Knaphill (0) 2, Guildford City (1) 1
by Barry Underwood
Two late goals conceded cost Guildford City a deserved share of the points and saw the host side move to fourth position in the league table. The early stages of the match were a cagey affair with both sides vying for position. Knaphill had an early shout for a penalty, but it was a rare moment of drama. Mid-half Guildford became more dangerous offensively. A neat one-two with Olly Edwardes saw Leon Dadey through in a dangerous position but Knaphill keeper Josh Barker saved well at the City wingers feet. Minutes later City had a golden opportunity to take the lead. Zeid Hannachi put Dadey through on goal but the winger shot inches wide of the near post. City had some momentum and on 31 minutes they did take the lead. A fine team move saw Billy Nutbeam cross on the turn, and Zeid Hannachi glanced a header past Barker from close range. In the late stages of the half both sides had free kicks in dangerous positions which came to nothing.
Guildford played some good football in the second period. Yes, they rode their luck at times, but it seemed they would have enough in the tank to claim the three points. Shortly after the restart and following a corner, there was an almighty scramble in the Knaphill box. A number of shots were blocked at full-stretch before being cleared. On 57 minutes City had an escape when the home side were awarded a penalty which Adam Poynter put wide via the outside of the post. Shortly after Oliver Creed did well to get back and clear an attempt off the goal line but still City were looking lively on the counter attack. On 67 minutes Zeid Hannachi saw a shot from the edge of the box comfortably saved. Minutes later substitute Aidan Holland got behind the defence but went too wide and failed to get a shot away. Knaphill must have felt it wasn’t their day when they saw a header hit the post. There was a sense of inevitability on 78 minutes when Knaphill forced an equaliser. There was confusion in the City defence and a player stole in and headed home. Predictably the home side were lifted late in the game. Stuart Norman saved well low down at the near post, before on 84 minutes another header put City in arrears. In stoppage time Guildford tried hard to force an equaliser but time was now the enemy, and the whistle blew on a frustrating defeat.
Team: Stuart Norman, Stephan Langley, Jake Rumble, Olly Edwardes (Jamil Saleh 85), Oliver Creed (Billy Murphy 87), Lloyd Connelly, Ashley Hitchinson (Aidan Holland 63), Zeid Hannachi, Jamie Pearce (Timmy Taylor 75), Leon Dadey, Billy Nutbeam. Unused sub: Joe Jarrett.
Referee: Jack Healy