Farnham Town (0) 1, Guildford City (2) 3
by Barry Underwood
After a three-week enforced break from fixtures, Guildford City returned to action at the Memorial Ground in an highly impressive fashion. Within minutes of the start of the game City had quietened the large home crowd by scoring at the highly populated Clock End of the ground, and thereafter Guildford played with a calm authority to fully deserve the three points.
On four minutes Jamil Saleh sent Cameron Gyeabour into space on the left, and after cutting in past a defender he fairly smashed the ball into the net to give City the lead. Farnham’s first effort on goal was comfortably saved by Stuart Norman, but Norman was tested more seriously on 21 minutes when a delay in clearing the ball led to the City keeper having to save acrobatically. Minutes later Cameron Gyeabour turned nicely but was thwarted by a brave save at his feet by young Farnham keeper Connor Beattie. Sadly Beattie had to leave the field after lengthy treatment to a nasty cut that required stitches. City scored a second on the half hour and what a well worked goal this was. City won a free-kick some 30 yards out from goal, and instead of shooting on goal, Saleh initiated a training ground move that led to Scott Costello shooting home from an angle. Just minutes later Jamil Saleh himself came close shooting just over from Leon Dadey’s lay-off. The home side did have a half-chance before the break when Kainen Oragbade blazed over the bar after the City defence had lingered too long on the ball.
Farnham had recently recovered from a two goal deficit at half-time to beat the league leaders 3-2. The game was therefore far from over at the interval. Within minutes of the restart though City came close again. A deep free-kick saw Tom Hegarty’s header drop into the six yard box where after a scramble it was cleared. Leading up to the hour mark Farnham twice had good chances. After a corner an effort was lifted over the bar, and shortly after a close-range header also cleared the crossbar. But City did respond and following a Hegarty long throw Cameron Gyeabour had a powerful shot blocked, after which the lurking Ashley Hitchinson shot just over the bar. Farnham then lifted the home ground by pulling a goal back. Connor Young broke free on the right and calmly placed his effort wide of the advancing Stuart Norman. For five minutes the game was in the balance as City came under intense pressure on and off the pitch. Any City nerves were soon cast aside when on 72 minutes a two goal lead was restored. Jamil Saleh’s inch perfect pass gave the impressive Leon Dadey the chance to rifle the ball into the top corner. Guildford still dominated late on after a raft of substitutions. A Billy Nutbeam free-kick was comfortably saved and in the final moments Zeid Hannachi nonchantly missed a late penalty. It mattered not a jot in the end as City saw out the game to claim an impressive victory that will hold them in good stead for the second half of the season.
Team: Stuart Norman, Stephan Langley (Shane Cheeseman 84), Billy Nutbeam, Ashley Hitchinson (Campbell Scott 65), Oliver Creed, Tom Hegarty, Scott Costello (Dejarhn Grant 86), Jamil Saleh, Cameron Gyeabour (Cameron Edwin 82), Zeid Hannachi, Leon Dadey (Sam Hunt 79).
Referee: Ryan Woods
Attendance – 320