Cobham (0) 1, Guildford City (1) 2
by Barry Underwood
Guildford’s exciting young side emerged from Cobham’s Leg o’ Mutton Field with three hard earned points; the first time in six years that City have won their opening league match. It was also Cobham’s maiden match on their new 3G pitch, and as happened previously at Walton & Hersham and Ascot United, City were on hand to spoil the party.
Cobham opened the match playing some confident football, befitting a side that had won impressively in the FA Cup the previous week. In the first five minutes the home side twice saw efforts go just wide. Guildford started to look dangerous on the counter and on seven minutes Mike Coppinger slipped as he rounded Pickford in the home goal. Darnell McDonald latched onto the loose ball but saw his shot blocked and then cleared. A minute after Cobham had volleyed wide at the near post, City took the lead. A move on the left had broken down only for Cobham’s clearance to go straight to Mike Coppinger on the edge of the box. With impressive skill Coppinger ghosted past a defender and his low shot found the net via the foot of the post. This lifted City and for ten minutes they dominated proceedings. A fine pass from Coppinger put Will May through but stretching, his shot went inches wide. Minutes later an excellent cross from Louis Lindsay flashed right across goal and just beyond lurking May. Cobham eased back into the game after a free-kick was deflected wide, and from the corner Connelly headed just past the post. In first-half stoppage time another teasing cross went just beyond Will May in the box.
As in the first-half Cobham came out positively looking to get on level terms. City’s defence though reacted well under pressure. On 51 minutes City scored a second to gain some breathing space courtesy of another fine cross from Darnell McDonald which was prodded home by the on-rushing Will May. Cobham pushed hard and were looking to get the ball forward quickly. Derick Hayford was here, there and everywhere in trying to create an opening for the home side. A shot zipped over the bar on 71 minutes, and City keeper Lewis Hoy dealt well with a succession of corners. Guildford full-back Lewis Taylor made a superb tackle in the box to avert a strong shooting opportunity. With five minutes remaining of normal time the home side scored courtesy of a Nick Osbourne header. With seven added minutes there was plenty of time for the nerves to jangle, but stubborn defending saw City come through to claim the points.
Team: Lewis Hoy, Lewis Taylor, Kurt Greenaway (Tommy Marshall 61), Tolu Ajayi-Obe (George Fox 84), James Glover, Louis Lindsay, Manny Acheampong (Ethan Cassie 73), Jack Knight (Jack Cleevely 66), Will May (Callum Sullivan 84), Mike Coppinger, Darnell McDonald.
Referee: Sam Holland
Attendance – 90