Guildford City 2 – 2 Evesham United: Match Report

A dramatic afternoon at The Spectrum saw City pick up their first point at home since September in a game which saw five red cards and four goals between the two teams. Kevin Rayner made one change to the side that lost against Bridgwater Town last week as Darren Stapleton replaced Lance Banton-Brown during Evesham’s second Surrey encounter in four days as the Worcestershire club visited Godalming in midweek.  The opening exchanges saw largely a midfield battle however City had the first opportunity to break the deadlock as Kevaugn Ward shot from right hand side; however it flew comfortably over John Bateman’s bar. However City couldn’t capitalise on this as Evesham drew the first blood of the game. After Elliot Kennedy came close when his low hard shot fell into Antony Hall’s arms, Evesham earned a free kick from just outside the penalty box which James Vercesi heading straight past Hall with 13 minutes played.  Evesham pushed for a second goal but City’s defence was resilient, however the visitors did come close when Edward Williams’ free kick was blocked by the wall. However this would be Williams’ final impact on the game as he was shown a red card for fouling the last man just outside the penalty box, resulting in an almost replicate free kick that Williams had just taken. But this time, City’s captain Ben Walshe found the back of the net in emphatic fashion as his thunderous shot flew into the top left corner with 23 minutes played. City continued to battle well to stop any Evesham chances with Dammy Bada dominating the right wing, as well as Kevaugn Ward posing a threat up front but both defences were at their best to stop any attacks. But, City did break through and take the lead on 38 minutes. A perfect through ball to Anthony Bridgeman saw his first time shot slot past Evesham ‘keeper John Bateman into the left hand corner to put City in front. City even had two chances to make it three soon after but Dom Ogun’s header travelled just wide of goal and moments later Bridgeman’s shot was blocked by Bateman after some good link up play from Kevaugn Ward. Soon after though Bridgeman was dismissed by the referee as he and Evesham’s Allton Axton were both shown red cards after an Evesham attack was stopped by the referee’s whistle. With no apparent clear foul committed for both teams, this lead to confusion amongst both players and fans as the half ended with City down to ten men and three players sent off in total.

Half time   Guildford 2 – 1 Evesham United

The second half began with chances from both sides; Dom Ogun had a shot that travelled just wide after being put through on the left, and Evesham’s Linden Dovey saw his header just miss the target. However City came the closest to going further in front as a run from Dom Ogun down the left channel saw him pass to Kevaugn Ward in the centre but his shot was brilliantly cleared off the line at full stretch. But it was the visitors who scored the next goal of the game which also saw the match’s fourth red card, this time Elvis Defreitas was the victim as he appeared to have caused a foul in the box. The referee signalled for a penalty and Evesham’s captain Richard Mansell stepped up and scored with a cool finish on 62 minutes. Things got worse for City as they then found themselves down to 8 men as Darren Stapleton saw his second yellow of the game after tackle on the last man in the penalty area. This gave Evesham confidence using their one man advantage to inspire many chances to take the lead. Substitutes Marcus Palmer and Lance Smith were notably linking up well for the visitors as between them they had many opportunities to score but Antony Hall was there to keep them at bay, producing in particular one superb save from a Palmer shot.
The game quietened down towards the end in comparison to the first half, but City did have a chance to gain all three points through Dom Ogun, but his shot from distance didn’t have enough power in order to create an impact and was easily caught by Evesham ‘keeper John Bateman. Although Guildford finished the game with eight men, they managed to hold on for a good point after a dramatic first half and a bout of Evesham pressure towards the end.

Team: Antony Hall, Dammy Bada, Darren Stapleton, Elvis Defreitas, Jamie Thoroughgood, Ben Rayner, Bruce McPhail, Ben Walshe (Danny Williams 29), Kevaugn Ward (Joe Thoroughgood 85), Antony Bridgeman, Dom Ogun. Unused subs: Aaron Hennessy.

Yellow cards: Danny Williams

Red cards: Antony Bridgeman, Elvis Defreitas, Darren Stapleton (two yellows)

Referee: Mark Lucie

Attendance – 78