Guildford City 3 – 3 Yate Town

Having disappointed against Thatcham in midweek, Guildford were determined to make amends against a good Yate Town side. Indeed it was Yate who opened confidently. Twice within the first 15 minutes the visitors came close; with Bryant’s header and Haldane’s low shot just missing the woodwork. On 23 minutes Ricky Hulbert headed just wide for the visitors, and this seemed to spur City in offensive action. Laurence Walters clever footwork on the right created the space for a cross that Pat Cox met in the box, only for keeper Josh Dempsey to save at full stretch. Shortly afterwards City nudged ahead. Ben Walshe and debutant Matt Yorke were involved in the build-up and from Calvin Thomas’s cross the ball spilled out to Pat Cox who drilled the ball home from 15 yards. Yate always looked dangerous going forward and seconds after a fine Bufton save, Yate won a penalty when Ricky Hulbert was bundled over in the box. Lewis Haldane’s spot kick was brilliantly saved by Aaron Bufton but Mike Bryant was on hand to convert the rebound. On the stroke of half-time Bryant had to opportunity to put Yate in front but his header from six yards cleared the crossbar.

Half time: 1-1

Yate were given the best of starts to the second half when Mike Bryant caught the City defence sleeping to cut inside from the flank to drill a low shot just inside the far post. Guildford were struggling to make in-roads and after 55 minutes the visitors took a 3-1 lead. Ross Staley’s sublime chip hit the City crossbar, and Lewis Haldane was one of two players looking to be in an offside position, who reacted first to head home. As both sides pressed there were strong penalty appeals in both penalty areas. Additionally Aaron Bufton was several times forced into action to keep City in the game. On 72 minutes City were most definitely back in the game. Following a free-kick the ball fell to the edge of the area where Tom Mudge was on hand to volley home. Cue silence as everybody in the stadium, bar those on the pitch, thought the ball had gone for a goal-kick, instead of into the goal and straight out of an unidentified hole in the back netting. With this goal the game turned, and although Yate continually posed a threat, City were looking a much more cohesive side. Ricky Hulbert for Yate missed a golden headed chance on 78 minutes which gave the home side the opportunity to press for the equaliser. On 81 minutes Andrew Dalhouse’s cross resulted in George Bowerman glancing a header just over. Minutes later Tuan West’s speculative effort was spilled by Josh Dempsey, and Pat Cox’s effort from the rebound was blocked. As the game entered stoppage time City had one last chance. After careful build up Calvin Thomas’s cross from the right was flicked on by Dalhouse to Pat Cox, who found enough space to smash home the equalising goal.

Team: Aaron Bufton, Josh Clayman, Tuan West, Tom Mudge, Matt Yorke, Darren Evans, Calvin Thomas, Ben Walshe, George Bowerman (Dominic Ogun), Pat Cox (Bruce McPhail 90), Laurie Walters (Andrew Dalhouse 65). Unused subs: Will Dukes.

Yellow card: Darren Evans

Referee: Louis Marks

Attendance – 86