AFC Croydon (0) 2, Guildford City (2) 4
by Barry Underwood
After their goalless draw midweek, Guildford returned to winning ways in the sunshine at Mayfield Road. The visitors however were nearly made to pay for a slow start when Croydon netted following a long throw only for joy to be confined by the raising of the assistant’s flag for offside. Much of the play was scrappy and in the early stages both sides tended to concede possession too easily.
Although still not fluent Guildford settled the better of the sides, and the first clear sight of goal came on 15 minutes when Fred Hill’s cross found Sean Basaye at the back post but under pressure, he could only find the side netting. Minutes later from a corner the skipper Antonio Simeone headed wide from a corner. Croydon did look dangerous when City conceded possession in the middle of the park leading to a cross shot that went dangerously across the face of the Guildford goal. City’s experienced goalkeeper Mike McEntegart also made a fine save low down to his right from a first time shot. Towards the end of the half City had gone up through several gears. Max Oldham shot straight at the goalkeeper from Prince Mbengui’s pass. Then Jordan Adeyemi on the by-line picked out the onrushing Mbengui but his first-time effort was also straight at the keeper and the ball was cleared. But with 10 minutes remaining until the interval Guildford took the lead. Out on the left Jordan Adeyemi turned brilliantly to shake off the defender. He made a beeline for goal before shooting home from an acute angle beating the keeper at the near post. Within two minutes the lead had doubled. Mike Coppinger’s pinpoint through ball found Adeyemi and again the new striker made no mistake. This time there was good fortune because Adeyemi mistimed his effort completely and it rolled slowly past the diving goalkeeper and into the net. The same player could well have had a first half hat-trick as in stoppage time he dithered between cross or shot and in the end did neither.
Although still not really hitting their straps Guildford still created chances in the early stages of the half. Jordan Adeyemi had an effort blocked for a corner, before on 52 minutes Briggs Ojemen put Prince Mbengui into space where he calmly slid the ball past the Croydon keeper. On 75 minutes Croydon got some reward for their efforts. McEntegart saved well following an effort across goal before from recycled ball a shot was rifled home from fully 25 yards. Almost immediately City restored their three-goal lead. A deep free kick found Antonio Simeone deep in the box where he fairly rifled home a half-volley into the roof of the net. The late stages were a mixture of farce and stop-start football. Despite the win the shine was taken off the victory when Luke Simmonds was, as film later proved, unjustly dismissed, and in the considerable time added on for the incident Alfie Bloomfield headed home to put some gloss on the final score line.
Team: Michael McEntegart, Sean Basaye, Fred Hill (Matt George 70), Isy Nzelo, Antonio Simeone, Briggs Ojemen, Edson Da Silva, Prince Mbengui, Jordan Adeyemi (Roberto Ratti 59), Mike Coppinger (Luke Simmonds 80), Max Oldham. Unused subs: James Glover, Luke Roberts.
Referee: Richard Marus
Attendance – 96