Ash United (1) 1, Guildford City (0) 2
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City overcame a half-time deficit at Shawfield Road to advance to the second round of the Aldershot Senior Cup. City played well in the first period despite going behind, but after the break their performance lifted several notches, and the visitors dominated the second half. After six minutes City thought they had gone ahead when James Glover headed in a free kick. Inexplicably the assistant referee ruled Glover’s effort offside, but even the home supporters in line with play were at a loss to understand the decision. To rub things in a few moments later Ash’s George Timms headed in a set piece from close range to give the home side the lead. For City Louis Lindsay saw a shot from the edge of the box just clear the crossbar, whilst Ash did come close again from a snapshot. City meanwhile found themselves several times on the wrong side of an offside flag. On the half hour Darnell McDonald’s cross was palmed out by Ash ‘keeper Sam Bell who also saved Manny Acheampong’s follow up. Minutes before the interval James Glover headed over from a corner and City fans at the interval were rather frustrated.
Shortly after the restart Manny Acheampong pulled a close range shot just wide. The home side did have a strong shout for a penalty waved away and the travelling Sweeney gave a sigh of relief. The match turned on 53 minutes with the advent from the bench of Mike Coppinger, Nathaniel Mensah and Owen Sims. Immediately City found a spark. Darnell McDonald saw a thunderbolt acrobatically saved by Bell, but the pressure soon told when from an excellent Owen Sims run and cross the ball ran across the goalmouth where Mike Coppinger joyfully slammed it home. Two minutes later Coppinger again came close when his curling effort from 25 yards hit the inside of the post and rolled across the goal. Ethan Cassie fired into the side netting following a scintillating Darnell McDonald run. When Cassie limped off, 16-year-old Ben Thompson joined the fray for an impressive debut. Ash saw a couple of long-range efforts go wide but the threat to the City goal was negligible. Finally on 82 minutes City got the reward their play deserved. An excellent Owen Sims cross was turned in by Will May. Sims was rampant on the right and another cross from the byline gave May a shooting chance that was blocked. In the final minutes both Will May and Mike Coppinger saw efforts spectacularly saved by Bell, and so it was that Guildford City advanced to the next round.
Team: Lewis Hoy, Lewis Taylor (Owen Sims 53), Darnell McDonald, Alex Andreou, James Glover, Owen tanner, Louis Lindsay, Jack Cleevely (Mike Coppinger 53), Will May (Tolu Ajayi-Obe 90), Ethan Cassie (Ben Thompson 72), Manny Acheampong (Nathaniel Mensah 53).
Referee: Ryan Woods
Attendance – 120