Guildford City (0) 1, Horley Town (4) 6
by Barry Underwood
What an extraordinary game of football! In 57 years of watching football, I don’t recall a match with such an inflated scoreline but where the balance of play was so even. Guildford played some excellent football which wasn’t reflected by the end score. So, what happened you might ask? Simply the answer was that an impressive Horley side clinically took their chances whilst City, despite hitting the woodwork four times, couldn’t match the authority of the visitors finishing.
Guildford had an early chance when from a corner Will May headed over the bar. The home side were then stunned on four minutes when Horley were awarded a spot-kick. It looked a soft decision, but Jake Roberts didn’t care when he stepped up to fire home despite Adam Longman’s strong hand. Going behind hasn’t stopped City in the past and again they went forward. Defender Tolu Ajayi-Obe saw a powerful effort well saved for a corner, and on 15 minutes some fine play gave Will May a shooting opportunity from an angle, but his effort slammed against the post. There was considerable pressure on the Horley goal and May and Mike Coppinger had further attempts on goal. City were then knocked back on their heels. Jack Poplett rose at the back post to head home from a corner and City were two goals down. Still Guildford went forward. Nat Mensah headed over and from an excellent Darnell McDonald cross Will May could only glance the ball wide. As if to show the home side how to finish Horley scored twice more at the end of the half. City’s defence were slow to close down, and a high effort sailed over Longman’s head and into the net. Minutes later in stoppage time ex-City striker Cameron Gyeabour outjumped the City goalkeeper to head in a fourth.
Guildford’s young side have done some wonderful things this season and it wasn’t beyond the bounds of possibility that they would come back in the second half. It was clear they were intent on doing so, as immediately they came desperately close to scoring when Mike Coppinger’s piledriver was brilliantly saved by Horley’s veteran keeper George Hyde. On 53 minutes a fine Kai Beck pass put Nat Mensah through on goal but again Hyde saved. A fine overlapping run by Owen Sims saw him shoot against the near post, whilst a minute later Tolu Ajayi-Obe shot wide from Coppinger’s cross. On the hour Nat Mensah prodded a loose ball past Hyde but again the ball hit the post! On 67 minutes Horley showed City how to finish. Cameron Gyeabour drove in from the left and his powerful shot somehow squeezed in at the near post. City were pushing forward in numbers and on 71 minutes they were caught on the counterattack when Horley netted their sixth. In stoppage time Guildford finally got on the scoresheet when Will May side footed home from Owen Sims cross.
Team: Adam Longman, Lewis Taylor (Ethan Cassie 67), Darnell McDonald, Tolu Ajayi-Obe, James Glover, Owen Sims, Kai Beck (Alex Andreou 73), Louis Lindsay (Christon John-Ahye 76), Will May, Mike Coppinger (Jack Cleevely 76), Nathaniel Mensah. Unused subs: Callum Sullivan.
Referee: Chris Binney
Attendance – 131