Eastbourne Town (1) 2, Guildford City (2) 4
by Barry Underwood
After all of the preparation the time had come to put everything into practice. And to cap the occasion it was an FA Cup tie at the seaside! Guildford made the long journey to the south coast on Saturday to face an Eastbourne Town side who had won their opening two league encounters. And it was the home side who started quickly; quickly enough indeed to get themselves on the scoreboard in the second minute. A high ball forward fell to Aaron Capon in space on the left. His early shot was well parried by McEntegart, but a fortunate rebound took it back into Capon’s path who netted at the second attempt. For the next 20 minutes City’s defence was given a real examination with several other close calls in and around the visitor’s penalty area.
Gradually City worked their way into the game with effective counterattacks; Fred Hill especially having some joy on the left. Any nerves the side were experiencing in their first match were dispelled on 23 minutes when Guildford were awarded a penalty. A minute earlier Max Oldham had clipped the outside of the post, but then from a set piece Omar Belazregue’s piledriver struck a hand in front of goal. Referee Price pointed to the spot and Jordan Adeyemi calmly slotted home an equaliser. City spent much of the half defending free-kicks and from one Eastbourne shot over the bar from a good position. The home side were made to pay for their profligacy just prior to the break when Prince Mbengui slid a superb pass through the defence for Jordan Adeyemi to again calmly slot home.
Guildford came out after the break in rampant form. Within two minutes they had taken a 3-1 lead when Max Oldham cut inside and curled a great effort inside the far post. For the next 10 minutes or so it was all Guildford. A Jordan Adeyemi cross went right through the box to Fred Hill. Hill took a touch before unleashing a low effort that cannoned back out off of the post and was cleared. A goal wasn’t denied for long as on 53 minutes Jordan Adeyemi claimed his hat-trick scoring with an excellent free-kick outside of the box.
Perhaps understandably City seemed to ease off with a three-goal lead achieved. To their credit Eastbourne had not conceded the game and on the hour a hooked effort just cleared the crossbar. Mike Coppinger saw a low drive blocked, but increasingly City were being pushed back. On 72 minutes the gap was narrowed when a superb Sam Scott 25 yarder found the corner of the net. Six minutes later the home side saw a free-kick cannon off the post, and late-on Mike McEntegart saved well low down at the near post. The final stages were played out in torrential rain. Guildford for their part emerged victorious, but complete in the knowledge they had faced worthy opponents in an epic FA Cup tie.
Team: Mike McEntegart, Omar Belazregue, Antonio Simeone, Briggs Ojemen, Sean Basaye, Prince Mbengui, Edson Da Silva, Fred Hill, Mike Coppinger (Luke Simmonds 68), Max Oldham (Ryan Ferrari 90), Jordan Adeyemi (Josh Bullen 85). Unused subs: Isy Nzelo, James Glover, Josh Everard, Luke Roberts (GK).
Referee: Tom Price
Attendance – 266