Flackwell Heath 0, Guildford City (0) 1
by Barry Underwood
This FA Vase encounter was a clash of two form teams. The hosts had reached the quarter-finals of this competition last season and went into this game with seven wins in their last eight matches. City for their part had lost just once in their last eight matches. Not surprisingly therefore there was little to choose between the sides for much of the game. But as the cup-tie reached its final stages City sensed that victory might be in their grasp. Guildford pushed forward and several times came close. It looked as if the game was heading to a penalty shoot-out until as the game entered stoppage time a defensive error gave Jordan Adeyemi the chance to rifle home a late winner.
All of the game’s early pressure came from the home side whose players exhibited great energy in closing down City possession. Flackwell’s young team were also willing to attempt shots on goal from all distances and angles. On 19 minutes Flackwell came close to opening the scoring when from a corner a header slammed against the crossbar and was cleared at the second attempt. Generally, the play was scrappy and for their part Guildford were too often forced into an ineffective direct style. But City did come close just prior to the break. A tantalising cross from Max Oldham found Nat Mensah just beyond the far post but his header found the side-netting.
Guildford were more effective after the break. Max Oldham on the right saw more of the ball and his trickery and delivery into the box caused the home side problems. Flackwell did threaten although not creating a clear chance on goal. A shot from outside the box was comfortably saved by McEntegart, and a free kick in a dangerous area from Matt Ayres cleared the crossbar. The longer the match went on the more dangerous Guildford looked. On 69 minutes another Oldham cross was met by Nat Mensah, whose close-range header was brilliantly saved by Isaac Hay in the home goal. Omar Folkes entered the fray late on which gave City more impetus. Prince Mbengui saw an effort on the right miss the post by inches. Then Mensah and Adeyemi just couldn’t get a shot away under heavy pressure in the box. Another Oldham cross saw a brilliant interception at full stretch by Flackwell’s Ryan Avery. With three minutes remaining a City free kick to the back post was met by Antonio Simeone whose effort from an acute angle was saved by the keeper’s feet. Then as the game ticked into stoppage time City had some good fortune when home keeper Isaac Hay and a defender misread the other’s intentions. The ball fell kindly to Jordan Adeyemi who found himself just 15 yards out from goal with a solitary defender barring the way. With the crowd silent in anticipation the City striker shot into the roof of the net to the adulation of teammates and travelling Sweeney alike.
Team: Mike McEntegart, Kyrell Palmer, Isy Nzelo, Bertie Lloyd, Antonio Simeone, Prince Mbengui, Yannick Monga, Josh Everard (Omar Folkes 74), Max Oldham, Nathaniel Mensah, Jordan Adeyemi. Unused subs: James Glover, Josh Bullen, Alberto Santana, Campbell Scott, Leighton Looseley.
Referee: Matthew Ball
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