Westfield (0) 0, Guildford City (1) 3
by Barry Underwood
Guildford City dramatically fell off the horse at Spelthorne on Saturday, but last night at local rivals Westfield they successfully remounted and in the second half especially gave an excellent display of passing football. To be fair Westfield were coming off of a match just two days previously as they battle to catch up on their fixtures, and this plainly can’t have helped them, especially in the latter stages. As if to prove this there was little between the sides during the first half. In an open first period both sides created openings and after 10 minutes Matt Anton gave Sanchez Benali a shooting chance which went wide of the post. Westfield responded and after a quarter of an hour it seemed that they must score when after some loose defending a close range shot was saved by Nic Taylor, who immediately recovered to make a brilliant stop to save the goal bound second effort. There was a hint that City were starting to drop off in midfield allowing the home side to pressure their defence. Then after 24 minutes, and a little against the run of play, City opened the scoring. Darryl Siaw – so effective at the back since his signing from Farnborough – ran some 40 yards with the ball at his feet and was only halted by an over vigorous challenge just inside the box. Referee Stu Kyle was standing adjacent to the incident and after a moment’s pause he pointed to the spot. Up stepped Sanchez Benali who calmly found the corner of the net.
After the break City stepped up several gears and although Westfield occasionally threatened most of the chances were falling at the goal behind which the travelling Sweeney were massed. Within a minute of the restart Darren Caesar saw a curling free-kick just clear the crossbar, after which Matt Anton’s effort from open play was comfortably saved by Aidan Upward. On 55 minutes City went two goals ahead with perhaps the team goal of the season. From defending a corner Guildford quickly broke with substitute Jack Battie timing his pass to Matt Anton to perfection. Anton reached the by-line on the right where his low cross was met at the near post by Tom O’Connor who cleverly side footed home despite Upwards attempts to keep the ball out. Now being two goals to the good City unleashed some impressive passing football which culminated on 63 minutes with Darren Caesar putting forward his own contender for individual goal of the season. After collecting the ball in the middle of the park Caesar advanced forward before unleashing a dipping effort from 25 yards that gave the unfortunate Upward no chance. Credit to the home side who continued to battle to get back into the game which they almost did on 66 minutes when Phil Moore’s powerful effort from an angle was spectacularly saved for a corner by Nic Taylor. Minutes later it looked as if Westfield had got on the scoresheet when following another excellent Taylor save the ball had been converted from the rebound. Any home celebrations were soon extinguished however when the “goal” was disallowed for offside. In the final moments City came close again through Benali and Jack May. Now it will be Guildford’s turn to play on a fast turn round on Saturday against a fresher side. How will they fare?
Team: Nic Taylor, Tom Booth, James Davies, Darryl Siaw, Tom Mills, Chad Goulter (Jack Battie 53), Sanchez Benali, Tom O’Connor (Jack May 67), Matt Anton (Callum Sexton 84), Tyrame Hemmings, Darren Caesar. Unused subs: Steve Lang, Martin Dynan.
Referee: Stu Kyle