Sunday, August 14

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Guildford United 2 v 3 Ottershaw

Guildford United’s perfect start to the season was about to be tested as Ottershaw came to town, trying to take a major scalp away from home.

GUFC lined up in their now-usual 3-5-2, but missing captain, Greg, and vice-captain, Westy, yet still with a strong squad which is a testament to the club.

Guildford began the fixture in controlling fashion, by shifting the ball around the back three but not truly managing to test the Ottershaw goal. The ball movement was positive but the Doots lacked penetration in the early exchanges. Without the ball, Guildford were lacking in the pressing game that had led to such a fantastic start to the season.

As the half grew, Ottershaw did also, by putting more pressure onto Guildford’s possession play. However, Guildford also started to create chances, with Bicknell, Carpo and Phil all going close but not testing the opposition goalkeeper.

On the half-hour mark, Ottershaw made the breakthrough after a long ball caused the back three trouble, and the pacey forward beat two players before slotting it through Mal’s legs. An uncomfortable setback to a sub-par Guildford side.

Ottershaw rounded the half off by continuing to create chances, and Mal was forced into a terrific one-on-one save that kept the scoreline at 1-0.

HT: 0-1

After a half-time dressing down from the management staff, the Doots kicked off the second half by dominating the ball once again, and shifting the ball to either wings which subsequently led to more positive attacks than in the first half of football.

However, it was Ottershaw who extended their lead after a nothing free-kick was crossed in, barely reaching the front-post, but the striker caught the ball on the half volley and over Mal into the roof of the net. An excellent finish, but an opportunity that should have been stopped at source by GUFC.

With their backs truly against it and a mountain to climb, Guildford had to begin creating significant chances. They did just that, as the prolific front two couldn’t manage to find the back of the net with good chances. Nor could midfielders Ketch and Phil, who both had opportunities to pull a goal back for the home side.

Guildford won a corner after some fine work from Bicknell to earn one, and Ketch whipped in a ball that found it’s way to Phil, who volleyed the ball through a sea of bodies to bring one back. The game was back in the balance, despite Guildford being poor in comparison to the usual high standards that they’ve set themselves.

It didn’t take long for that one-goal disadvantage to be extended further, after a clearance from Mike fell to an Ottershaw midfielder at the half-way line and was allowed to run through the midfield, playing the ball through to their striker who’s cross-cum-shot lofted over Mal into the top-corner. The game looked beyond Guildford.

The tempo had been poor, as had been the work without the ball especially from the midfield trio, but Guildford still had further chances to fight back and come back into the game.

In stoppage time, Bicknell swiveled on the ball and beat a defender on the edge of the box who subsequently brought him down for a penalty to be awarded. Carpo slotted the spot-kick into the bottom-right corner, but it was too little, too late.

A very disappointing result for a lacklustre Guildford who must improve if they are to challenge across all fronts this season.

FT: 2-3

Published by Guildford United