Guildford City (2) 2, Cobham (1) 1
by Barry Underwood
Sometimes you lose a match that you deserved to win. On other occasions you win a match that might well have gone the other way! This clash against Cobham at Wey Court was of the latter variety. It was a match with thrills, spills, controversy and a wonder goal. It was also a tetchy match that finished with Guildford having only nine players on the field following red cards for Nemo Adams and Dan Band.
From the off the visitors played good football and enjoyed good possession. But despite the visitors good start it was Guildford that quickly got on the scoreboard. Billy Irving had already made an excellent defensive clearance but after just five minutes Nathaniel Williams and Isy Nzelo combined on the left to give Kyen Nicholas a free header in front of goal. Nicholas made no mistake. On 10 minutes the visitors came close when following a corner they shot over the bar. On 16 minutes Guildford extended their lead and what a goal this was. Stuart Norman’s early clearance was taken on the chest by Kyen Nicholas. The big striker swivelled and from fully 40 yards he hit a dipping half-volley over the bemused Lee Norman in the Cobham goal and into the net. City enjoyed a good spell after the second goal, and nice play from Benga Ogunseye almost gave Nicholas an early hat-trick; his first time effort whistling just past the post. On the half hour the nature of the game changed. Guildford players were incandescent when a penalty was awarded for a foul by Stuart Norman on an opposing striker. They like City supporters felt that the Cobham player had made the most of his opportunity. Nevertheless penalty it was and Chris Davis drove the spot kick home to reduce the arrears. Just prior to the interval Bobby Webbe saw a 30 yard free-kick saved by the keeper but the match had become bad tempered.
The second-half continued in much the same vein. Cobham still enjoyed good possession but were unable to seriously trouble the City backline. Guildford had a half-chance on 56 minutes. A floated free-kick into the box was won in the air by Dan Band. The ball bounced loose and Benga Ogunseye’s effort was blocked on the goal line. Minutes later Kyen Nicholas turned nicely into space just outside the box but his powerfully hit effort cleared the crossbar. As the half developed the game regained its bad tempered edge. Just after the hour Nemo Adams was shown red for an off the ball incident. This caused the introduction from the bench of defender Luke Beale in place of the unlucky Kyen Nicholas. On 72 minutes the visitors did bundle the ball into the net but the referee had seen a foul in the box and the “goal” didn’t stand. With ten men City defended deep and Cobham resorted to long range shooting efforts. It seemed the visitor’s must score on 79 minutes when a deep free-kick into the box took a touch off a striker but flew up and over the bar. With 10 minutes remaining City were down to nine players; Dan Band picking up a second yellow for a seemingly innocuous challenge. Understandably Cobham streamed forward but the nine City players were heroic in their defending. There was some good fortune which would be expected. A shot cleared the bar at the back post and a fantastic block took another effort over the bar. But City came through the five minutes of stoppage time to claim three points against the odds.
Team: Stuart Norman, Sean Mason, Isy Nzelo, Dan Band, Nemo Adams, Billy Irving, Eli Ogunseye, Bobby Webbe (David Burton 75), Kyen Nicholas (Luke Beale 65), Benga Ogunseye, Nathaniel Williams (Ben Cotton 81). Unused subs: Jamie Phillips, Kyle Carton.
Referee: Andrew Connor
Attendance – 55