Badshot Lea (2) 2, Guildford City (0) 1 
by Barry Underwood 

A large travelling support journeyed to Westfield Lane to support the Sweeney on Tuesday evening. But at the end of a stirring second half, they departed frustrated at their sides ultimate failure to take at least a point. Manager Pete Ruggles was hugely disappointed at his sides first half performance that ultimately cost his side any share of the points. Despite a faltering first period it was Guildford who had the first clear chance on goal after just four minutes.  From a corner Aidan Brown glanced a header wide although the lurking figure of Ashley Hitchinson just behind him may have had a better opportunity. The game settled and the home side enjoyed the majority of possession with City struggling to get a toehold in the game. The home side finally found the net after 25 minutes. The goal came via a highly debateable free-kick and the high ball into the box was headed back across goal for Cameron Gyeabour to convert from close range. Guildford then came under significant pressure and Stuart Norman saved well at close range. A second goal wasn’t long delayed when Dean Rule – an ex-England schoolboy international – had space to take the ball round Norman to slide the ball home. Badshot were a threat from the flanks and several times crosses whipped dangerously through the goalmouth.

City in the second period were a vastly improved side. Moving the ball quickly to the flanks themselves they started to make significant in roads.  Ten minutes into the half Guildford felt they had strong claims for a penalty when Aidan Brown landed in a heap in the act of shooting. On 64 minutes the introduction off the bench of Billy Murphy saw City play two players up top and the threat to the home side noticeably increased. Indeed, with his first touch Murphy found himself one of one with Badshot’s goalkeeper but the experienced Craig Bradshaw saved Murphy’s effort low down. On 71 minutes it was Murphy’s turn to go down under pressure in the box and this time the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Aidan Brown who coolly converted from 12 yards. Play in the final stages went end to end. Badshot had a “goal” disallowed for offside, whilst for City with three minutes remaining Scott Costello hit the post after a corner.

Team: Stuart Norman, Ashley Hitchinson, Billy Nutbeam, Oliver Creed (Shane Cheeseman 70), Stephan Langley, Lloyd Connolly, Morgan Porter (Leon Dadey 55), Joe Jarrett (Michael Leech 85), Aidan Brown (Harvey Valter 88), Scott Costello, Kyle Henry (Billy Murphy 64).

Referee: Scott Crowhurst

Attendance – 136

NEXT UP | It’s the next round of the FA Cup! We travel to face Corinthian FC at Gay Dawn Farm! KO 3pm!  #Sweeney 🔴⚪️