli Ogunseye raced through before crossing to Darryl Siaw whose effort was blocked at close range by Tom Bradford. Gradually Varndeanians settled and they began to enjoy considerable possession. On the half hour City had a golden chance to go further ahead. Cyril Ocansey’s pace took him clear and his attempt at a lob bounced just wide of the post. Minutes later Ocansey crossed and Eli Ogunseye mishit a volley that bobbled wide. It was no real surprise on the balance of play when the visitor’s equalised. A low ball into the box gave Joe Keehan time to pick his spot in the corner.
City for their part also had plenty of the ball but too often were guilty of squandering possession. But there were still chances. On 54 minutes from a good position Benga Ogunseye elected to find a better shooting position but defending bodies were back and the chance was lost. A minute later Cyril Ocansey battled through on the left but his effort was saved by Bradford’s legs. On 66 minutes, and with City’s best move of the match, Eli Ogunseye was slid through by Ocansey. Eli elected to round the keeper but his touch was a little heavy and again the chance was lost. Within minutes Benga Ogunseye saw a shot saved for a corner. Surely a goal would come. Well yes it did but for the visitors. A long free-kick was met by Keehan’s head and Matt Waterman was on hand to net from close range. Varndeanians to their credit saw the game out in professional fashion, and a frustrated City side found it hard to make inroads. Stuart Norman saved well from a long range shot but the only remaining “excitement” came when Eli Ogunseye was shown a stoppage time red card for retaliation. A frustrating day for City. Not a fluent performance but still plenty of chances from which they might have won the game.
Team: Stuart Norman, Sean Mason, Isy Nzelo, Jamie Phillips (Ben Cotton 76), Leevan Sullivan (Josh Everard 83), Luke Beale, Eli Ogunseye, Ryan Dacres-Smith, Benga Ogunseye, Darryl Siaw (Josh Ogunseye 70), Cyril Ocansey. Unused subs: Billy Irving, Kayo Koney, Dan Hurlow, Zack Basey.
Referee: Mark Millard
Attendance – 134