SHEERWATER 1-1 GUILDFORD CITY
Easter Monday saw Guildford City visit the Eastwood Centre for a crucial fixture with both sides still not mathematically safe from relegation. Guildford arrived with Pete Ruggles still in charge together with his ex Sheerwater coaching staff ad a whole host of ex Sheerwater players. Our comfortable 4-1 victory at the Spectrum earlier in the season gave the visitors added incentive to take the three points on offer.
It started well for City as they claimed the lead on 6 minutes. O’Connor and Dadey combined down the left. Dadey was allowed to cross and Zach Ward had to claw the ball out from under his cross-bar, Jack Webb reacted first and poked home. Both sides created chances with Guildford’s Pearce firing over and Costello shooting straight at Ward who palmed the effort away from danger. The Sheers responded with Whitby hitting a low effort, saved by Smith and then Toby Thompson did well in the box forcing Smith to save at his near post. It was end to end and next a long throw was flicked on and Matthews hooked wide. Owen Sims tried to pick out Jacob Breckon with a low cross but it was just ahead of him and Tommy Whitby arrived at the far post but couldn’t keep his effort down.
Dadey went on a mazy run on 35 minutes but Ward was equal to his powerful strike. A final chance of the half fell to Whitby again but Matthews threw his body on the line to block the goal bound effort. H/T 0-1.
Sheerwater came out firing early in the second period with Sean Swift bursting through and getting a shot off but the alert Smith got down well to save. With pressure mounting Whitby tested Smith again and the effort was turned around the post. From the corner, Sims found room to get a shot off but it only found the side netting. The deserved equaliser came on the hour and some great hold up play from Chris Machay saw him lay the ball off to Whitby and he curled a tremendous strike into the top corner. A carbon-copy of a previous goal he scored against Fleet Town. With the game evenly poised neither team were settling for a point and Elliot Cannon cut in from the left and hit a low effort just wide. Swift set up Elliott York but the competent Smith got down to save. Guildford had a great chance when a cracking cross from Langley flashed across goal but it eluded everyone. Costello had the ball in the net but the Assistant raised his flag straight away for a clear offside.
All in all, a 1-1 draw was about fair and a point each keeps both sides further away from the relegation places. A decent performance from the Sheers with Machay working tirelessly and Tommy Marshall outstanding at left-back.
Ward, Sims, Marshall, J Thompson, T Thompson, Pestle, York, Swift, Breckon, Machay, Whitby.
Subs Used – Cannon, Heighes