Guildford City 3 – 2 Horley Town (FA Vase First Round, AET)

Simon Cooper’s extra time free kick spared Guildford City’s blushes as ten-man Horley Town fought back to level the scores during a calamitous ten minute period for the home side. The Sweeney controlled proceedings for 80 minutes, and should have been out of sight by the time Tom Agate pulled one back for the visitors. As it was, Joel Greaves’ header and Ben Camara’s neat flick before half time were the only chances that beat on form Joe McLoughlin in the Horley goal. Liam Hunter sent a penalty over the bar late in normal time before Gerald Manville took advantage of a defensive error to level the scores. Extra time saw Guildford regain their composure and eventually secure progress to the Second Round of the FA Vase.
City started strongly and soon had Horley on the back foot. Joel Greaves was causing particular problems with his movement and the Town defence were clearly being stretched – the ball having to be cleared off their line at one point. Despite some half chances for the visitors, the deadlock was finally broken by Greaves in the 26th minute courtesy of a header at the near post from a corner. Guildford upped the tempo and continued to forge chances despite some dogged Horley defending. On the stroke of half time, Ben Camara made it 2-0 after controlling a cross and firing home off a defender. He really should have made it 3-0 just moments later but somehow contrived to miss with the goal gaping.

Horley still had some hope and put in a stronger performance in the opening minutes of the 2nd half – substitute Gerald Manville wasting two gilt-edged chances. This woke City up and Will Heavey saw a magnificent long range strike pushed over the bar and the home side started to dominate once again although crucially without finding the back of the net. A home victory seemed even more likely in the 79th minute when Town player Dave Brown was sent off for a second caution. Unbelievably though, Horley pulled one back a few minutes later – Tom Agate tapping home from close range. A moment of madness from Hall then earned Town a penalty but Liam Hunter unbelievably hit the bar! Another lapse from Hall allowed Manville to poke the ball home and take the game into extra time.

The home side then dominated extra time from start to finish. Jaydon Gibbs was unlucky to see his long range shot crash down onto the line off the bar in the first period and a replay looked likely when Guildford won a freekick some 25 yards out. Simon Cooper stepped up and sent a perfectly flighted, curling shot over the wall, and beyond the fingertips of Joe McLoughlin. This time there were no lapses of concentration and Guildford progressed to the next round of the Vase much to the relief of the home supporters.