Guildford City fell to another disappointing defeat as they lost 3-0 at mid-table Sandhurst Town in the Combined Counties Premier Division South on Saturday.

With six games of the league season remaining, City are hovering one place above the relegation zone, and an upturn in form and good fortune is urgently required if they are to secure their survival.

At Sandhurst’s Bottom Meadow stadium, it was the home side who enjoyed the territorial advantage as the match progressed. Despite this pressure, City were defending admirably, and in the early stages of the first half Guildford were posing problems for Sandhurst on the break, with Anthony Ogbanufe especially looking dangerous out on the left wing.

Sandhurst saw several long-range efforts go wide of the Guildford goal, while Owen Sims shot over the bar from a free kick. In first-half stoppage time Guildford keeper Mac Chisholm saved well by pushing a shot across the goal and away for a corner, and with the game remaining goalless at the interval there was still all to play for in the second period.

Sandhurst v Guildford, March 16th 2024.
(Jon Woozley)

Hopes of a vital victory were raised as Guildford looked to be more of an attacking threat after the break. Anthony Ogbanufe’s shot from an angle went wide of the goal, and the arrival off the bench of Shane Johnson lifted the Guildford threat by another notch or two. On 56 minutes a Guildford corner was half-cleared by the Sandhurst defence, and Johnson’s shot on the turn rolled agonisingly wide of the post.

Two minutes later Mac Chisholm had to save a shot from an acute angle. Parity on the scoreboard was then broken on 62 minutes when Harvey Seeman netted for Sandhurst from a penalty given by referee Stephen Saunders following a foul just inside the box.

Guildford’s Leon Dadey had a half chance following a corner, but his first-time effort from 20 yards blazed well over the bar.

Sandhurst v Guildford, March 16th 2024.
(Jon Woozley)

The home side went two ahead on 76 minutes via a header that went in off the post. Two became three on 88 minutes when a cross from the right was converted from close in.

In stoppage time City twice came close to a consolation goal, with Owen Sims hitting the crossbar from a free kick and Niall Stillwell glancing a header wide.

Guildford: Mac Chisholm, Lewis Taylor, Jake Heighes (Callum Sullivan 78), Tolu Ajayi-Obe, Rayyan Adam, Niall Stillwell, Ben Thompson (Leon Dadey 62), Jamie Hilton (James Whiting 72), Ben Mitchell (Shane Johnson 54), Owen Sims, Anthony Ogbanufe (Jack Phillips 78).

Guildford are 17th in the Combined Counties Premier Division South with 28 points from 32 games, four ahead of Epsom & Ewell and Sheerwater with a game in hand.

Barry Underwood