Fringe Box



Poor First Half Sinks City

Published on: 11 Mar, 2024
Updated on: 11 Mar, 2024

Guildford City (0) 0, Abbey Rangers (2) 3

By Barry Underwood

Buoyed by a midweek win, City went into this clash against promotion-chasing Abbey Rangers in
confident fashion.

The early stages of the match reflected this confidence. It should be said that the referee also started confidently showing two yellow cards in the opening exchanges.

Gradually the visitors began to dominate possession, and City struggled to make headway. Abbey served notice of their intentions on 18 minutes when Ross Murdoch curled a 20-yarder just past the post.

Three minutes later the deadlock was broken. A deep corner was headed back across goal where Daryl Cooper-Smith hooked the ball into the net.

Soon after Ross Murdoch saw a first-time effort well saved by Mac Chisholm. On 29 minutes Abbey won a rather fortuitous free kick on the edge of City’s penalty area; from the stands it was hard to discern what had been unfair in Conor Stillwell’s tackle.

But the Abbey skipper Jack Watts took full advantage curling the free kick low, around the City wall into corner of the net.

In a rare foray forward Ben Mitchell turned well on the edge of the box but his shot was parried. The loose ball was netted but Shane Johnson was clearly offside.

Abbey came close again on 35 minutes. Spencer Maw’s low cross was deflected for a corner, from which Mac Chisholm was forced into a fine save.

Just before the interval City gave the ball away in defence, and once again Chisholm saved further embarrassment for the home side.

Guildford had been poor in the first half but were much improved after the break. An early free kick was well defended by Abbey as the home side’s offensive game sprung to life.

On the hour City twice came close from set-pieces. First James Glover headed just wide, and then Shane Johnson’s header lacked power and deflected for a corner.

As the game entered its final stages Abbey saw an effort go just wide from the edge of the box, but City also looked dangerous. Jamie Hilton drove a low ball into the box which Leon Dadey knocked goalwards, but Sam Gray saved well.

Home debutant Rayyan Adam headed over the bar from a corner, whilst Owen Sims sliced a shot wide from 20 yards.

On 81 minutes Guildford had a golden chance to get on the scoreboard. Ben Mitchell was fouled in the box going for a high ball. It looked a bit soft, but a penalty was awarded.

Up stepped Jamie Hilton whose effort from the spot smashed against the crossbar bounced down but onto the pitch for Abbey to clear. It was City’s second consecutive penalty miss.

In stoppage time, Abbey themselves hit the crossbar, and then in the final moments, after indecision in the defence, Danilo Cadete lobbed the ball over Chisholm and into the net for Abbey’s third.

Team: Mac Chisholm, Lewis Taylor (Rayyan Adam 45), Jake Heighes (Callum Sullivan 70), Tolu Ajayi-Obe, James Glover, Niall Stillwell, Anthony Ogbanufe (Leon Dadey 61), Jamie Hilton, Shane Johnson (Jack Phillips 61), Conor Stillwell (Owen Sims 70), Ben Mitchell.

Referee: Daniel Harvey

Attendance – 103

Hear Ian Pleasted’s post-match interview here…

Next match: to be confirmed, please check back.

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