Splethorne Sports (1) 2, Guildford City (1) 2
by Barry Underwood
After two consecutive defeats, Guildford City got back on track at Staines Road with a deserved point against in-form Spelthorne Sports. City were a little sluggish for the opening 20 minutes and a number of forward passes were overhit into forward areas. Out of nowhere Spelthorne scored with their first effort on goal on 10 minutes. Jamie Fuller found himself in acres of space and he had time to shoot beyond Lewis Hoy into the corner. The home side were winning a lot of second ball and with good movement up front things looked a little ominous for the visitors. But as so often this season Guildford suddenly sprang to life around the 25-minute mark. City worked a good opening that saw Nat Mensah’s shot block and the Mike Coppinger took two touches with the loose ball when a first-time shot was called for. A minute later following a corner Darnell McDonald’s effort from the edge of the box struck the post. Guildford were not to be denied and two further minutes on they had equalised when Mike Coppinger curled a 30-yard free kick into the bottom corner. Just before the interval a fine Coppinger pass gave Darnell McDonald another shooting chance which was tipped round the post at full stretch.
Immediately after the restart McDonald came mighty close to a goal; his 30-yard piledriver being superbly saved by Shay Honey in the Spelthorne goal. Minutes later Nat Mensah broke clear on the right, but by delaying his shot he was thwarted by a superbly timed tackle. On the hour the home side went ahead again. Controversially a heavy tackle on Kai Beck wasn’t given as a foul by the officials, and the ball was quickly transferred downfield where Spelthorne won a free kick. Up stepped Filipe de Lima who curled the ball into the top corner. In an entertaining second period both sides came close. A fine Kai Beck run to the by-line saw him lay the ball back across the six-yard box where Mike Coppinger smashed the ball goalward. But somehow a defender on the line managed to head the ball clear. Immediately in response the home side hit the near post after a low cross. Spelly saw an effort at the back post volleyed wide, and another cross go straight across goal. On 81 minutes City thought they should have had a penalty. Just inside the box Darnell McDonald was brought down following a foot striking his head. Both referee and adjacent linesman however saw no infringement and play went on. Not deterred Guildford did soon get back on level terms. A high hanging corner caused confusion in the goalmouth and Kai Beck managed to bundle the ball over the line. In stoppage time Will May’s attempted lob was saved by Honey. Soon after the referee brought an entertaining match to a close.
Team: Lewis Hoy, Alex Andreou, Callum Sullivan (Will May 78), Tolu Ajayi-Obe, James Glover, Owen Sims, Kai Beck, Owen Tanner, Nathaniel Mensah (Manny Acheampong 70), Mike Coppinger, Darnell McDonald. Unused subs: Louis Lindsay, Jack Cleevely, Lewis Taylor.
Referee: Stephen Matthews