Sheerwater (0) 2, Guildford City (1) 3
by Barry Underwood 

A win at Sheerwater in the Easter derby saw Guildford City gain deserved reward for their improved performances in recent matches. At champions elect Beckenham on Saturday, despite defeat, the opposition manager had complimented our management and the City lads on their performance.

From the off at the Eastwood Stadium City played with confidence. Sheerwater for their part were looking for points to consolidate their highest ever finish. For the home side Scott Costello saw a cross shot well saved by Jack Coleman, and minutes later from a corner Sheerwater had a good headed chance which went wide. But Guildford were making inroads forward and Gianluca Zanre Botti saw a powerful shot from an angle saved. Despite City looking good in possession, it was the home side with the early chances. Former City player Kieran Campbell headed wide at the back post, whilst Jack Coleman saved well from close range following a corner. Guildford to the delight of their fans behind the goal took the lead on 37 minutes. Without a penalty kick for 2,757 minutes Guildford finally were awarded a spot kick. Billy Connor crossed low and Zanre Botti’s first time shot was handled on the line by a defender.  Up stepped Nathaniel Mensah who netted with a low drive. Minutes before the break Adam Green and Faris Khallouqi combined well but a full-length block prevented another score.

After the break Sheerwater started well and a headed chance at the back post went wide. But City were soon back in their stride. Khallouqi shot over, and Billy Connor’s half volley went just wide. As the hour approached the lively Nat Mensah saw a shot under pressure saved at full length by Sheer’s Alfie Mickley. Then two minutes later the home side were back on level terms. A cross from the right was headed against the underside of the bar and the ball bounced down over the line. To their credit City still came forward. Adam Green shot just wide after a good run, before on 69 minutes Guildford nudged ahead again. Billy Connor’s power shot from an angle was parried and Kailan North was on hand to tuck the rebound home from close range. Again, Sheer’s came back. This time from a free kick. Substitute George Dore stepped up to curl a shot over the wall and into the corner of the net. This time it was Guildford who bounced back. It was Billy Connor who was rampant on the right who created the chance. This time his low cross was met first time by Faris Khallouqi at the near post.  Jordan Coleman then saved well for City, but Guildford could have gone further ahead in the late stages. Khallouqi had two further half chances, and the impressive Lewis Inglis delayed too long with his effort. In stoppage time Sheerwater saw another header go wide and mysteriously Liam Maher was shown a second yellow.

Team: Jack Coleman. Adam Green, Kyrell Palmer, Kailan North, Lawson Bright, Liam Maher, Billy Connor, Lewis Inglis, Nathaniel Mensah, Gianluca Zanre Botti (Zac Seys 78), Faris Khallouqi. Unused subs: Connor Gray, Adam Williams, Jackson Hogg, Sam Drew.

Referee: Josh Osofa

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