Spelthorne Sports (0) 3, Guildford City (0) 0
by Barry Underwood
There was trepidation in some quarters before the game as Guildford City ventured to their bogey ground where in the last two seasons the Sweeney has lost by a combined score of 13-2! The first half of this competitive encounter gave no hint that City would lose comprehensively again. Indeed throughout the game the visitors carved out half a dozen golden opportunities that on another day their normally prolific strike force would have accepted. But as we all know play as well as you like but ultimately it is goals that count, and in the second period Spelthorne scored three excellently taken goals; two of which were direct from free-kicks. It was therefore a hugely frustrating afternoon for the team from the Spectrum, typified late in the game by skipper Bobby Dormer being dismissed for a second yellow card. The afternoon’s first shot on goal came from Ibby Akanbi on six minutes, and it was the same player who put Matt Glass through on goal minutes later but Glass hit the bouncing ball high over the target. Spelthorne responded immediately when Tommy Mooney’s fine run took him behind the defence but Luke Badiali was equal to the challenge saving with his legs. Guildford looked the more dangerous and both Rob Wickenden and Dan Harding went close after fine interplay between the City forwards. It wasn’t all one way as from a corner Luke Badiali made a fine double save to keep the score goalless. City had another opportunity prior to the interval when home goal keeper Jacob Fuller gave the ball away cheaply and Perry Coles in trying to find the ideal shooting opportunity eventually put his effort wide.
Guildford opened the second period in similarly enterprising mood. Almost immediately Matt Glass fed the overlapping Nathan Gordon but the chance of a cross cum shot was missed and the chance came to nothing. A minute later Perry Coles set Matt Glass into space and advancing on goal his early shot was brilliantly saved by the diving Fuller. As so often happens in football the first goal of the match came against the run of play. Tommy Mooney received the ball wide out on the left from where he unleashed a spectacular effort beyond Badiali into the top corner. Not to be deterred the visitors looked to hit back immediately, and again Perry Coles linked with Matt Glass to put him through on goal but it clearly wasn’t the striker’s day as his effort went wide. On the hour Spelthorne went two ahead; Joe Goodman stepping up to plant a free-kick from 25 yards low into the corner. There was still chance for City to get back into the game and on 68 minutes Ibby Akanbi’s pass put Perry Coles in on goal but after seemingly rounding Fuller he cut back to get a better angle but his delayed shot was eventually blocked on the line. Cruelly an unfair complexion was put on the game with 15 minutes remaining. From another direct free-kick Joe Goodman again stepped up and again the ball whistled into the net; this time into the top corner. With the game having slipped away Perry Coles again found himself free in front of goal courtesy of fine work from Shawn Clement-Peter. In line with the rest of the afternoon the chance was missed, as were late efforts from Tom Bingham and Ibby Akanbi. Obviously a frustrating afternoon for City and this author can’t think of too many other occasions when the side have created so many good chances but yet lost 3-0.
Team: Luke Badiali, Jordan Taylor, Nathan Gordon, Greg Haydon, Bobby Dormer, Jason Thompson, Ibby Akanbi, Rob Wickenden (Shawn Clement-Peter 57), Perry Coles, Dan Harding (Jack Battie 66), Matt Glass (Tom Bingham 75).
Referee: Andy Bennett