Knaphill (1) 2, Guildford City (1) 3
by Barry Underwood.
Knaphill’s Redding Way has not been a happy hunting ground for Guildford City in recent years. But then this is a different City side who went into this game with just one defeat in 10 matches. The match was played in difficult conditions with a decidedly strong wind gusting down the length of the pitch. For much of the first period City coped with the conditions well. Keeping the ball on the ground they made good progress with Prince Mbengui and Yannick Monga dominating the midfield battle. Lively on the break, half chances started to fall Guildford’s way. On seven minutes Campbell Scott missed a volley chance from a corner, and moments later Jordan Adeyemi shot over the bar from 25 yards. Adeyemi then laid on a shooting chance for Mike Coppinger whose first-time effort missed the post by inches. Mike McEntegart did make a fine save for a corner, but generally it was City still causing the problems. Max Oldham saw an effort blocked, and on 22 minutes Guildford felt they had strong claims for a penalty. Mike Coppinger’s slick footwork took him into the corner of the penalty area where he was brought down. The referee saw the foul but thought it took place a yard outside the box. Almost immediately Knaphill attacked and were awarded their own penalty which was safely converted by Sam De Croix. It took six minutes for City to draw level. From a corner Jordan Adeyemi flicked the ball towards goal where Nathaniel Mensah was on hand to convert from close range. Knaphill did come close as half-time approached. A free kick with the aid of the wind deceived McEntegart but the visitor’s defence managed to clear the ball under pressure.
Momentum in the game shifted after the break. The home side seemed to cope better with the swirling wind. City unwittingly abandoned their passing game and resorted too often to long balls forward which were swiftly collected by Knaphill and returned into the City defence with interest. Despite this City still had chances. Max Oldham shot powerfully just wide, and Jordan Adeyemi escaped his markers attention but pulled his effort wide of the back post. From the hour mark Knaphill looked likely to score the next goal. McEntegart saved well after a defensive error and on 67 minutes a Knaphill free kick smashed against the City crossbar. With twenty minutes remaining an attempted Adeyemi lob was saved, whilst Mike Coppinger’s volley was brilliantly saved by Jos Barker in the home goal. Five minutes later Knaphill went ahead when Lloyd Connelly headed home from a corner. For the large contingent of City fans present the last 10 minutes of the match were remarkable. First Knaphill’s Danny Taylor broke free. A goal would have clinched the game for the home side, but Mike McEntegart saved quite brilliantly. On 85 minutes Coppinger’s power drive was parried by Barker, and Nathaniel Mensah was on hand for a second time to score from the rebound. Then with a minute remaining Mike Coppinger ran onto Prince Mbengui’s through ball to slide the ball past the keeper for what proved to be the winner.
Team: Michael McEntegart, Kyrell Palmer (Ethan Nelson-Roberts 75), Isy Nzelo, James Glover, Campbell Scott, Prince Mbengui, Yannick Monga (Josh Everard 75), Mike Coppinger, Max Oldham (Kesna Clarke 75), Jordan Adeyemi, Nathaniel Mensah. Unused subs: Sean Mason, Zeid Hannachi.
Referee: Gifford Manyange
Another week, another Wednesday night game at the Spectrum! We host Midhurst & Easebourne in the Aldershot Senior Cup! Come and support Tristan Rees’s Sweeney!
This season we have announced our FOOTBALL FOR A FIVER scheme. Come and watch the Sweeney at the Spectrum for only £5!