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It’s Fourth Time Unlucky – City’s Cup Run Ends in Penalty Shoot-out

Published on: 12 Apr, 2021
Updated on: 12 Apr, 2021

Andre Smith battles with Walton’s midfield.

3rd Round FA Vase

Guildford City (1) 1, Walton and Hersham (0) 1
Walton & Hersham won 4-2 on penalties

By Julian Cooper, Pictures Paul Burgman

The eagerly awaited FA Vase 3rd Round tie between Guildford City and Walton & Hersham was finally played on what turned out to be a surprisingly cold day, just perfect for football.

Guildford City had fielded the best part of two squads in last week’s friendly away at Redhill to give manager Paul Barnes a chance to finally take a look at some players in a match situation.

This was my first opportunity to see the new-look Guildford City team assembled by “Barnsey”, with five U-18 players in the 18-man squad.

Guildford City pay their respects following the passing of HRH Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh.

After a one-minute silence marking the passing of HRH Prince Phillip, coincidentally born in the year GCFC was formed, 1921, the game kicked off, with both teams setting themselves up with a 3-5-2 formation playing wing-backs.

The first few minutes were even with both teams trying to impose themselves. On the 9th minute a chance, that became the first goal fell to Guildford City’s Andre Smith, a low central shot from 11 yards, this after a great run and cross from Eli Ogunseye on the right.

Andre Smith scores the opener for Guildford City.

On 30 minutes, Walton & Hersham had a chance to draw level from the penalty spot. A defensive header had been missed, leading to David Burton fouling Walton’s striker and the penalty was awarded. Up stepped Sean McCormack who didn’t hit it cleanly and City’s Stuart Norman saved low down to his left.

Eli Ogunseye stretching the Walton defence

At 37 minutes Eli Ogunseye had a chance to double the lead, but his touch let him down, allowing the goalkeeper to easily claim possession of the ball.

In the final minutes of the half Walton slammed the crossbar from an acute angle with the player volleying a deep cross from the left. It should have left a warning that Walton were still very much in this tie despite trailing 1-0 at half time.

Early in the second half, the first chance fell to Walton that had Stuart Norman saving well at his near post. Guildford had a couple of chances, one being a training-ground-practised free kick that saw Athan Smith-Joseph shoot from a tight angle only for the ball to be cleared.

Manager Paul Barnes offering clear instructions.

On 57 minutes, Walton finally got on the scoresheet for what was a deserved equaliser. Fine wing-play on the left led to an excellent low ball across the six-yard box and Sean McCormack was on hand to slot the ball home.

Then, on the hour, Walton volleyed over from a good position on the edge of the box. Again, City had chances with Mike Coppinger not quite getting his feet in working order on the edge of the penalty area.

In the game’s last minutes, Andre Smith blazed a difficult chance wide and with the scores level at 90 minutes the match moved straight to a penalty shoot-out. City had won their previous three shoot-outs this season but, on this occasion, they were comfortably beaten 4-2.

Good Luck to Walton & Hersham, who go on to face Leighton Town next week in the 4th round. All in all, they were a good side and deserved their victory.

Mike Coppinger gave a solid performance.

But take nothing away from a Guildford side who were disciplined and competitive throughout and gave their all for the manager.

A highlight was 17-year-old Ruairi Byrne who performed especially well on his first-team debut and deserves a mention. Certainly one to keep a keen eye on.

Next week is the start of the Fripp-Smith Trophy and although fans are not yet allowed to attend, Guildford are offering matchday streaming, utilising Norwegian-based start-up company software “Joymo”.

From what I saw this is a great way to enable fans to still follow their teams at this level and was keenly taken up by a few dozen yesterday. Check Guildfordcityfc.co.uk for more information on this.

Finally, there are big changes at Guildford City and at The Guildford Dragon we will be getting right behind them. I shall be letting you know about some great deals for readers should you wish to follow Guildford City closely next season. So check back with us to find out more.

GCFC Team: Stuart Norman, Sean Mason, David Burton, Isy Nzelo; Ruairi Byrne, Josh Everard (Ryan Ferrari 81), Jamie Higgins, Kieran Williams (Harvey Kirk 71), Eli Ogunseye (Athan Smith-Joseph 52), Andre Smith, Mike Coppinger. Unused subs: Liam Maher, Cyril Ocansey, Harry Nicholas, Patrick Allen.

Referee: Tom Ellsmore

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