Guildford City (2) 2, Westfield (0) 3
Match Report by Barry Underwood
For the second time in three home matches Guildford City somehow managed to squander a two goal lead, and then fall to defeat to a penalty deep in stoppage time. Make no mistake this was a game City should have won comfortably. A sparkling first half performance saw the home side go in at the interval two goals to the good, with the City defence, including the returnees Ray Guilford and Liam Harwood, comfortably restricting the visitor’s attack. Two weeks ago at the Spectrum, City gave up a similar two goal lead to Spelthorne and eventually fell to a last ditch penalty. To witness a repeat episode was cruel indeed for City players, officials and the Sweeney who watched the unfolding drama disbelievingly.
City’s first real chance on goal fell to new boy Stefan Joseph. Sam Spencer’s slide rule pass saw Joseph gain half a yard on the defence but a last ditch defensive toe saw the chance disappear. Minutes later the same player headed over from Anthony Baker’s cross and Sam Spencer’s cross from the left hit the top of the crossbar. City were looking sharp with Jack Guilford and Ben Rayner enjoying plenty of possession in midfield. The seemingly inevitable first goal came on 20 minutes from the left boot of Jordan Taylor; his first goal for the club. Taking the ball from the right edge of the box, Taylor cut past two defenders and fired home low into the corner. City kept up the momentum and on 33 minutes Anthony Baker was brought down in the box as he tried to repeat Taylor’s goal scoring move. Up stepped Sam Spencer to fire City further ahead from the spot. Rob Griffiths did head wide for Westfield but it was City who were posing the problems and a minute before the interval Stefan Joseph did well to cut into the area but his effort went tamely wide.
Guildford City has now conceded 17 goals in five competitive matches this season. Almost 50% of these goals have been conceded between the 40th and 55th minutes of the matches in question. This was once again the case as Westfield, somewhat fortuitously, were awarded an indirect free-kick just 12 yards out from goal. Substitute Shaun Lydon didn’t waste the opportunity drilling a low effort into the net via post and defender on the line. Game on then and when Shaun Elliot scored an excellent goal from 30 yards to bring the scores level the momentum was with the visitors. Sam Spencer netted for City but very unluckily a linesman’s flag halted any celebration. Andy Greaves saved well with his body in the City goal but for much of the remainder of the game the chances were falling to the home side. On 74 minutes Craig Bradshaw pulled off a quite fantastic flying save to thwart Jack Guilford, with Sam Spencer firing the resultant rebound over the bar. A minute later a great run by Stefan Joseph saw Ben Rayner receive the ball in space in front of goal. Strangely he was facing the wrong way when the ball arrived and his rather tame effort was comfortably saved. With the minutes ticking down tension was increasing as Guildford’s chance after chance came and went. Anthony Baker was hugely unlucky when his volleyed effort was ruled out for offside, and later still a fantastic free-kick from Ben Rayner somehow eluded Liam Harwood when it seemed that he must make contact just yards out from goal. Rayner himself headed wide in the fourth minute of stoppage time, but a minute later with just seconds remaining Westfield’s Shaun Elliott went down in the box. The referee had no hesitation and up stepped Liam Parrington to break City’s hearts……..yet again!
Team: Andy Greaves, Elvis Defreitas, Bruce McPhail, Liam Harwood, Ray Guilford, Ben Rayner, Anthony Baker (Nuno Pereira, 85), Jack Guilford, Sam Spencer (Lamin Bah, 77), Stefan Joseph, Jordan Taylor. Unused subs: Junior Alade, Yacine Moussi, Ryan Wallis.
Yellow cards: Ray Guilford, Jack Guilford, Stefan Joseph
Referee: Luke Donaldson
Attendance – 109
Match day Photographs are on-line here
Post Match Interview with Kevin Rayner Here
And Nuno Periera Here