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An Extraordinary Game – the Scoreline Belied the Balance of Play

Published on: 24 Sep, 2023
Updated on: 24 Sep, 2023

City go close in another thwarted attack. Photo Chris Pegman

Guildford City (0) 1, Horley Town (4) 6

By Barry Underwood

What an extraordinary game of football!

In 57 years of watching football, I don’t recall a match withsuch an inflated scoreline but where the  balance of play was so even.

Guildford played some excellent football which wasn’t reflected by the end score. So, what happened you might ask?

Simply, the answer is that an impressive Horley side took their chances clinically, whilst City,
despite hitting the woodwork four times, couldn’t match the authority of the visitors finishing.

Guildford had an early chance when from a corner Will May headed over the bar. The home side
were then stunned on four minutes when Horley were awarded a spot-kick. It looked a soft decision,
but Jake Roberts didn’t care when he stepped up to fire home despite Adam Longman’s strong hand.

Going behind hasn’t stopped City in the past and again they went forward. Defender Tolu Ajayi-Obesaw a  powerful effort well saved for a corner, and on 15 minutes some fine play gave Will May a shooting opportunity from an angle, but his effort slammed against the post.

Yet another City attack but only one resulted in a goal. Photo Chris Pegman

There was considerable pressure on the Horley goal and May and Mike Coppinger had further attempts on goal. City were then knocked back on their heels. Jack Poplett rose at the back post to head home from a corner and City were two goals down. Still Guildford went forward. Nat Mensah headed over and from an excellent Darnell McDonald cross Will May could only glance the ball wide.

As if to show the home side how to finish Horley scored twice more at the end of the half. City’s defence were slow to close down, and a high effort sailed over Longman’s head and into the net. Minutes later in stoppage time ex-City striker Cameron Gyeabour outjumped the City goalkeeper to head in a fourth.

Guildford’s young side have done some wonderful things this season and it wasn’t beyond the bounds of possibility that they would come back in the second half. It was clear they were intent on doing so, as immediately they came desperately close to scoring when Mike Coppinger’s piledriver was brilliantly saved by Horley’s veteran keeper George Hyde.

On 53 minutes a fine Kai Beck pass put Nat Mensah through on goal but again Hyde saved. A fine overlapping run by Owen Sims saw him shoot against the near post, whilst a minute later Tolu Ajayi-Obe shot wide from Coppinger’s cross.

On the hour Nat Mensah prodded a loose ball past Hyde but again the ball hit the post! On 67 minutes, Horley showed City how to finish. Cameron Gyeabour drove in from the left and his powerful shot somehow squeezed in at the near post. City were pushing forward in numbers and on 71 minutes they were caught on the counterattack when Horley netted their sixth.

In stoppage time Guildford finally got on the scoresheet when Will May side footed home from Owen Sims cross.

Listen to Ian Plested’s post-match interview here…

Team: Adam Longman, Lewis Taylor (Ethan Cassie 67), Darnell McDonald, Tolu Ajayi-Obe, James Glover, Owen Sims, Kai Beck (Alex Andreou 73), Louis Lindsay (Christon John-Ahye 76), Will May, Mike Coppinger (Jack Cleevely 76), Nathaniel Mensah. Unused subs: Callum Sullivan.

Referee: Chris Binney

Attendance – 131

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Responses to An Extraordinary Game – the Scoreline Belied the Balance of Play

  1. Martin Giles Reply

    September 24, 2023 at 8:58 pm

    As a newly active City supporter I would like to add my encouragement to the team. They are playing good, attractive football. Congratulations to Horley but City did not deserve Saturday’s scoreline, Barry Underwood’s excellent report sums it up and I hope our young squad is not discouraged.

    The club deserves more support and I have just invested £30 for ten (concession) match tickets which I think is a steal. I do hope that others can come along and share in the enjoyment.

    Martin Giles is the editor of The Guildford Dragon NEWS.

  2. Olly Azad Reply

    September 24, 2023 at 11:09 pm

    I have been reading up on how Guildford City have performed ever since the start of the season and the result against Horley Town is just an anomaly and would soon be corrected when City play their next game.

    Can I also thank Barry Underwood for his insightful reporting of the matches on a weekly basis and also to The Guildford Dragon NEWS under the stewardship of Martin Giles for publishing them.

    I can hardly wait to enquire on City’s next performance.

  3. Howard Smith Reply

    September 25, 2023 at 7:18 pm

    I’d like to add my voice to that of the editor in recommending going to a City match right now.

    I went to the home game with Fleet Town 10 days ago. Three penalties, one missed, and a late injury time winner for Guildford’s young team. Very worthy 2-1 winners at the end. What more could you ask for?

    Howard Smith, is a Labour borough councillor for Westborough

  4. Derek Tucker Reply

    September 28, 2023 at 9:28 am

    This new City team are playing some really exciting football, probably the best I’ve seen in the past 10 years I’ve been following them.

    So if you are a footy nut and want to be entertained on a Saturday afternoon get down to Guildford Spectrum to cheer on The Sweeney!

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