Sunday, August 14

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Guildford United 4 v 4 Keens Park Rangers (GUFC Win on Penalties)

GUFC kicked off their County Cup campaign with a fixture against an old foe in Keens Park Rangers, always a tough opponent. Manger Colin Deans, deciding for a different-look Doots side as the lads lined up with a back-three for the first time this season.

Guildford kicked off the game with some dominant ball possession and early chances as set-pieces proved dangerous once again, despite the absence of usual taker Tidbury. Keens Park also had a share of the game despite the lack of the ball along the flanks of GUFC’s defence.

Mal’s distribution caused headaches amongst the opposition defence, and led to multiple flicked-on chances from United’s front two of Carpo and Vinnie. However, it was a traditional LT throw-in that led to the opener. The ball fell to VKD who kept the ball up on the right-hand side of the area, and from an outrageous angle, lobbed the keeper on the volley. He’ll claim it was purposeful, but it appeared more hopeful than attempted! 

Soon after, despite continuing to dominate possession, Keens Park were level after some sloppy play allowed their midfielder to have yards of space and let off the strike from 25 yards. Mal couldn’t hang onto the ball that bounced into his arms, and the KPR #9 pounced on the rebound.

The game started to become a scrappy affair with GUFC nowhere near their best. Keens Park began to create more chances on the counter attack but Guildford regained the lead after some composed build-up play led to the ball out wide with Will Sharman, who terrorised their right-back all half to cut inside and whip a fantastic cross in that Carpo headed home from the centre of the box. Carpo tquickly doubled his tally for the day after Vinnie challenged for a ball which spilled out into our #9’s path. Sam Carpenter doing what Sam Carpenter does by sweeping it home with his left-foot.

An eventful first-half wasn’t concluded as a pressured Guildford back three attempted to keep possession with Phil opting to play it back to Mal, who missed the ball entirely and it rolling into the GUFC net. A shocking mistake which allowed Keens Park to believe again.

HT: 3-2

The second half began with Guildford United exuding their superior talent. Carpo claimed his first hat-trick for the club, with a perfect one no less, as he cut in from the left-hand side and found the far corner. 

By now, Keens Park should have been out of sight and an opportunity for rotation should have arisen. Missing multiple chances and lacking control of the ball, Keens Park knew they were only a goal away from making the cup tie interesting again. Sharman clipped the post from a tight angle only moments before some poor defending from an incoming floated free-kick allowed the ball to be flicked on for a close-range finish. KPR were back in it. 

Still sticking with the 3-5-2 formation, and personnel changes being made, Keens Park began to pile on the pressure. Harry Webb also made his debut for the club and impressed his new teammates. However, even with his introduction, GUFC couldn’t find the killer goal and Keens Park broke down the right-hand side, squared the ball across the six-yard box to tie the game in injury time. A devastating and frustrating blow. The final whistle came shortly after, and with that penalty kicks.

GUFC opted to begin first, and both teams scored all 5 of their respective kicks. Sudden death beckoned, but with Mal in goal, you know he’s going to save one sooner or later. Guildford scored three more penalties and Mal finally got his glove to one of Keens Park’s which sealed it for the home side.

A poor performance all-round and things must improve next week for the huge league fixture against high-flying Lyne. Guildford United will play Knaphill Athletic, for the third time this season, in the third round of the County Cup.

FT: 4-4 (Guildford United win on Penalites 8-7)

Published by Guildford United