Horley Town (1) 1, Guildford City (0) 0
by Barry Underwood
There was a chilly wind blowing at the New Defence which perhaps contributed to a scrappy game of football that won’t have cheered the purists. Not that Horley will be worried by that, as in a game of few chances they scored the only goal of the game after just eight minutes. City didn’t show the same intensity as the previous week, and too often they resorted to a more direct approach with no noticeable benefit. It could have been so different as Guildford had a golden opportunity to score in the very first minute. Harrison Livingstone picked the ball up on the left flank and showing deft footwork he worked a shooting position in the box but sadly the end result didn’t match the build up as he shot powerfully over the bar. City then dropped their concentration and Horley took the lead from a low ball into the box which was converted with ease. The visitor’s midfield trio struggled to get a grip on the game; often because the ball was flying backwards and forwards above their heads. City improved their intensity as the half went on and on 23 minutes, they came mighty close to scoring. A fine Adam Green cross was headed down into the danger area by Harrison Livingstone where debutant Harry Laflin could only lift the bouncing ball over the bar. Just prior to the break Finley Warren showed good footwork to unleash a shot that cleared the bar from 20 yards.
The second period was the poorer of the halves, and City, try as they might, were unable to replicate their improvement prior to the break. Horley did have an early shooting chance when a high ball cleared the City backline and Ethan Ford forced Mike McEntegart into a diving save. There was a lot of play in the centre third and there was no doubting Horley’s work rate as they continually closed in when City had possession. Yannick Monga shot wide from distance, as did Horley’s Ethan Ford. With 15 minutes remaining there was some anxiety in the Guildford defence when numerous chances to clear the ball was spurned leading indirectly to Horley winning the ball back but shooting wide. In the final moments City sprang into life. A free kick was headed down by Harry Laflin giving Alfie Huckle a shooting chance in the box. Huckle opted for an extra touch and the resulting shot was deflected for a corner. From the corner Antonio Simeone was lurking at the back of the goal and his first time shot narrowly missed the foot of the post. In stoppage time another City free kick into the box was hooked away by a defender from under the crossbar. This was followed seconds later by the final whistle.
Team: Michael McEntegart, Kyrell Palmer, Ethan Nelson-Roberts, Alfie Huckle, Antonio Simeone, James Glover, Finley Warren, Yannick Monga, Harry Laflin, Harrison Livingstone (Fariz Khallouqi 68), Adam Green. Unused subs: Lawson Bright, Campbell Scott, Alberto Santana, Jack Coleman.
Referee: Daniel Trout
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