Corinthian (2) 3, Guildford City (0) 0
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City’s interest in this year’s FA Cup competition came to a disappointing end at Corinthian’s Gay Dawn Farm. With the host club playing in the Isthmian League, it was always going to be a tough encounter. But City’s first half performance was off the pace giving the home side the impetus, and City had their keeper Stuart Norman to thank for keeping the score line goalless until first-half stoppage time. As at Badshot Lea there was significant improvement after the break but as manager Pete Ruggles has said 90-minute performances are required if the side are to make progress.
With raids down both flanks Stuart Norman was several times called into action in the first 20 minutes twice saving low in the corner. In addition, Billy Nutbeam made a goal saving block at the back post following a low cross. Guildford were forced into an early substitution when Shane Cheeseman left the field with signs of concussion following a blow to the face but the prolonged break for treatment was just a respite from the attacks on the City goal. In the circumstances reaching half-time goalless would have been a big plus but two goals in stoppage time effectively killed the game. The first from a low cross was converted by Festos Kamara and 60 seconds later Oladapo Olatunji tapped home a loose ball.
Guildford did improve considerably after the break but credit to the Isthmian side who still ensured Stuart Norman was the busiest person on the pitch. City had their moments offensively and on the hour Scott Costello forced a fine blocking save from Dan Colmer, the home keeper. Minutes later Billy Nutbeam’s free-kick was spectacularly saved for a corner from which Jamie Pearce’s header cleared the crossbar. It seemed that a City goal now could radically affect the game’s momentum. On 73 minutes Ashley Hitchinson’s floated effort heading for the top corner was again well saved by Colmer. Corinthian always looked dangerous, and the game was put to bed on 77 minutes with a third goal from an angle by Ahmed Futa. Man of the match Stuart Norman kept the home side at bay for the remainder of the match and Guildford’s FA Cup dreams came to a disappointing end.
Team: Stuart Norman Ashley Hitchinson, Billy Nutbeam, Lloyd Connolly (Morgan Porter 74), Stephan Langley, Jamie Pearce, Leon Dadey, Shane Cheeseman (Michael Leech 28), Aidan Brown, Scott Costello, Kyle Henry (Nathaniel Williams 58). Unused subs: Oliver Creed, Richard Shelley.
Referee: Alan Steward
Attendance – 91