Guildford City (2) 3, Cobham (0) 0 
by Barry Underwood 

On a wet evening at the Spectrum Guildford City advanced to the second round of the CCL Premier Challenge Cup. It was a game of two halves. That is to say shortly after the start of the second period the heavens opened and those sitting under cover in the main stand gained an inkling of how Noah must have felt as he looked out from his ark. The pitch held up well, but conditions were appalling for the players in the often-biblical conditions.

After their first league victory at the weekend, it was no real surprise that Guildford would open the match in a confident fashion. From an early corner Stephan Langley headed over at the back post but it was far from one way. Cobham passed the ball nicely and twice they caused concern in City’s defence. First a low cross zipped across the six-yard box without a touch, and shortly after Stuart Norman had to be alert at the near post. From another corner new signing Enow Ojong headed narrowly over, and it wasn’t long until City broke the deadlock after 31 minutes.  Defender, latterly turned striker, Jamie Pearce shot low from 22 yards and his effort crept just inside the post beating the despairing dive of Harvey Keogh. Five minutes later Pearce struck again. This time it was a sublime header from Zeid Hannachi’s cross. 

Shortly after the break City came close to a third goal. Enow Ojong cut in and saw his powerful effort parried by Keogh. Keogh then reacted brilliantly to thwart Zeid Hannachi’s effort from the loose ball. Then the rains came making life challenging for everybody on the pitch. Ojong saw a close-range header blocked on the line but credit to Cobham who still passed the ball forward. Indeed, in the second period they probably enjoyed more of the possession. On the hour the experienced Reis Stanislaus fired in a powerful effort that brought the best out of Stuart Norman. Ojong then got to the by-line and pulled a dangerous ball across the box. With 20 minutes remaining a neat back heel gave Leon Dadey a shooting chance that he sliced wide. Late in the game Stuart Norman twice more saved well, and with one minute remaining on the clock Ashley Hitchinson wrapped the game up with a thunderbolt of an effort from long range.

Team: Stuart Norman, Stephan Langley, Timmy Taylor, Joe Jarrett (Olly Edwardes 64), Oliver Creed, Lloyd Connolly, Leon Dadey (Nathaniel Williams 80), Billy Nutbeam, Enow Ojong (Morgan Porter 72), Zeid Hannachi, Jamie Pearce (Ashley Hitchinson 77). Unused subs: Richard Shelley.

Referee: Matthew Childs

Attendance – 79