Guildford City (2) 2, Sheerwater (0) 1
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City came away from the Spectrum with what was in the end three hard earned holiday points. Impressive in the first-half City had swept to a two-goal interval lead. Sheerwater came back strongly after the break and at the end they will consider themselves unlucky not to have taken something from the game. Guildford were sharp from the outset and in just the third minute they were on the scoreboard. Marlon Pinder drove into the box from the left and his cross fell to Benga Ogunseye whose low shot on the turn found the corner of the net. Minutes later the same two players teed Wayne Ridgley up on the edge of the box, but his drilled effort went just wide. Guildford were dominating and Theo Woodhouse’s shot from an angle zipped over the crossbar. Throughout the match Sheerwater possessed a threat up front, and on 26 minutes Shane Rideout saw a 20-yard free kick just clear the crossbar. The Woking side had another half-chance when a poor clearance was volleyed wide of the goal. The home side themselves carved out a strong chance on 35 minutes. Woodhouse’s pass gave Marlon Pinder the chance to attack from the left flank. Pinder’s weighted pass was met by Ryan Dacres-Smith whose first-time effort cleared the crossbar. In an entertaining end to the half Sheerwater almost made the most of a City error when Darius Sulnis’s effort just cleared the bar. Almost immediately City were on the scoreboard again. Benga Ogunseye raced onto Ryan Dacres-Smith’s through pass. Holding off two defenders with his strength Ogunseye rounded the keeper and side-footed home. Before the interval the returning Zack Basey made a flying save to ensure a clean sheet at the break.
Guildford still enjoyed good possession in the early stages of the second half, but against the run of play the visitors saw a lobbed attempt go wide. Increasingly under pressure Guildford started to concede free kicks in their own half. From one on the hour Sheerwater headed over at the back post. Six minutes later Sheerwater had a golden chance to score. From a low cross substitute Jimmy Norman crashed the ball against the crossbar from close range. From the rebound Guildford immediately raced forward and Benga Ogunseye’s low cross just eluded the rapidly arriving Marlon Pinder. With 20 minutes remaining City should have wrapped the game up. A free kick into the danger area was met by the otherwise impressive Wayne Ridgley, but his header was straight at the goalkeeper. Sheerwater pushed forward increasingly and on 79 minutes they pulled a goal back. A bad defensive error gave Luke Taylor the chance to round Basey and convert. Despite tiredness creeping in in the heavy conditions the Guildford defence managed to hold firm under some pressure, and it was with some relief that the final whistle was finally blown to confirm the home sides victory.
Team: Zack Basey, Sean Mason, Josh Ogunseye, Theo Woodhouse, Nemo Adams, Josh Burrowes, Marlon Pinder (Isy Nzelo 75), Ryan Dacres-Smith, Benga Ogunseye, Wayne Ridgley (Josh Everard 86), Kieran Williams. Unused subs: Dan Hurlow.
Referee: Peter Georgiou
Attendance – 91