Holyport (2) 5, Guildford City (0) 1
by Barry Underwood 

The failure of the referee to turn up was dramatic enough before a ball was kicked. It later transpired that the match official had been involved in a car accident on the way to the game but thankfully was unhurt. With near identical lowly league positions both clubs went into this cup-tie confident of progressing to the CCL Cup semi-finals.  Sadly, Guildford couldn’t raise their game for the occasion and they tamely exited the competition. It’s true to say that Guildford are light of numbers at the moment, but their error strewn display and lack of forward punch do not bode well for the remainder of the season.  

The frustrating thing is that for the first half-hour Guildford fully matched their opponents, and in fact looked the better side in possession of the ball. But barring two attempts on goal City for all their possession were missing an attacking edge. In the second minute Joe Condon’s half volley from the edge of the box caused Harrison Hill in the home goal to save diving to his left, and on 20 minutes the same player had a golden chance to score from Leon Dadey’s cross but couldn’t get his feet right and his tame effort was comfortably saved. Holyport had somehow missed a point blank header but generally Guildford seemed to be in control. Until that is the 34th minute when Holyport took the lead. Stuart Norman could only claw out an in swinging corner and after a scramble big defender Nahjee Holder thumped the ball home. Minutes later Stephan Langley made a terrific goal saving tackle after the ball had been lost cheaply, but the warning wasn’t heeded and from another lost ball the striker ran clean through to shoot past Norman.

A two-goal half-time deficit deteriorated after just three minutes of the restart. Seconds earlier Stuart Norman had already made a fine save, but moments later a deep cross was headed in by an unmarked player at the back post.  Two City substitutes did spark an improvement during the second period, and on 51 minutes the two players 17-year-old Ethan Lindo and Ashley Hitchinson combined to hit the post from 25 yards. Just after the hour Lindo saw a shot parried by Hill and the rebound cannoned off a defender and just over his own crossbar. On 82 minutes Guildford did get on the scoreboard via a Scott Costello half volley and there was just a possibility of an unlikely come back.  But again, Guildford’s defensive frailties cost them dear. Possession was again lost in the centre of defence and Holyport scored one on one with Norman. Then to round things off in stoppage time a back pass was intercepted allowing a fifth goal to be slid home.

Team: Stuart Norman, Stephan Langley, Billy Nutbeam, Tommy Brunton, Campbell Scott, Jamie Pearce, Scott Costello, Shane Cheeseman (Keiondre Ellis-Vassell 59), Joe Condon (Ethan Lindo 45), Enow Ojong (Ashley Hitchinson 50), Leon Dadey. Unused subs: Neil Roissetter, Pete Ruggles.

Referee: Steven Conway

Attendance – 48