Tadley Calleva (0) 1, Guildford City (2) 3
by Barry Underwood
Following Guildford’s disappointing performance in defeat on Saturday, manager Pete Ruggles took steps to revive his side by reorganising his starting line-up, including fielding a completely different back four. And the changes certainly worked. Right from the off City passed the ball with confidence and using width they looked more dangerous than in recent games. After just seven minutes the lively Leon Dadey scooted clear from Jamie Pearce’s pass. As Dadey reached the box his effort was blocked by the body of Tadley’s keeper Craig Atkinson. For Tadley the accomplished Ben Wright saw a low effort go just wide, but generally Guildford’s twin central defenders Scott Costello and Neil Roissetter marshalled the backline well. On 27 minutes City opened the scoring. Jack Webb made ground on the right and from his cross the ball fell to Jamie Pearce who shot home from 12 yards. On the half hour City’s defence did well to deal with a prolonged attack from the home side. On the stroke of half-time Guildford increased their lead. Once again it was from a Jack Webb cross which Jamie Pearce met with a bullet header into the corner of the net.
Games aren’t won by the half-time interval, and a game’s momentum often changes after the break. But City took big strides to claiming a valuable win by going further ahead on 50 minutes. New signing Shi O’Connor burst into a gap and his pass bounced off a defender into the path of Jack Webb who shot under the keeper for his first goal for the club. Minutes later City came close to a fourth. Jamie Pearce dispossessed a defender and was through on goal but his left foot effort cleared the crossbar. On the hour Ben Wright’s shot took a deflection into the net and it was game on. This was a testing period with Tadley lifted by their goal. On the counter Jack Webb had an effort blocked following O’Connor’s pass. As the game progressed Tadley’s players and bench became frustrated and players and bench were shown a succession of cards including two players to the sin bin. From a free-kick Jamie Pearce headed just wide, and with eight minutes remaining a Ben Wright effort was brilliantly saved by City keeper Stuart Norman. A raft of substitutions helped City get through the remaining minutes to claim a very valuable three points.
Team: Stuart Norman, Shane Cheeseman (Stephan Langley 90), Billy Nutbeam, Campbell Scott (Harvey Valter 83), Scott Costello, Neil Roissetter, Jack Webb, Tommy Brunton (Ashley Hitchinson 81), Jamie Pearce (Cameron Gyeabour 75), Shiloh O’Connor (Shane Rideout 72), Leon Dadey.
Referee: Reece Woodham