Guildford City (0) 2, Sutton Common Rovers (1) 2
by Barry Underwood
Just as late goals for your side provides great elation, conceding a match-winning lead deep in stoppage time at the end of the game is a source of big disappointment. It was a double whammy as at the end of the first period Guildford had actually gone behind with the very last kick of the half. To be fair SCR deserved something from the game and in those last frantic moments of the second-half they several times came close to scoring the equalising goal.
City’s line-up had included the returning Kiye Martin and Jack Battie, and debutant Eli Ogunseye, whilst a good sign for the future was the presence of 17 year old Tom Griffin on the bench, fresh from his midweek brace of goals in the FA Youth Cup. SCR’s side included Jordan Gallagher who until recently had been playing in a City shirt.
After five minutes SCR had a golden chance to take an early lead when the ball fell to Josh Uzan with Liam Beach stranded. Fortunately for City the on-loan striker lifted his effort over the bar. The home side made a slower start although Bobby Webbe’s neat pass gave Kyen Nicholas a great chance, but Ellaway excelled himself spreading well to save with his legs. Evan Lopes looked lively throughout and twice early on his crosses into the box just evaded City forwards. As the game settled both sides had further chances. Lopes saw an effort deflected wide for a corner, whilst for SCR a ball was laid back to Uzan who shot over. Luke Beale was booked on 33 minutes for a last man foul that angered the SCR contingent, but Jordan Gallagher’s free-kick was comfortably saved by Beach. Immediately prior to the interval there was a spate of action. An SCR header from a corner went wide, whilst for City Eli Ogunseye saw a deflected effort saved by Ellaway’s fast reactions. Then in stoppage time SCR took the lead after a goalmouth scramble involving three efforts on goal. The first was blocked, Gallagher hit the post from the rebound and finally Josh Uzan shot low into the net.
The opening of the second period was generally a tighter affair. Three minutes after the restart Kyen Nicholas was just unable to react to a City free-kick into the box. Eventually Guildford were rewarded for their efforts when Bobby Webbe unleashed an effort from 30 yards that flew into the corner of the net. The goal spurred City on and for the next 20 minutes they played their best football of the match. Not that it was one sided as SCR continually posed problems to the home defence. On 72 minutes City went ahead courtesy of a penalty. Kiye Martin, who had an impressive return, was brought down as he ran into the box and the same player stepped up to drive the spot kick home. With ten minutes remaining the home side twice came close. Fine interplay between Lopes and Ogunseye created a chance for a cross which just eluded Kyen Nicholas. A minute later the ball was worked to Nicholas in the box but his low effort hit the foot of the post and the rebound somehow eluded Kiye Martin who was following up. Then came SCR’s stoppage time resurgence as they threw everything forward in search of the equaliser. Phil Page shot over the bar, saw a header disallowed for offside and then with the game’s last kick he picked his spot in the corner for the last gasp leveller.
Team: Liam Beach, Chris Tancock (Isy Nzelo 38), Josh Burrowes, David Burton (Jack Battie 71), Nemo Adams, Luke Beale, Evan Lopes, Bobby Webbe, Kyen Nicholas (Tom Griffin 90), Kiye Martin, Eli Ogunseye. Unused subs: Tariq Straker, Billy Irving.
Referee: Phillip Jones
Attendance – 53