Abbey Rangers (0) 1, Guildford City (0) 0
by Barry Underwood
This victory took Abbey Rangers to the top of the league table, but my goodness how Guildford City will rue a string of missed chances that should have given them at least a share of the points. For City Billy Nutbeam and Harvey Valter were missing with suspension, whilst Tom Hegarty made his debut at the heart of the defence after a lengthy injury absence. Guildford played commendably well and they should have taken the lead on three minutes. A flicked header set Enow Ojong free on the right, but after cutting in his effort didn’t have the power to trouble Sam Gray in the home goal. Good work by Ojong then gave Jacob Breckon the chance to pull the ball back from the by-line but his lay back came to nothing. Guildford looked dangerous in attack and from a long throw Enow Ojong shot over the bar. Abbey’s first real chance from the edge of the box saw Stuart Norman save well, but immediately at the other end Scott Costello’s early cross saw a flying Ojong header comfortably saved by Gray. Late in the half Abbey saw a headed chance from the edge of the box go wide, and a snapshot went wide of the post.
Abbey were more threatening after the break but City’s defence still looked secure. Shortly after the restart Abbey did get the ball in the net but an offside flag ruled out the attempt. A minute later Enow Ojong wriggled free and inexplicably after bearing down on goal he failed to get a shot away and the chance was lost. A further minute on Abbey made the visitor’s pay. Mike Coppinger’s floated free kick was headed in by Charlie Postance at the back post. Guildford responded positively. After a corner Scott Costello volleyed wide from outside the box, whilst on the hour great work by Ojong saw Jacob Breckon’s close range effort cannon into the goalkeeper’s chest. Abbey came close to a second when the ball was given away cheaply in midfield, but Stuart Norman got enough on the ball to turn it just over the bar. With nine minutes remaining Norman saved well at Coppinger’s feet to keep City in the game. As the clock ticked down City carved another golden chance. Cameron Gyeabour slid a short pass to put Enow Ojong through on goal. But it wasn’t the lively striker’s day as his effort blazed over the crossbar. It just wasn’t City’s day in front of goal. But once again they showed that they can go toe to toe with the league’s front runners. With up-coming matches against Badshot Lea and Jersey Bulls they will have an immediate chance to do so again.
Team: Stuart Norman, Stephan Langley, Leon Dadey, Neil Roissetter (Jack Webb 80), Jamie Pearce, Tom Hegarty (Campbell Scott 76), Ashley Hitchinson (Michael Leech 90), Zeid Hannachi (Dejarhn Grant 76), Jacob Breckon (Cameron Gyeabour 62), Enow Ojong, Scott Costello.
Referee: Daniel Trout