Guildford City (1) 4, Shoreham FC 0  
by Barry Underwood 

Guildford opened their FA Vase account with an impressive performance against step six side Shoreham. The visitors are enjoying a good season and sitting second in their league they are just the sort of side who in recent years has caused City problems.  But this match was different and from start to finish Guildford dominated proceedings, assisted in the latter stages by Shoreham losing two players to red cards, and one to the sin bin. Almost farcically both red cards were to the persons playing in goal, meaning Shoreham fielded three keepers during the match!    

As early as the third minute Mike Coppinger had a great chance but chose to try and place his shot when power might have been a better option. Minutes later the powerful Omar Folkes showed considerable skill to find a route to goal, but his low effort whistled just wide of the post. On 14 minutes Max Oldham picked up a loose ball and shot from an acute angle but keeper number one Ricardo Alves was equal to the task making a fine save. Four minutes later it seemed that Guildford must score. Folkes through pass gave Nathaniel Mensah a good shooting chance but again Alves saved. From the rebound Omar Folkes had an effort blocked and Mike Coppinger’s effort on the turn slipped past the post. On 25 minutes a great dummy by Folkes gave Coppinger another shooting chance which smashed against the crossbar and was cleared. Any fears that this wouldn’t be Guildford’s day were allayed two minutes later when Nathaniel Mensah fired into the top corner form 20 yards.

So, could City maintain their form after the break? After a brief settling period it was soon evident, they could. Seven minutes in and Max Oldham gave Nathaniel Mensah another shooting chance inside the box.  Keeper Alves got a hand to Mensah’s shot but couldn’t prevent the ball rolling gently over the line. Shoreham’s main threat came from set pieces, but Mike McEntegart dominated his box catching a number of crosses under pressure. After several half chances Mike Coppinger made the game save on 73 minutes. He jinked past two players on the edge of the box and shot low into the corner. The last ten minutes were strange to say the least. Firstly the visitors player-manager went to the sin bin. Two minutes later Mensah rounded the keeper on the edge of the box but was brought down. Rather unluckily Alves was show red and Shoreham were down to nine players.  From the resulting Oldham free-kick the substitute keeper made a fine diving save. Then in stoppage time the sub keeper went straight through Max Oldham in the penalty area and was also shown red. Nathaniel Mensah stepped up to convert the penalty to confirm his hattrick.

Team: Mike McEntegart, Kyrell Palmer, Fred Hill, James Glover, Antonio Simeone, Prince Mbengui, Yannick Monga (Ben Cotton 73), Mike Coppinger (Josh Everard 79), Max Oldham, Omar Folkes (Josh Bullen 79), Nathaniel Mensah. Unused subs: Joe Monday, Campbell Scott, Luke Roberts.

Referee: Jake Atkinson

Attendance – 74