Sutton Common Rovers (1) 2, Guildford City (2) 2
by Barry Underwood
This hard fought draw at Gander Green Lane was largely a game of two halves. City had the better of the first half, whilst in the second period Rovers threw everything forward in an effort to win the match. City opened brightly with former SCR striker Marlon Pinder looking especially lively. The first chance on four minutes fell to Pinder who received Evan Lopes’ cross on the edge of the box but his effort was mishit and Craig Bradshaw saved comfortably. Two minutes later City nudged ahead. Bobby Dormer’s header forward was misjudged in defence and Marlon Pinder latched onto the ball to convert with aplomb from 15 yards. City were picking SCR off in midfield and it was Dormer himself who ran strongly forward before hitting a shot wide. SCR’s first sight on goal came after 14 minutes when ex-City striker Stefan Joseph found himself free and bearing down on goal. Fortunately for the visitors Kallum Lunn was equal to the task saving well with his legs. Minutes later Lunn was again called into action when he saved well from a Liam Holden free-kick. Just when it looked as if SCR were gaining a toehold in the game City scored again, and this goal owed something to good fortune. A deep free-kick to the back of the penalty area was volleyed back across goal by Darryl Siaw. SCR keeper Craig Bradshaw and a defender clashed as they went for the same ball and the predatory Marlon Pinder was on hand to convert from close range off of his knee. The home side certainly enjoyed more of the ball as the half developed but City didn’t look unduly troubled, and when SCR scored after 39 minutes it came with a massive helping hand from the City defence. SCR had fired a hopeful high cross towards the back of the penalty area and it appeared Kallum Lunn was going to claim the ball. However Nemo Adams was unaware of the goalkeeper’s intentions and headed the ball against his own crossbar and Stefan Joseph had the easiest of chances to head the rebound into the empty net. Lifted by the idea of gifting the opposition a goal City twice came close to extending their lead in first half stoppage time. Both efforts involved Kiye Martin who saw a free-kick saved by Bradshaw, and a curling shot from outside the box just clear the crossbar.
It was a different SCR side that came out for the second half. Certainly more determined and more direct they dominated territory and possession during the second period. Notice of intent was served on 46 minutes when City gave the ball away cheaply in the middle of the park leading to Jean-Luc Kinsaba firing goal wards and bringing out a flying save from Lunn. Minutes later referee Mawby had a big decision to make. Darryl Siaw twisted away from a defender on the left and was brought down as he entered the box. City fans behind the goal said Siaw was just in the box but the referee ruled he was just outside. Evan Lopes’ effort from the resulting free-kick cleared the crossbar with ease. On the hour Stefan Joseph shot just wide and moments later ace striker Michael Campbell – on from the bench – was brought down in the area and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped Campbell but City man of the match Kallum Lunn was equal to the task saving the spot kick. In a rare attack Shawn Lyle glanced a header across the goalmouth with nobody there to get the vital touch. With ten minutes remaining SCR scored the equaliser their second half domination deserved. A fine ball from Jordan Johnson into the right channel found Campbell who unleashed a fine shot into the far corner for a splendid goal. The momentum was with the home side and undoubtedly City were happy to settle for a point at this stage. Kallum Lunn again saved well from Campbell and as the game entered stoppage time City debutant Chris Tancock brilliantly blocked a goal bound effort. Things became heated as the game reached its conclusion as late chances were exchanged. SCR shot over from a good position at the near post, whilst with the final action of the match Bobby Dormer headed inches wide from a free-kick.
Team: Kallum Lunn, Tom Booth (Chris Tancock 65), Darryl Siaw, Nemo Adams, Greg Haydon, Dan Akinwande, Evan Lopes, Bobby Dormer, Marlon Pinder (Miguel Anderson 77), Shawn Lyle, Kiye Martin (Tom Bingham 73). Unused subs: Jake Downs, Nhoj Witter.
Referee: Andy Mawby