Guildford City (1) 3, Sheerwater (0) 0
by Barry Underwood
These are heady days at Guildford City. Five consecutive league wins and the team top of a league table for the first time since 2012. Okay its very early days and manager Tristan Rees is fond of saying “Don’t get carried away with the good times, and don’t get carried away by the bad”. But after a lot of seasons of under achievement Guildford’s officials and supporters are enjoying these moments.
This was the second league meeting between these sides in 11 days. The first match had been a tough encounter between two different styles of football. This match at the Spectrum was equally intense with just a single goal separating the sides for the majority of the game. City did open brightly. Manny Acheampong was his usual bundle of energy on the right flank and from his low cross Owen Tanner shot over the bar. Sheers first opportunity came from a deep free kick when a header was tipped over the bar by Adam Longman. On nine minutes it was Acheampong again causing problems to Sheers defence. His low cross was missed by a defender and Kai Beck swept the ball home for the opening goal. Beck had another opportunity when he cut in from the left, but his powerful effort blazed over the bar. Sheerwater started to enjoy more possession as the half developed, but they were largely restricted to long-range shooting. In stoppage time Kai Beck set Manny Acheampong free but with a covering defender approaching Acheampong chose an early shot which hit the side netting.
Sheerwater’s cause wasn’t helped in the early stages of the second half by the loss of Fred Hill to a red card. It looked a harsh decision. As so often happens the loss of a man didn’t seem to hinder the visitors. On 55 minutes Mike Coppinger slid Will May into space and his shot from an angle was saved for a corner. Sheers still had good possession but couldn’t fashion chances on goal. With the game in the final ten minutes Guildford pushed to make the game safe. Kai Beck saw a shot in the box blocked, and Mike Coppinger’s in swinging corner was headed off the line by a defender. In the 88th minute Mensah had a great chance to score but his shot from Acheampong’s cross went just wide. But as the game went into stoppage time Nathaniel Mensah got on the scoresheet. Finding some space just outside the box his low effort found the net. Ethan Cassie had a goal ruled out for a narrow offside, before deep in stoppage Mike Coppinger found space in the box to fire home his sixth goal of the season.
Team: Adam Longman, Lewis Taylor (Campbell Scott 85), Callum Sullivan, Tolu Ajayi-Obe, James Glover, Jack Cleevely (Louis Lindsay 71), Kai Beck (Ethan Cassie 90), Owen Tanner, Will May (Nathaniel Mensah 67), Mike Coppinger, Manny Acheampong. Unused sub: Chris Adams.
Referee: Josh Howard
Attendance – 164