Fringe Box



Curtains Close on a Disappointing Season for Guildford City

Published on: 10 May, 2021
Updated on: 10 May, 2021

Mike Coppinger heads Guildford City into an early lead against Sheerwater. Photo: Paul Burgman

By Julian Cooper

Sheerwater (3) 3, Guildford City (2) 2

The football season has closed, with Guildford City being knocked out of two cup competitions within days. The Combined Counties Leagues had been cancelled in the winter, leaving only the Fripp Smith Trophy and The League Cup.

First up on the May bank holiday was an 11:30am kick off at Woking’s Laithwaite Community Stadium against Sheerwater FC in the Fripp Smith Trophy. After recent wins, Guildford needed only a point to move to the semi-finals and after an early breakthrough when on six minutes, took the lead.

Smart work on the right between Athan Smith-Joseph and Max Oldham produced a deep cross headed in by Mike Coppinger at the far post. The lead was short-lived. Sheerwater equalised from a corner, this closely followed by a penalty which ex-City player Keiron Campell put away with ease.

Campbell then made it three with a driven shot from the outside the right corner of the penalty area. Guildford City pulled a goal back on half time when Mike Coppinger crossed for Max Oldem to net.

After five first-alf goals the second half was a different affair, the game turning into a scrappy, and sometimes ill-tempered contest. Credit must go to Sheerwater for a determined performance, and for their game management that kept City at bay.

Guildford City (0) 1, Redhill (2) 3

Last Saturday (May 8), the League cup quarter-final against Redhill was switched to Westfield FC’s fantastic facilities in Woking Park due to start of the athletics season in the Spectrum.

Westfield FC’s facilities in Woking Park. Photo: Wikipedia

The winners of this contest were to meet either Abbey Rangers or Sutton Common Rovers in the next round.

But this was an under-par performance from Guildford and after a string of late-season matches, perhaps it was a game too far, although to be fair, Redhill on the day were undoubtedly the better side.

Redhill opened the scoring early in the first half with Aiden Brown shooting low into the corner having turned two defenders inside out. Guildford did push to try and get back into the match but just on half-time Redhill extended their lead.

Athan Smith-Joseph making strides through Redhill’s midfield. Photo: Paul Burgman

After the break, the home side changed their formation and seven minutes into the half they got back into the game. An in-swinging corner hit the post and bounced out into a crowded box where the referee spotted the ball touch a Redhill hand. Max Oldham stepped up to net from the penalty spot.

But Guildford were unable to kick-on. On the hour, Aiden Brown had a good opportunity to put Redhill further ahead which he missed, and Sam King evaded several challenges to force McEntegart into another excellent save. On 74 minutes, the game was effectively killed when King reacted first to a loose ball to score from the edge of the box.

So the curtains close on another season, one that has generally been considered as disappointing. With a new manager and a promise of better times, to see how Guildford City fare next time round will be very interesting.



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