Fringe Box



More Rollercoaster Rides For City Away From Home

Published on: 30 Mar, 2014
Updated on: 30 Mar, 2014

Cinderford Town 4, Guildford City 2

By Barry Underwood

This was another day on the rollercoaster ride that is Guildford City Football Club.

Following Tuesday evening’s fantastic come-back victory against Taunton (see report further on), hopes were high that another three points could be garnered in the fight against relegation; and on this occasion against a side with an indifferent home record.

Goalmouth action between Cinderford Town and Guildford City.

Goalmouth action between Cinderford Town and Guildford City (yellow shirts).

Granted Cinderford had replaced their manager midweek which is often a precursor to improved results, but nevertheless City made the long journey to The Causeway on Saturday in confident mood.

On an unexpectedly heavy pitch after overnight rain, Guildford opened the game slowly. Missing both regular central defenders due to suspension and holiday saw Elvis Defreitas and Bruce McPhail combining in the middle of defence.

For the first quarter however both players appeared strangers to each other, and on seemingly numerous occasions Cinderford’s forwards were finding their way through in alarmingly easy fashion. On just two minutes Dammy Bada cleared off the line under heavy pressure and it was no surprise when the home side went ahead after nine minutes; Andy Lewis picking his spot from the edge of the box.

It certainly was not one way traffic however and offensively City were looking the part. Indeed just prior to the game’s opening goal, a fine Alex Afful pass found Andy White in front of goal but his placed effort had been saved for a corner.

After 14 minutes City were two down. Clayton Green swung over a high cross to the far post when the lanky Lewis rose to power home an unstoppable header. In terms of possession it was tit for tat and the visitors were carving out chances. Nuno Pereira’s curling free-kick was tipped over for a corner, and minutes later Dom Ogun smashed a 25 yarder inches wide.

On 24 minutes it was 3-0 when Garyn Preen had far too much time to pick his spot after yet another ball over the top. A minute later City had a great chance to get on the score sheet. A great Afful cross saw Andy White’s close range effort well saved, amid a great scramble of bodies.

Similarly on 34 minutes another almighty scramble in the home goalmouth saw three City players attempt to force the ball over the line but to no avail. Guildford deserved a goal before the interval and it came on 40 minutes when a powerfully hit Dom Ogun free-kick eluded everybody to fly into the net.  As the half drew to a close there was time for Antony Hall to save brilliantly from close range, and Andy White to miss a challenging Pereira cross when unmarked in front of goal.

In common with recent matches City dominated the early stages of the second half without carving out clear cut opportunities. Substitute Callum Attwood saw a cross cum shot curl just wide, and minutes later Nuno Pereira saw a curling effort well saved when perhaps a pass might have been a better option.

t_Cinderford v GCFC 139As the game entered its final stages City were visibly wilting on the heavy pitch and Cinderford were starting to find gaps. From one such gap Antony Hall excellently saved from a one on one, with Alex Afful completing the “save” by clearing the spinning ball off the line.

On 82 minutes from another one on one Lewis had his shot parried by Hall, only on this occasion for Phil Veale to side foot home. Frustration crept in as well in the late stages and Elvis Defreitas was deservedly shown red for an agricultural challenge.

There was still time for City to put some gloss on the score line when Joel Greaves dispossessed the home defence to race clear and round Harris to shoot home. On this occasion there was to be no miracle finish and Guildford must move on in their search for relegation saving points.

Team: Antony Hall, Anthony Bridgeman (Callum Attwood 43), Dammy Bada, Elvis Defreitas, Bruce McPhail, Jordan Taylor, Nuno Pereira (Dida Alsaffar 82), Alex Afful, Joel Greaves, Dom Ogun, Andy White.

Yellow cards: Dammy Bada, Nuno Pereira, Alex Afful.

Red cards: Elvis Defreitas

Referee: Kevin Howick

Attendance – 132

Taunton Town 2, Guildford City 3

By Barry Underwood

What a great night to be a Guildford City supporter! Goodness knows there has been little to cheer this season but memories of magnificent away nights at Bishops Cleeve and now Taunton will live very long in the memory of those City fans present.

City's Jamie Thoroughgood celebrates his goal.

City’s Jamie Thoroughgood celebrates his goal.

Similar to the recent narrow defeats against Mangotsfield and Didcot this was a much improved performance but it seemed that, as in those games, our performance was going to be unrewarded. Playing up a fairly pronounced slope running the length of the pitch in the first half, City came under considerable pressure from the home side’s long ball game.

Time after time the ball came over the top, and time after time City’s well organised backline caught Taunton’s eager strikers offside. There were scares of course. In the opening minute Elvis Defreitas’s back header was intercepted but the chance was missed. After a fast break on 11 minutes Chris Young shot just wide, and on 20 minutes the same player headed just over from an in swinging corner.

Indeed, a feature of the home side’s attacking play in the first half was the quality of their set pieces. On 29 minutes City had a great opportunity to open the scoring. Joel Greaves headed down a cross and Nuno Pereira’s close range effort lacked power and was blocked by Perry in the home goal.

A minute later Guildford were made to pay for this profligacy when, breaking at the other end, Jamie Price put the home side ahead, shooting in via the post. It was seemingly important not to concede again before the interval. A fine Antony Hall save kept the home side out once, but right on the stroke of half-time Hall was only able to parry a cross shot which was tucked home by Ross McNab.

As at Didcot, City were a different side in the second period and within a minute Nuno Pereira was bundled over in the box and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped Ben Walshe but his penalty was comfortable saved low down.

On 53 minutes the focus turned to the match officials. After several typically robust challenges from Elvis Defreitas, Taunton’s Chris Young took exception, running at Defreitas from behind and wrestling him to the ground.

A red card seemed clear cut and everybody in the ground were surprised when ultimately both players were shown yellow. Back to the football and Dammy Bada was looking increasingly impressive with his penetrating runs down the left flank.

On 70 minutes City came within a whisker of getting on the score sheet. Joel Greaves, now pushed out to the left, cut in and let fly an absolute pile driver that glanced over via the crossbar. Finally on 83 minutes the hardworking Jordan Taylor fed Dom Ogun and his 30-yard effort dipped just inside the post with Perry well beaten.

Guildford were already dominating proceedings but having got on the score sheet they noticeably upped their game. A minute later Jamie Thoroughgood headed wide from Bada’s cross, and as the game entered added time Nuno Pereira was denied on the goal line by a magnificent last ditch tackle.

On 90+1 City were laying siege to the Taunton goal and they were rewarded when Dammy Bada fed Jamie Thoroughgood on the edge of the box who coolly curled a shot into the top corner.

Having equalised in stoppage time nobody would have criticised the visitors for shutting up shop. Credit though to Kev Rayner who was audibly urging his players forward once more. Then fantastically on 90+3 Joel Greaves found space on the left from where his resulting cross was headed in by the diving Nuno Pereira.

Jubilant Jamie Thoroughgood at the end of the match.

Jubilant Jamie Thoroughgood at the end of the match.

There was still three more added minutes and several corners to withstand but when the whistle finally blew to confirm victory there were unrestrained scenes of joy among the players and small group of travelling supporters. Indeed, at the final whistle Mrs Underwood insisted on hugging a good number of the City players and didn’t seem to mind that they were as she later said “sweaty”!

Team: Antony Hall, Bruce McPhail, Dammy Bada, Elvis Defreitas, Jamie Thoroughgood, Jordan Taylor, Nuno Pereira, Ben Walshe (sub 66), Joel Greaves, Don Ogun, Callum Attwood (Joe Thoroughgood 75). Unused subs: Dida Alsaffar.

Yellow card: Elvis Defreitas

Red card: Nil

Referee: Mark Derrien

Attendance – 122

Celebrations all round at Taunton on Tuesday evening.

Celebrations all round at Taunton on Tuesday evening.

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