Raynes Park Vale 4 (2), Guildford City 1 (1)
by Barry Underwood
Following a disappointing spell of form hopes were high after a two week break from matches that the Guildford City squad would have re-grouped and come out rejuvenated for the autumn fixtures. Sadly at Grand Drive that didn’t prove to be the case. In the first period Raynes Park dominated possession, although generally from both sides there was little end product. The game’s opening goal fell to the home team on 28 minutes. Guildford’s defence had three opportunities to clear the ball and having failed to do so, it wasn’t surprising to see Sean McKillop free in front of goal with the chance to lob the stranded Mike McEntegart. City were struggling to string passes together and offensively they posed few problems. That said Guildford did get back on level terms on 38 minutes with what proved to be their only shot on goal in the first half. But what a goal was; Roberto Ratti firing home a free kick from fully 30 yards. If Guildford could have gone in level at the interval you felt they might have kicked on after the break. But disastrously for City with the very last kick of the half a Raynes Park cross was turned into the net by a Guildford defender and again there was all to do.
With the rain still falling and the pitch becoming heavier conditions were testing for both sides. Raynes Park’s Jordan Gallagher saw an effort from an acute angle well saved by McEntegart, and shortly after Prince Mbengui slid in in an attempt to convert a cross but generally it was poor fare from the visitors. Despite City’s struggles the game was still hanging by a thread. Mike McEntegart again saved well to keep City in the game but on 74 minutes the home side scored again and in effect the game was over. The goal came from a corner and Josh Ano’s glanced header found its way inside the back post. Mike Coppinger did see an effort go wide but late in the game City’s goal came under heavy pressure. McEntegart again saved well, whilst with two minutes remaining Raynes Park struck the post. The fourth goal still came though in the final minute when Brad Sweeney was on hand to head home from close range. Amazingly Guildford’s only shot on target from open play came in stoppage time at the end when in a goalmouth scramble Nathaniel Mensah’s effort was saved by the otherwise untroubled Billy Bishop. There is no doubt that for a side who started the season with high aspirations this was a seriously disappointing performance.
Team: Michael McEntegart, Campbell Scott (Mike Coppinger 54), Fred Hill, James Glover (Ben Hughes 66), Omar Belazregue, Max Oldham, Ryan Richefond, Edson Da Silva (Nathaniel Mensah 78), Prince Mbengui, Roberto Ratti (Ashley Elson 66), Jordan Adeyemi. Unused subs: Luke Roberts.
Referee: Derrick Laing