Hartley Wintney (0) 0, Guildford City (4) 5
By Barry Underwood
Guildford City turned on the style at Green Lane in a five star, five goal performance against eighth placed Hartley Wintney. On a memorable evening for the large number of travelling fans City played with confidence, energy and style and at times the home side didn’t know which way to look or turn. Every single player rose to the occasion splendidly but special mention to Florin Ramizi whose performance was as exciting as by anybody in a Guildford City shirt for a good many years. Right from the start City passed the ball with confidence, and the introduction in midfield of the energetic duo 19 year old Luke Simmonds and 17 year old Luke Robertson gave the visitors little time on the ball to build their own attacks.
After several close calls City opened the scoring after 12 minutes; Ramizi’s run and cross from the right found Luke Robertson whose shot on the turn struck the post, only for Anthony Baker to react first to turn the ball home. Two minutes later the advantage was two goals following good work by Dan Stewart on the left. His pass to Baker was moved on quickly to the unmarked Florin Ramizi and his firmly hit drive looped up into the net after a valiant attempt at a save by Craig Barker in the home goal. Three further minutes on and it was 3-0, and City fans thought they were in dreamland. Clearly rattled Hartley’s defence under hit a back-pass and Anthony Baker was able to latch onto the chance to fire low into the net. On the half hour the home side had their first clear sight of goal but were thwarted by Liam Beach’s low save at the near post. In a rampant first period City were not to be denied further success and after 35 minutes the match was effectively “put to bed”, although the City fans present who had witnessed several disasters in the last 12 months were not convinced for quite some time longer. A flowing multi-player move out of defence eventually saw Harri Findlay crossing deep to the back post where Anthony Baker rose majestically to head home his hat-trick goal.
The pace didn’t relent after the half-time interval and within minutes of the restart efforts from Ramizi and Findlay were blocked at full stretch, whilst Luke Robertson’s effort was just wide. Gradually the pace of the game did understandably slow and the home side did enjoy more of the possession, and indeed create a couple of half chances, with Sam Argent shooting over from one, and drawing a great diving save from Beach with another. Jack Collins and Tadej Venta though were excelling in central defence and Hartley Wintney had few clear sights of goal. Baker and Ramizi continually threatened down either flank and after 82 minutes the scoring was rounded off when the home defence again sold their goalkeeper short and Florin Ramizi raced on to the loose ball to toe end the ball past Barker and into the net. A memorable evening for the City fans present that will go into the memory archives alongside last season’s away fixtures at Bishops Cleeve and Taunton.
Team: Liam Beach, Jordan Taylor, Bruce McPhail, Luke Robertson, Jack Collins, Tadej Venta, Florin Ramizi (Myles Jones 84), Luke Simmonds, Dan Stewart (Miguel Anderson 77), Anthony Baker, Harri Findlay (Liam Talbot 77).
Referee: Amadou Jallow