Walton & Hersham (1) 2, Guildford City (0) 0
by Barry Underwood
Guildford exited the FA Cup last evening in front of a bumper crowd at Waterside Drive. It was a fully competitive game under the lights, but ultimately it was an accomplished and especially physically stronger home side that deservedly advanced to the next round.
That said there wasn’t too much between the sides in the first period. Early on a nice passing move saw Roberto Ratti free in front of goal but his effort was straight at the keeper Liam Allen. However on seven minutes City’s defence switched off from a free-kick and Harry Mills was given the opportunity to smash the ball home. City still made progress down both flanks and from an Oldham cross Fred Hill’s back post header was well blocked. On 23 minutes Guildford escaped strong claims for a penalty which thankfully referee Potter waved away. So still just a goal down there was every chance of getting back in the match. Mike Coppinger’s fine run forward saw his end shot sliced wide, whilst on the half hour the home side saw a close-range header narrowly miss the target. Another defensive lapse saw Walton go close again when possession was lost cheaply, and a long-range effort dipped just over the bar. Just before the interval Jordan Adeyemi made a good run into the channel and under pressure, he fired a powerful shot goalward that Allen parried for a corner.
Guildford had a good spell at the opening of the second period and you felt they needed to score during this period. Frustratingly there were moments when City’s frontmen overplayed when an earlier shot was required. Fred Hill did have a good shooting chance from the edge of the box which Allen diving full length saved for a corner. The game changed in truth on 63 minutes when City midfielder Edson Da Silva was shown a second yellow card. In a tough and intense encounter Guildford had their hands full with 11 men on the pitch. With 10 it would be a monumental task. Walton had more time on the ball and twice Mike McEntegart saved superbly to keep City in the game. With 13 minutes remaining Walton clinched the match. The impressive Palace Francis picked up the ball on the left edge of the box and with neat footwork he skipped inside the City defenders to drill the ball home. Barring a strong Coppinger run forward it was largely damage limitation as City’s 10 men still working hard battled to the end.
Team: Mike McEntegart, Isy Nzelo (Nathaniel Mensah 77), Antonio Simeone, Briggs Ojemen, Max Oldham (Sean Basaye 81), Prince Mbengui, Jordan Adeyemi, Roberto Ratti, Fred Hill, Edson Da Silva, Mike Coppinger. Unused subs: James Glover, Ryan Ferrari, Luke Roberts, David Burton, Josh Bullen.
Referee: Alistair Potter
Attendance – 421