Guildford City (0) 2, Jersey Bulls (1) 4
by Barry Underwood
A hat-trick from Jersey’s prolific marksman Lorne Bickley earned Jersey the points in an entertaining game at the Spectrum. But once again City manager Tristan Rees was left frustrated that his side didn’t take something from the match. Some of Guildford’s football was excellent, and certainly their passing game was “easy on the eye”. But again, defensive errors at key moments cost the side dear.
City as is their custom started slowly, but with four debutants in the City side it perhaps wasn’t surprising on this occasion. Jersey dominated the opening exchanges with Seaney McColgan shooting wide and Bickley having a shot saved by Mac Chisholm. It wasn’t a great surprise when the visitors opened the scoring on nine minutes. The lively Michel Carvalho broke on the left and his low cross was turned in by Bickley. City had the occasional foray forward, but Lorne Bickley was proving a handful to the home defence with Chisholm again saving a low effort. City’s fortunes changed as the game approached the half hour mark. At that time Manny Acheampong entered the field of play off the bench after Callum Sullivan left the action following a heavy challenge. A fine Darnell McDonald run on the left led to Will May getting a shot away that Van Der Vliet saved low down. Just prior to half-time Kai Beck intercepted a pass deep in Jersey’s half and his curling effort from the edge of the box just went wide. Before the whistle Beck had another effort saved by the Jersey keeper.
Within two minutes of the restart Guildford were level. Darnell McDonald’s low free kick into the box was turned in by Will May for his eighth goal of the season. Parity didn’t last long and four minutes later the Bulls skipper Luke Campbell converted after City failed to clear their lines. Guildford responded almost immediately; a fine through ball set Manny Acheampong through but his effort frustratingly rolled inches wide of the far post. Jersey still looked lively, and they scored a third on 71 minutes. Lorne Bickley was in space to guide a header into the corner of the net. To their credit Guildford still went forward in the increasingly heavy conditions. Kai Beck’s effort on the stretch from McDonald’s cross was well saved by Van Der Vliet, but two minutes later from a free-kick, Callum Wilson headed home at the back of the goal. On 81 minutes City came mighty close to an equaliser. Darnell McDonald’s thunderbolt was parried by Van Der Vliet, and Kai Beck’s header from the rebound was cleared off the line. Exhaustion was creeping in as the rain continued to fall but in stoppage time the ball was lost in defence and Lorne Bickley had time to complete his hat-trick.
Team: Mac Chisholm, Owen Sims, Callum Sullivan (Manny Acheampong 26), Callum Wilson, James Glover, Niall Stillwell (Tolu Ajayi-Obe 90), Kai Beck, Owen Tanner, Will May (Lewis Taylor 65), Finley Warren (Louis Lindsay 82), Darnell McDonald.
Referee: Tom Healy
Attendance – 162