Guildford City (1) 2, Badshot Lea (1) 2 
by Barry Underwood 

The Sweeney battled out an entertaining 2-2 draw against CCL Championship chasers Badshot Lea at the Spectrum. With only one league defeat this season the visitors are chasing hard on the heels of Walton & Hersham at the top of the table. The first half showed why they are doing well and are the top goal scorers in the division. They had the majority of the possession, looked lively going forward and showed great movement off the ball. Despite this City still had chances in the first period, and after the break it was an even game with Guildford having the better of the goalscoring opportunities.

From the start the Baggies posed problems down the right flank, regularly making inroads behind the backline. A good chance after just two minutes whistled past the post, and two further minutes on another effort was deflected onto the post before being cleared.  But it wasn’t one way with Max Oldham heading a cross over the bar. Badshot took the lead on 10 minutes. City lost possession cheaply in the middle of the park leading to debutant Imran Kayani shooting into the corner.  Guildford responded almost immediately although there was an air of good fortune about the goal. A nice move put a City debutant Harrison Livingstone into space where his shot from 20 yards went through keeper George Rose’s hands and into the net. Minutes later City came mighty close to taking the lead. A Livingstone cross was met by Max Oldham whose looping header was eventually scrambled off the line. Immediately Mike McEntegart was called into action to make a smart save and twice Badshot saw crosses zip through the six-yard box with no contact. Late on in the half Antonio Simeone – up for a corner – shot over the crossbar at the back post. On the stroke of the interval a fine Max Oldham run ended in a shot that comfortably cleared the crossbar.

From the restart Guildford showed a more positive attitude. Good interplay led to a Nathaniel Mensah shot that was saved low down. The same player then drove into the box before shooting over the bar. But a goal wasn’t delayed long. Livingstone and Oldham combined on the right and from the resulting cross Nathaniel Mensah hooked the ball home. Play continued for an instant until the referee saw the assistant’s waving flag indicating that the ball had visibly crossed the line. Both teams responded to the goal. Mike Coppinger saw a free kick saved by Rose, whilst a looping header from the visitors dropped agonisingly wide of the post. Badshot enjoyed a good spell around the hour mark. A header was directed wide, McEntegart made a good diving save and on 68 minutes they equalised. The ball ricocheted around the box and Imran Kayani netted his second of the match.  As the game entered its latter stages Badshot again headed wide, whilst Mensah shot over powerfully from an angle. A terrific defensive block also prevented the lurking Mensah from netting at the near post. Finley Warren also shot over from outside the box. Deep in stoppage time and with literally the last kick of the game Mike Coppinger curled an effort inches over the crossbar.

Team: Michael McEntegart, Kyrell Palmer, Jackson Hogg (Isy Nzelo 25), James Glover, Antonio Simeone, Prince Mbengui, Yannick Monga (Finley Warren 78), Mike Coppinger, Max Oldham, Harrison Livingstone (Billy Connor 70), Nathaniel Mensah. Unused subs: Lawson Bright, Josh Everard.

Referee: Fadi Mansour

Attendance – 115

Saturday we take on Colliers Wood United in league action! 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!