Cooper & Moody Help Guildford Bounce Back
By Tom Wellman
Guildford City got back to winning ways last night as Badshot Lea were beaten with relative comfort in a 2-0 victory, with the hosts returning to the top of the table in the process. A Simon Cooper wonder strike and a Dan Moody penalty settled the game in front of a bumper crowd of 130 spectators at the Spectrum.
Manager, Kevin Rayner, described the win as ‘totally the right response’, following Guildford’s first league defeat of the season last week to Colliers Wood United, which resulted in them dropping two places to third in the league.
But Rayner believed that ‘the performance was much improved’ from that in Merton and it showed as Guildford came away with the right result.
After an uneventful first half hour, Simon Cooper began proceedings on 34 minutes with a crisp strike into the top corner from 20 yards following a lay off from Will Heavey. Many superlatives could have been used to describe Cooper’s goal; his manager chose ‘quality’.
In an opening 45 minutes blighted with constant offside decisions and tame shooting, Cooper provided the crowd with something to remember on one such day in which we do just that.
Cooper, Camara and Heavey all tested Badshot custodian, Roy Emmerson, after the interval but every effort ended up in his arms each time. Emmerson did get down well however to prevent Cooper doubling his tally with a smart save to his left as the Guildford goal scorer hit from range again.
Badshot rarely threatened in a match dominated by the hosts, but did cause a minor scare when Marcus Cousins fell under a challenge from Chaplin, but the referee waved play on. Realistically, the only route back into the match for Badshot would have been a set piece as they created very little in front of goal, instead frustrating Guildford at the other end.
The lead became two in the 74th minute as Dan Moody sent Emmerson the wrong way from the spot after substitute Joel Greaves fell under the Badshot keeper’s clumsy challenge for a high ball. Game settled, Guildford pushed for the third and came close minutes later when Greaves – making his first apperance fir the club since his return – saw his shot tipped over by Emmerson.
Rayner was quick to applaud his team’s dominance post-match. ‘It was vital we put it right tonight and I thought first half we dominated, had some good possession and I was more than happy’.
Lance Banton-Brown started his second game of the season last night and his boss was full of praise regarding his performance. ‘Yeah, I thought he was awesome, you know you’ve been in a game if you come up against him!’
And on a final note, with 130 through the turnstiles on a cold, November night, Rayner believes Friday matches can become a success. ‘There’s no other distractions and we get a lot of the other clubs come down and it certainly increases the crowd. The lads seem to enjoy playing in them… except for last week!’
City can now put their feet up and await the visit of Farnham Town on Wednesday, intent on building another unbeaten run following a brief bumpy period.
Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Ben Rayner, Simon Cooper [capt], Tony Chaplin, Corey Holder, Dan Moody, Ben Camara, Lance Banton-Brown (Austin Gacheru 63), Jack Guilford (Joel Greaves 63), Will Heavey (Joel Hughes 75).
Unused substitutes: Martin Debrah, Michael Hall
Cautioned: Antony Hall
Referee: A. Groves