Guildford City (2) 2, Frimley Green (2) 3
By Barry Underwood.
Not for the first time this season, or indeed the second time, Guildford City managed to lose a game after having held a winning position. Twice City took the lead, and twice they were pulled back, before conceding a second half goal that consigned them to their fifth straight league defeat. Mistakes continue to be a factor in City’s struggles. Too often the ball is lost cheaply in the City half, and another goalkeeping error saw Frimley Green on the score sheet at a time when the home side were gaining in confidence having scored an early goal.
Straight from kick-off City lost possession in their own half; resulting in Frimley winning a free-kick on the edge of the home box, Antony Hall though was alert to the danger and palmed the fierce effort over the crossbar. Having seen off this early danger City took the lead after five minutes. Bruce McPhail’s great through ball set Anthony Baker clear. After skipping round Jamie Cunningham in the visitor’s goal he side footed home to claim his third goal of the season. The visitor’s always looked lively in attack and it took a great covering tackle from 18 year old Jordan Phillips to prevent a goal scoring opportunity. Frimley Green were not to be denied for long, although their equaliser after 15 minutes had a good deal of fortune about it, after Martin Girling’s thunderbolt from 40 yards squirmed through Antony Hall’s hands and trickled agonisingly over the line. Fortunately for City they were back in front within a minute. McPhail’s cross was flicked on by Ryan Wallis, and skipper Ben Rayner was on hand to half volley home from 15 yards; Ben’s 31st goal for the club in his 200th appearance. There were further opportunities at both ends. Antony Hall’s fine save was followed by Frimley’s Andy Newcombe driving a free-kick just wide of the post. For City Anthony Baker was set free on the left. He found Ryan Wallis 20 yards from goal but his effort was blocked by the covering defence. It was no surprise to regular watchers that City should then concede seconds before the half-time whistle. Bruce McPhail was unlucky to be called up for a foul just inside his own half, and from the free-kick the ball was flicked on for Nathan Thomas to volley home from eight yards.
City fashioned two efforts on goal in the opening minutes of the second period with Anthony Baker and Navid Zandi both shooting wide. However the free-flowing aspect of the first half had gone and the game had descended into a niggly, attritional affair. City weren’t helped by the impressive Jordan Phillips limping off on the hour and as City huffed and puffed going forward, it was Frimley Green who looked the livelier of the sides going forward. It was no great surprise therefore when Nick Thumbwood broke free to lift the ball over Hall to put the visitors ahead. An air of desperation became evident as City realised that another match was slipping away. John Barrow saw a couple of long range efforts comfortably saved, whilst Sam Spencer saw an effort from the edge of the box curl just over. Shortly after Tom Penson’s 35 yard effort sailed high and wide, the final whistle blew to mark another Guildford City defeat.
Team: Antony Hall, Bruce McPhail, Tom Penson, Liam Harwood, Jordan Phillips (Liam Talbot 60), Ben Rayner (John Barrow 79), Anthony Baker, Edward Boateng, Sam Spencer, Ryan Wallis (Junior Alade 60), Navid Zandi.
Referee: Clifton Richards
Attendance – 88