Guildford City (2) 2, Knaphill (4) 6
by Barry Underwood
Guildford conceded six goals for the second time in five matches as they went down heavily to promotion chasing Knaphill. Nobody could say that matches at the Spectrum aren’t eventful. Against Horley the score could have well finished 5-5. On this occasion City came blazing out of the blocks and for the first 30 minutes they played some of their best football of the season. But with a comic own goal, a “did it cross the line or not” goal and a penalty there was plenty of incident and that was just the first half.
Guildford started superbly. The clock had just ticked into the second minute when Will May headed home a great free kick from Owen Tanner. But minutes later the scores were level, and it was a bizarre own goal. The ball was pushed forward from midfield after City lost possession. A desperate attempt at interception from a City defender saw the ball fly high into the net beyond Lewis Hoy’s despairing dive. But Guildford were visibly up for the task and on ten minutes they retook the lead. An inch perfect Tanner pass put Will May through, and he made no mistake shooting powerfully past Jos Barker in the visitor’s goal. Just before the half hour Knaphill drew level again. New signing Nick Thumwood was in space on the left and he somehow pulled a shot back from a tight angle and inside the far post. Immediately in response Nathaniel Mensah shot just wide, and Mike Coppinger curled a free kick wide of the goal. Knaphill edged ahead on 37 minutes in controversial fashion. A shot struck the bar and bounced down on the line. The assistant referee made no signal that the ball had crossed the line, but yet a goal was given. Nat Mensah for City turned nicely in the box, but his effort cleared the crossbar. Then as half-time approached Knaphill won a penalty for handball and Thumwood stepped up to drill the ball home.
Little went right for City after the break. On 49 minutes Louis Lindsay’s deep free-kick deceived Barker. The ball flew over his head and struck the post. Will May went down as he chased the loose ball amidst claims for a penalty. Shortly after City had another strong claim for a penalty waved away and with emotions running high Mike Coppinger saw red and departed the action. Now with a numerical advantage Knaphill bossed the game. Then twice in two minutes Knaphill were gifted goal scoring opportunities. The first error saw Lewis Hoy save an initial shot but the rebound was netted. Then a similar error saw the visitors score a sixth. Although too late to save the game Manny Acheampong was lively off the bench and twice had good shooting chances. But there was no denying Knaphill who are going to be a force to be reckoned with this season.
Team: Lewis Hoy, Owen Sims, Callum Sullivan, Alex Andreou (Tolu Ajayi-Obe 71), James Glover, Louis Lindsay (Jack Cleevely 81), Kai Beck (Lewis Taylor 81), Owen Tanner, Will May (Shi O’Connor 61), Mike Coppinger, Nathaniel Mensah (Manny Acheampong 61).
Referee: Alex McKay
Attendance – 143