Guildford City (2) 3, Sandhurst Town (1) 2
by Barry Underwood
They say that it is a good side that wins matches whilst not playing well. Last night Guildford were far from at their best, but they still found a way to score three goals and to win the game. A classy looking Sandhurst Town side passed the ball around impressively, but yet left the Spectrum empty handed. For Guildford this win takes them to the dizzy heights of second place with four wins from their four matches.
The home side played well in the initial stages and in the second minute Owen Tanner’s free kick was tipped over by Town keeper Henry Pidgeon. City suffered a big blow after just five minutes when midfielder Jack Knight went down with a serious looking knee injury and had to be stretchered off the field of play. Guildford took the lead on 14 minutes. A fine cross field pass by Tolu Ajayi-Obe put Manny Acheampong into space. Acheampong shrugged off a challenge before drilling a shot low into the net from an acute angle. Minutes later following a corner City claimed that the ball had crossed the goal line but the match officials thought otherwise. Slowly Sandhurst’s possession became more threatening. But against the run of play it was Guildford who scored again. The ball fell to Mike Coppinger after a clearance was blocked. Coppinger bamboozled the defence with a step over before shooting powerfully home. Sandhurst should have scored on the half hour. A low cross was turned over the bar from close range. A goal was not long delayed though when a header back across goal was converted by Ben Harris. Both sides had opportunities as the half came to a close. James Glover headed wide from a good position, whilst Sandhurst hit the crossbar from the edge of the box.
The visitors maintained their momentum after the break. Within minutes Adam Longman had saved brilliantly with his legs, but Guildford were conceding too many free kicks in their own half. On 56 minutes Sandhurst’s Ben Harris was shown red for a foul on Mike Coppinger. But as so often it didn’t hinder the visitor’s game. James Glover did see a free kick go wide of the post and a good cross from the right was just too high for Nathaniel Mensah to head the ball on target. Sandhurst deservedly got back on level terms after 66 minutes. Lack of composure in defence prevented an effective clearance and Kian Duncan fired home from the edge of the box. Parity didn’t remain for long. Four minutes later Kai Beck set Manny Acheampong free. Acheampong’s early shot was parried by Pidgeon, and Nathaniel Mensah was on hand to turn the ball in. Late in the game both sides were down to 10 men when Lewis Taylor received a second yellow. There was an element of backs to the wall during stoppage time, but Guildford survived to claim another three points.
Team: Adam Longman, Lewis Taylor, Callum Sullivan (Darnell McDonald 64), Tolu Ajayi-Obe, James Glover, Owen Tanner, Kai Beck (Will May 74), Jack Knight (Louis Lindsay 10), Nathaniel Mensah (Campbell Scott 85), Mike Coppinger (Jack Cleevely 74), Manny Acheampong.
Referee: Jack Healy
Attendance – 168