Guildford City (1) 4, Rochester United (0) 0
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City progressed to the next stage of the FA Vase at Wey Court with a comfortable victory over a hardworking Rochester side, courtesy of four goals from Dan Stewart. The Kent based visitors started brightly, enjoying much of the early possession but without posing too many problems for the City defence. Gradually the home side began to enjoy more possession and wide players Evan Lopes and Courage Moda worked their way more into the game. City opened the scoring on 18 minutes from which time they relaxed and became the dominant side. The goal was well worked with Kyen Nicholas and Evan Lopes feeding Dan Stewart whose low shot from an angle squirmed under the keeper’s body and into the net for his 50th goal for the club. Minutes later Stewart reciprocated by supplying Kyen Nicholas whose early shot cleared the crossbar. On the half hour Rochester had their first chance on goal when a shot on the turn was comfortably saved by Liam Beach. This was followed on 37 minutes with their best chance of the match; a deep corner-kick was volleyed over the bar at the far post. Late in the half Bobby Dormer attempted a 30 yard effort that didn’t threaten Rhys Coates in the United goal.
Guildford maintained their dominance in the second period. Full credit though to the visitors, who throughout the match battled hard to stay in the match. Within eight minutes of the restart City had scored their second, and it was that man Stewart again. Again Nicholas and Lopes combined to put Dan Stewart through on goal and his low drive evaded the diving Coates. On the hour City again came close when Isy Nzelo’s low cross was met by David Burton but his first time effort was comfortably saved. Guildford extended their lead further on 67 minutes. It appeared initially that Bobby Dormer had taken the ball up a blind alley. Somehow however he wriggled his way out of a tight spot and after cutting in drove a low ball across the box. Kyen Nicholas did well to get to the ball and he laid the ball back to the edge of the box where Dan Stewart scored his hat-trick goal with an absolute pile driver into the roof of the net. Dormer very nearly got his name on the scoresheet on 75 minutes. Noticing that Coates was well out of his goal he attempted an audacious lob from fully 40 yards. The ball cleared the keeper but the subsequent bounce allowed him to recover sufficiently to prevent the ball crossing the line. In one moment of danger on 78 minutes Nemo Adams was alert enough to make an excellent block. In the final minutes Evan Lopes saw a sizzling shot just clear the crossbar, before Dan Stewart rounded off his man of the match afternoon by taking Lopes’s pass and shooting a left foot effort into the corner of the net.
Team: Liam Beach, Isy Nzelo, Josh Burrowes, Luke Beale, Nemo Adams, David Burton (Robbie Mundow 61), Courage Moda (Chris Tancock 67), Bobby Dormer, Kyen Nicholas (Ric Campbell 77), Dan Stewart, Evan Lopes. Unused subs: Tariq Straker, Billy Irving.
Referee: Nick Blogg
Attendance – 65