Guildford United 4 v 4 Knaphill (GUFC Win 5-4 on Penalties)The last 16 of the County Cup created a third match-up between GUFC and Knaphill this season. Guildford had won both encounters, but knew they were in for a tough afternoon on another miserable January Saturday. Guildford lined up in a make-shift manner due to injuries, suspensions and unavailability. A depleted squad to say the least.
The fixture began in a scrappy fashion but with Guildford having more of the joy by earning multiple corners, but none of them coming to anything. After the initial success, Knaphill grew into the game and began creating multiple chances on the counter attack and through set plays. A large, physical team who could dominate in the air.
Knaphill took the upper-hand after 20 minutes with a counter attack down Guildford’s right-hand side, and the ball was whipped in between the diving Malice and the back four which allowed the on-running right-midfielder to finish from 6 yards.
This goal gave Guildford the alarm bells to kick-start into action, and soon found themselves level as Greg was fouled 25 yards out. Up steps top scorer Carpo who fired a powerful strike that curled into the top right-hand corner.
Not long after, Guildford were in front. Some more excellent play from Carpo who crossed a beautiful ball into Knappers, who controlled the ball dead and stroked it into the far corner with the outside of his right boot.
Despite taking this lead, Knaphill were still ever-present and causing problems from set pieces. Even though GUFC recognised this, they still continued to give away unnecessary fouls. With the half dying out, one of these free-kicks was flicked on in the box and an unmarked striker finished with his head from the edge of the six-yard box.
Knaphill became the much more dominant side in the second half and caused havoc on the quick counter time and time again in the opening exchanges of the half. For the entire game they were lively, hard-working and strong in the air.
They managed to take the lead early in the second-half after Mal had attempted to claim a cross, but didn’t manage to keep a hold of the ball. This fell to the path of the Knaphill striker who fired home from a couple of yards within a sea of bodies.
Knaphill appeared to have sealed the game with less than ten minutes remaining. Another free-kick crossed into the box and headed into the roof of the net. The threat was present all day and Guildford struggled to deal with this for the entire 90 minutes. The goal sparked wild celebrations from the Knaphill players and staff on the sidelines.
With 5 minutes remaining, Guildford struck back out of nowhere after some build-up play down the right meant that Greg collected the ball from 35 yards out and sprayed the ball over the top of the poorly-positioned goalkeeper into the empty net. All of a sudden the game was back on.
One minute remaining, and the incredibly unlikely occurred. Former captain, Redders, who was named as a substitute for the afternoon, turned on the ball and slotted a ball out to the on-running Knappers who played the ball into the box from the right. The ball landed at the feet of Greg who controlled and finely finished into the bottom corner.
Somehow, someway, Guildford United had fought back to tie the game and send it straight to penalty kicks. Knaphill were to go first and The Doots would go second. Knaphill scored their first four, Guildford were equal to them through Carpo, Phil, Greg, and Knappers. Knaphill’s fifth penalty cannoned against the bar which meant if Foxy could score his, then Guildford would go through. He stepped up and made no mistake at all.
FT: 4-4 (GUFC win 5-4 on penalties)