Walton & Hersham (0) 1, Guildford City (0) 3
by Barry Underwood
After their midweek league cup victory Guildford travelled to face a Walton & Hersham side that just missed out on promotion last season but this year are struggling to get their season kick-started. Indeed this proved to be Walton manager Gary Taylor’s last match in charge, with an evening announcement that the ambitious club’s patience had run out at their stumbling start to the season. Guildford for their part were missing several players with long term injury, with reinforcements being drafted into the squad late in the week in the form of Sean Mason and Gilberto Abril.
City opened in a confident mood and in the opening exchanges the impressive Eli Ogunseye crossed for Kyen Nicholas whose first time effort was blocked for a corner. On 10 minutes a fine interchange between David Burton and Kiye Martin gave Nicholas a clear sight of goal. The powerful striker tried to pick his spot but his low effort aimed at the corner drifted inches outside the post. The Swans certainly had chances in the first half. Early on a shot whistled just wide, before on 15 minutes City midfielder Kiye Martin did excellently to clear a powerful effort off of his own goal line. Full credit to Martin who has undoubted ability on the ball. In the past that ability wasn’t always matched by work rate without the ball. However since returning to the club his performances have been of the highest order in the fullest sense. For a period chances were exchanged at either end. Evan Lopes saw a shot blocked, whilst Harrison Deacon lobbed an effort over the bar for Walton. Frank Ngonyama forced Liam Beach into a fine save, whilst Billy Irving scrambled brilliantly to clear Deacon’s effort off the line. A minute before the interval City came close themselves when David Burton’s glancing header from Webbe’s free-kick went narrowly wide.
It is fair to say that City upped their game after the break. This was greatly helped by taking the lead in the opening minutes of the half. Evan Lopes’s clever pass put Kyen Nicholas into space on the left of the box. Nicholas chose to shoot early and his low effort found the net off the inside of the far post. Minutes later City should have gone further ahead when fine work from Webbe and Ogunseye saw the ball laid off to Lopes but uncharacteristically he miskicked and the chance went begging. On 52 minutes it was game on when Marlon Pinder smashed an equaliser home from fully 30 yards. In a rash of goals after the break it only took two minutes for City to regain their lead. Again Bobby Webbe set Eli Ogunseye free down the right and his early cross was converted with aplomb by Kyen Nicholas. Although the home side looked to go forward City’s defence had a secure look. City’s third goal on 67 minutes typified this when Billy Irving did well to break up an attack before unleashing City’s forward players. The ball found Kyen Nicholas who advanced towards goal before firing a low drive into the corner from 20 yards to claim his first hat-trick for the club. Amongst a flurry of substitutions Guildford had further chances. Evan Lopes twice drove into the box without getting a shot away, and late on substitute Gilberto Abril’s shot was deflected over for a corner. Overall an impressive performance from a Guildford City side who are gathering some momentum.
Team: Liam Beach, Sean Mason, Josh Burrowes, David Burton (Jamie Higgins 88), Luke Beale, Billy Irving, Evan Lopes, Bobby Webbe, Kyen Nicholas, Kiye Martin (Ric Campbell 86), Eli Ogunseye (Gilberto Abril 81). Unused subs: Tom Griffin, Charlie Berry.
Referee: Bogdan Caraghin
Chris Balchin Post Match Interview