Guildford City (0) 2, Knaphill (2) 3
by Barry Underwood
You could argue about the symmetry of Guildford’s season. Three league matches and three wins. Three cup matches and now three defeats. This in truth was a comfortable victory for the visitors. A late renaissance from City put something of a gloss on the scoreline. It was a strange game really. There was no cut and thrust of a derby cup-tie, and indeed for spells it had the air of a pre-season game. But Knaphill dominated the first period to the extent that Jos Barker their goalkeeper had very little to do. After the break City were improved but two goals in deficit there was a mountain to climb against an accomplished side.
In the low key first period all of the chances fell to Knaphill. On five minutes an effort at the back post cleared the bar, and on 10 minutes the visitors opened the scoring. A deep corner was headed back across goal where it was converted at close range by Tom Drinkwater. On 23 minutes the visitors scored their second. From another high ball into the box Zac Horkan headed home. There was a further goal disallowed for a foul of the City goalkeeper, but despite Guildford seeing more of the ball as the half went on their normally potent attack couldn’t create a clear opening.
After a quiet opening to the second period Knaphill score the goal that ensured their victory. It was another set-piece and again it was Tom Drinkwater who was on hand to head home. Perhaps secure in their three-goal lead Knappers eased off? Or City managed to start passing the ball as they have successfully in previous games. A firm shot from Mike Coppinger from 25 yards was comfortably saved by Barker, and minutes later an excellent Kai Beck volley was equally well saved by the visiting keeper. From a free-kick Darnell McDonald glanced a header wide; then on 65 minutes Coppinger’s pass found Kai Beck in space and the striker calmly found the back of the net for his first goal of the season. On 73 minutes Knaphill came close again but a splendid block saw the attempt go for a corner. As the game went into stoppage time a Mike Coppinger free-kick just evaded josh Di Palma and Jack Cleevely in the box. Then with the last kick of the match Guildford scored their second from the penalty spot. Manny Acheampong was brought down, and Jack Cleevely scored from the spot.
Team: Adam Longman, Lewis Taylor, Callum Sullivan (Manny Acheampong 45), Tolu Ajayi-Obe, James Glover, Louis Lindsay (Jack Cleevely 70), Kai Beck, Owen Tanner, Will May (Josh Di Palma 78), Mike Coppinger, Darnell McDonald. Unused subs: Chris Adams, Campbell Scott.
Referee: Matt Leaning
Attendance – 128