Guildford City (0) 0, Sheerwater (1) 2
by Barry Underwood
My goodness after the fine performance against Walton & Hersham on Saturday, this bank holiday encounter against Sheerwater was a real case of after the Lord Mayors Show. Guildford’s manager Paul Barnes had lectured his players prior to the game that Saturday’s fine win would be for nothing if it wasn’t followed up against Sheerwater. And so, it happened. City were a world away from the levels at which they have been playing, and you have to hand it to Sheerwater who have now won their last four fixtures against the City. In fact, you have to hand it to Sheerwater generally. They have possibly the lowest financial resources in the CCL, but yet they manage time after time to belie that fact and they regularly punch above their weight. Indeed, this win takes them to fourth in the early league table.
Remarkably perhaps City’s best chance of the match came in the very first minute. A fine Adeyemi flick put Roberto Ratti through on goal. Strangely perhaps Ratti chose to shoot from fully 30 yards when he could have advanced closer and Sheer’s keeper Callum Backhurst was able to make a good diving save. For much of the first half there was little to choose between the sides, although to be truthful it was the visitors who looked the likelier to score. Mike McEntergart saved early on from Anthony Obanufe and Tyreke Martin had a shooting chance that was under hit and comfortably saved. On 30 minutes Isy Nzelo glanced a header wide from a free kick, but for the most part City’s attacking ambition was limited to firing high balls forward which were gratefully received by Sheerwater’s commanding central defenders. It wasn’t unexpected when the visitors took the lead after 38 minutes. A long throw into the box was flicked on and the lively Selim Saied converted at the back post.
Immediately after the break the visitors had a goal disallowed for offside which should have served as a warning. Still City’s attacking chances were few and far between. Nathaniel Mensah saw a half-chance loop up off of a defender for a corner, but moments later Sheer’s increased their advantage. Another long throw forward seemed to have been dealt with on the edge of the City box. But somehow the ball broke free and Sheerwater’s captain Scott Costello was on hand to drill the ball home. Would this spark a City recovery in the same manner as Saturday? Certainly, Guildford’s attack did spark but rather in fits and starts. There were half chances, but nothing sustained. Jordan Adeyemi managed to push the ball past the keeper who was well out of his goal, but a defender got back to block his effort on goal. From a corner Briggs Ojemen headed over the bar, and later on 65 minutes a delightful, chipped cross from Max Oldham gave Nathaniel Mensah a headed chance but from a metre out he was unable to get a strong enough connection and the ball squirmed wide. As the match neared its end Max Oldham saw a fine effort well saved at the near post, and twice as the game entered stoppage time there were scrambles that the home team couldn’t convert.
Team: Michael McEntegart, Isy Nzelo (Connor Baston 63), Fred Hill, Briggs Ojemen, Sean Basaye, Max Oldham, Ryan Richefond, Prince Mbengui, Mike Coppinger (Nathaniel Mensah 46), Jordan Adeyemi, Roberto Ratti. Unused subs: Luke Roberts, Jude Brown. Josh Everard.
Referee: Kai Morgan