Guildford City (0) 1, Midhurst & Easebourne (1) 3 AET
by Barry Underwood 

City disappointingly crashed out of the Aldershot Senior Cup at the Spectrum last evening. Manager Tristan Rees had made a handful of changes from the last league match played, but nevertheless that doesn’t explain Guildford’s seemingly lethargic performance. Midhurst to their credit put in a determined performance and fully deserved their victory. Perhaps on the back of just one defeat in 11 games the home side thought the match against Step Six opponents was a formality. But of course, it wasn’t and was never in truth going to be.

In just the third minute Midhurst took the lead with a towering header at the far post, and immediately it was evident that barring a few honourable exceptions, City weren’t matching their opponents in terms of grit and determination. Guildford’s first effort on goal on the quarter hour saw a long-range Max Oldham effort clear the crossbar, but generally the home side were struggling to make headway. On 33 minutes City’s defence was opened up forcing Mike McEntegart to make a fine save. Nathaniel Mensah did have a fierce shot blocked, and City’s best chance of the half saw Kensa Clarke escape the attention of his marker to race towards goal where his low shot was well saved by Josh Bird in the visitor’s goal. On the stroke of half time McEntegart was forced into action again to keep the score at the interval down to just one goal.

City fans hoped that the half-time break would spark life into the home side. Campbell Scott volleyed an early corner over the bar, and on the hour, Max Oldham saw a cross shot well saved by Bird. Midhurst still had too much space in attacking areas which continued to cause City problems, and on 64 minutes a volley at the far post went narrowly wide. With 10 minutes remaining it seemed Guildford might have a lifeline when Antonio Simeone headed home James Glover’s cross for the equaliser. For a few moments it seemed City might grab an unlikely victory, and a strong Max Oldham run into the box almost resulted in a winning goal.

But on 90 minutes the scores remained level and unlike most other competitions the match went to extra-time.  But immediately in the extra period Midhurst won a penalty when McEntegart was left exposed causing him to bring down a Midhurst striker. Up stepped Kieran Carter who converted despite the keeper getting a strong hand to the ball.  Late in the first period Nat Mensah had a fierce shot well saved by Bird. In the second extra period Mensah again had a good chance but shot into the side netting, and Midhurst completed their victory with a third goal eight minutes from the end.

Team: Mike McEntegart, Sean Mason (James Glover 70), Ethan Nelson-Roberts, Campbell Scott, Antonio Simeone, Josh Everard (Bobby Webbe 66), Yannick Monga (Mike Coppinger 66), James Faulkner, Nathaniel Mensah, Kensa Clarke, Max Oldham. Unused subs: Morgan Kealy.

Referee: Nic Hucker

Attendance – 62

This Saturday we are in league action as we travel to Redhill! Come and support Tristan Rees’s Sweeney!

This season we have announced our FOOTBALL FOR A FIVER scheme. Come and watch the Sweeney at the Spectrum for only £5!