Guildford City (0) 1, Banstead Athletic (0) 2 
by Barry Underwood 

Guildford City will be kicking themselves all the way to midweek training as to how they came to lose this encounter against the league’s bottom side. Even with eight senior players missing, City should still have had the game wrapped up by the interval. In efforts on goal, territory and possession City were clearly dominant. But in goals scored which is the only metric that matters the visitors came out on top.

There was nothing wrong with City’s performance before the break excepting the failure to get the ball in the net from a whole series of presentable chances. Banstead had a headed chance early on which was reciprocated minutes later when Stephan Langley headed wide from a good position. Dejarhn Grant was having some joy on the right flank, but from close and with bodies awaiting his cross the ball was under hit.  Shortly after Grant’s shot on the turn from the edge of the box was comfortably saved by ex-City goalkeeper Devon Gordon. On 25 Minutes a deep cross into the box was headed back into the danger area by Stephan Langley but Neizan Fernandez’s volley from 12 yards cleared the crossbar. On the half hour City lost the ball cheaply in midfield and Banstead’s Toby Shououe unleashed a shot from 25 yards straight at Craig Smith. Guildford responded immediately when Zeid Hannachi’s shot from 30 yards hit the crossbar with Gordon beaten. It seemed just a matter of time before the home side were on the scoreboard. Ricardo Andre chested down a cross in the box but blazed his shot over. Then a fine move put Neizan Fernandez free on goal but his effort with the outside of his foot drifted over the crossbar. In the 39th minute there was excitement at both ends. Oliver Creed cleared off his goal line, and straight back down the other end Scott Costello somehow failed to convert a low cross just three yards from goal. To rub things in Ricardo Andre put the resulting loose ball wide of the goal.

After the interval the home side disappointingly lacked their previous intensity. There was an early chance when Jamie Pearce lifted a half volley just wide of the back post, but generally Guildford lost their spark going forward. Banstead’s Elliott McKimm saw a free kick tipped over by Craig Smith but a minute later on the hour mark the visitors took the lead. The notable figure of Derek Feyi twice lost markers in the box and his low cross was turned in by Alex Stingelin. Going behind wasn’t in the script. From a corner Oliver Creed headed over the crossbar and to their credit City started to use the width to get forward. On 85 minutes it seemed that Guildford had at least rescued a point when Harvey Valter’s dinked cross was headed home by Donell Sama. Much to City’s chagrin Banstead were to score an unlikely winner in stoppage time. A defender attempted to chest a ball back to Craig Smith but Reuben Duncan stole in to round the keeper and score.

Team: Craig Smith, Stephan Langley, Shane Cheeseman, Jamil Saleh, Oliver Creed, Jamie Pearce, Ricardo Andre, Zeid Hannachi, Neizan Fernandez, Scott Costello, Dejarhn Grant. Subs: Stuart Norman, Harvey Valter, Billy Murphy, Donell Sama, Brian Simbana.

Referee: Matt Leaning

Attendance – 78