The football season, at Step Five at least, is over, Guildford City had a number of memorable games in the frantic end to the season. With so many games postponed during the christmas & January period, it meant playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday for the last few weeks, which was tough on the players, and the club, as revenues from weekday games are seldom, if ever as good as weekend games.
However the new management & the new squad performed admirably with an important run of three straight wins at the end of the season (& 8 wins from the last 13) to ensure Premier league survival for the team. Some outstanding performances across the squad, as usual the strikers (Anthony Baker & Dan Steward) will get most of the credit, there were brilliant performances across the whole park, from goalkeepers, defenders, mid-fielders and the management.
A great end to a season that started poorly, with all of the usual trials & tribulations that go with a management change part way through a season. However, on a positive note, the team are young, they have less than a season of experience at this level of football, I am confident that if we can keep the squad together next season will be a very different story.
In other news, Guildford City won their game 2 – 0 and have avoided back to back relegations, so congrats to the new management team & their fantastic young players. Critics have said that they have no experience at this level, however, they have proved that a fantastic team spirit, great discipline, high work rate & sound tactics can be made to work at any level. I am confident that the new team (assuming that they stay together) will have a great future in the glorious City Red & White….
Knaphill did probably just about deserve the points, but the battle for survival is still winnable.
Next week sees them travel to Frimley Green, which is another 6 pointer.
A new season in a new league, Guildford City FC this season find themselves in the Combined Counties Premier league. A much more local one than that the stitch up of a league that we ended up in last season. City’s furthest away game this season is a short jaunt across to Horley.
I have never been involved in the league at this level, but of the two matches that I have been to so far, it is going to be interesting to compare the quality of the stadium & facilities to the places like Merthyr Town, Evesham & The Seasiders from last year.
A loss in the first match of the season, when really we should have had a comfortable afternoon, then this weekend a victory against Farnham Town, by a single goal, which really could have been 5 or 6.
So onwards to our first home game of the season against Spethorne Sports on Wednesday evening at the Guildford Spectrum.
Next season looks like Guildford City are going to be playing in the Combined Counties League, which whilst disappointing to have been relegated, it will mean that there is a lot less travelling which means that we will field a stronger team for away games than we have been able to. It also means that the club will benefit from more away fans at the Guildford Spectrum, which means a greater revenue stream.
It will also mean renewing acquaintances with local rivals, which should be fun. Visiting grounds like Camberley Town, Badshot Lea, Knaphill & Raynes Park, hopefully we will bounce straight back up & rejoin Godalming Town in the Step 4 Central Division.
Whilst it hasn’t been the furthest that we have travelled on a week day, it was still far enough for a lot of players that have jobs, getting away from work early really isn’t easy, so we travelled with 6 key players absent, so thin were the pickings that we had the reserve goal keeper playing up front.
The team got a bit of a trashing, but in reality it was kind of expected, playing against one of the promotion chasing teams. We eventually left the Guildford Spectrum at 1710hrs, for the (on a good day, 1 1/2 hour journey) traffic even getting out of guildford was a nightmare, and getting to Reading Services which usually takes 40 minutes took an hour & 20 minutes. Eventually we arrived at the ground at a little after 1910hrs.
The lighting was pretty bad, ISO3200 F2.8 @ 1/200th sec, but not the worst in the league, I think the award for the worst lighting is split between Bishop’s Cleeve & Fleet Town.
Journey home was a lot quicker, leaving after 2220hrs we made it back to Guildford just in time to grab a pint and then the following morning I had to return the minibus, and then drop a players wallet to his house as he left it in the bus.
A long trip on Tuesday night from Guildford down to Taunton Town for a 1945hrs kick off. We left later than planned but fortunately no traffic problems and we were able to make up some time whilst on the road.
The Guildford City team looked like a good squad on paper, although as someone pointed out we don’t play on paper. I have to say that despite going one goal down, and then a second in the last minutes of the first half, city never dropped their heads.
In the second half they dug deep and really raised their game, running out 2 – 3 winners which made the minibus trip back to guildford a pleasant one, even if I didn’t hit the sack until 0100hrs.
Wimborne have a two hour drive to play this game and rather selfishly I hope that they have the same travelling woes as we had when we played them at their ground. Hopefully The Sweeney will be in good voice on the night, COYG!!!!
A cracking result, and a cracking team performance, Lance Banton-Brown (henceforth known as Super Sub) just can’t stop scoring against Bishop’s Cleeve, a brace at their ground in December & One today.
City’s survival hopes given a huge boost by a deserved victory against fellow strugglers today.
Come On City.
More Photos Here
Guildford City mugged Bishop’s Cleeve back in December, they fully expected to give City a spanking on a mid-week awayday with a massively depleted squad, so depleted that City only had one player on the bench, several very young, inexperienced players and a couple of returning players. In fact the majority of the team had never been on the football pitch together before.
However City overcame, and a LANCE BANTON-BROWN brace in the second half meant that the journey home was one were the City Fans & Players had all of the smiles.
Bishops Cleeve visit the Spectrum in Guildford tomorrow (Saturday) at 1500hrs, I hope that most of the Sweeney can make it to cheer on the City. We could really do with an effective Twelfth Man.
With luck City will be wearing the smiles again after this meeting of the two.
Come On City.
Assuming the that weather improves, GCFC are off on their travels again this weekend to Cirencester. So I will be re-familiarising myself with the M4 corridor, at least as far as junction 15, as I am piloting the team bus.
With so many games postponed since the New Year, the team must be gagging to getting some pitch time under their belts. As a photographer I am also looking forward to actually taking some photographs, preferably without the need to have the kit bag & equipment needing two days in the airing cupboard afterwards.
Their Saturday match was postponed so, here’s fingers, toes & arms & legs crossed, getting rusty having not covered many matches since before Christmas.
Assuming that the weather doesn’t intervene, I shall be at the Spectrum at 1500hrs to photograph the match. Weather has been nice today, however the forecast is not good.
We shall see.
Hopefully the first home game in a quite a little while will be at the Guildford Spectrum, tomorrow night (Wednesday) the weather is good at the moment, but with the condition of the pitch on Saturday being more puddles than grass, a pitch inspection is scheduled for 1400hrs.
Guildford lost in the previous fixture between these two, at the very beginning of the season, after being caught knapping and conceding twice in the first three minutes, they battled and eventually ran out 5-3 losers. Whilst it was disappointing to lose the first game of the season, at least it looked hopeful, as they proved that they could score.
Subsequent defeats have left the City wallowing near the very bottom of the table, and a heavy defeat by Merthyr at the weekend may have dented their confidence, however it is not matches against the top teams that are the most important, City need to beat the teams that are around them in the bottom half of the table.
Forthcoming matches against Fleet Town, Bishops Cleeve, Didcot Town, Evesham & Cinderford are the ones that they must win to stand a chance of avoiding relegation.
This game coincidentally takes place 40 years to the day that Guildford City last played at their Stadium in Joseph’s Road, when they were cruelly shafted and robbed of their ground & Guildford were robbed of their football team.
I am looking forward to seeing their new state of the art ground, and hopefully it will be a model for a future GCFC ground.
The Minbuses will be leaving the Spectrum at 0945hrs for the 300 mile round trip.
Starting to lose count how many games have been postponed this season because of the weather. The problem with postponing matches at this level is the loss of revenue to the Football Club, weekday matches seldom match weekend games for attendance & players struggle to make the games because of work commitments.
Anyway that’s another trip to be re-ogranised to Swindon. On the upside the next game is against Merthyr Town at the E-cig Stadium, a 300 mile round trip, but at least we should get a game, as they have a 3G pitch, so as long as the predicted storm & 100mph winds doesn’t reach Merthyr we should be OK.
If you are around the M4 corridor on Saturday morning keep your eyes open for 3 minibus convoy (all sign-written Methold Vehicle Hire & sporting Guildford City FC banners in the rear windows) heading west and give us a wave.
The next match for the Guildford City is on Wednesday evening at 1945hrs, is against a team that they haven’t met yet this season, Over halfway through the season and Swindon has yet to visit the Spectrum, and City haven’t yet been to Swindon, we’ve been past it many times this season, but Wednesday is the first time that we have to stop.
This game was originally scheduled for New Years Day, but was postponed, as has almost every single game since due to piss poor weather.
Hopefully we will get a match, hopefully the lights will be bright, hopefully City will win…. I think that I am being a little too hopeful, I’ll accept really crappy lights as long as I can have the other two. 🙂
Up the City….
UPDATE: Match Postponed, waterlogged pitch.
Awayday trip for Guildford City FC this weekend. Three 9 seater minibuses will be
racing thrashing speeding driving sedately from the Guildford City Football Club’s Home Ground at the Spectrum to play Taunton Town in Somerset.
I shall be a) Driving one of the buses, & b) photographing the match for the club and the local rags. The only concern that I might have is that the people of Somerset might be surprised at 3 Horseless Carriages arriving at the ground, and they may object to having the souls taken by the camera equipment. 🙂
260 mile round trip, not the worst journey of the season, that comes next week when GCFC play Merthyr Town.
Looking out the window, the Sun is out (and has been for some time) and it is pleasant outdoors.
So yet another another game that will need to be played on a weekday evening, which is tough for players with work commitments, the only positive is that at least it is at home.
I am looking to attract sponsors & advertisers for the 2014/15 football season for the Guildford City Football Club. I am hoping that we can maintain existing arrangements with sponsors and attract new ones as well.
The final touches to the commercial brochure have been completed and it is now available to download here.
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It was nice to have some great coverage in the Surrey Advertiser last weekend, hopefully we can continue to secure similar coverage from now until the end of the season, I guess that will depend on Guildford City winning more games than they currently have done. Hopefully the Guildford City v Godalming Town Derby last night will also gain some publicity.
I am slightly biased about Guildford City getting local newspaper coverage, as one of my missions this year is to secure additional sponsorship which can only be helped by some good publicity.
GCFC host Wimborne Town at the Guildford Spectrum on Saturday, assuming that the weather permits it, we were a little fortunate to get the match on on Wednesday night, thanks to the hard work of the GBC & volunteers we were able to play, however the weather forecast is not good, with Rain predicted all day on Friday. Just hope that it stays away
Wimborne (The Magpies) hosted Guildford City at Cuthbury earlier in the season, where they romped home with an 8-1 victory. Whilst they are some 12 places ahead of where City current reside, I can’t see them winning by the same margin. In fact I can see GCFC giving them a proper game, as long as we can keep 11 players on the pitch for 90 minutes!
Kevin Rayners Red & White Army!!
For the first 20 minutes or so, until the sending off of Jamie Thoroughgood, Guildford City were all over the visitors, testing their goalkeeper on at least 3 occasions. After the red card (for a foul, being the last man, and allegedly a goal scoring chance some 30 yards out) the balance of the game changed, and Godalming were in the ascendancy testing the in-form City keeper Antony Hall. In the second half Antony Hall made his second penalty save of the season, and also pulled off several other outstanding saves. When the numbers were evened up, after a Godalming Town player was sent off, the balance changed again and City started to apply pressure at the other end.
Then not long before the end of the game, a second yellow card for an unnecessary tackle in the oppositions half of the pitch by the corner flag by Darren Stapleton saw him earn his second Yellow Card of the game. Having only just come back from a 2 match suspension, it looks like he will be suspended again.Anyway a satisfactory draw, considering. If Guildford had been able to keep 11 players on the pitch I think that a fairly comfortable win would have been on the cards.
Anyway the next game that I am covering for GCFC is against Wimborne Town at the Guildford Spectrum. Wimborne are currently sitting in 10th place in the league with 34 points, whereas City are second bottom. However with the personnel changes since they last played, I can’t see Wimborne romping to a 7 goal margin again.
Ok so the Fleet Town v Guildford City FC match at the weekend was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch, so will be rescheduled sometime soon. The next match is the Wey Valley Derby between Guildford City & local rivals Godalming Town on Wednesday.
Godalming Town currently have the bragging rights after GCFC lost 1-0 at Wey Court earlier in the season, but with the much changed line up, hopefully City will be able to reverse the result at the Spectrum.
Godalming Town is currently ground sharing with GCFC after their ground & club house were badly damaged by flooding over the holiday period.
Come On City!!!
This weekend sees one of the few local away games of the season, a ‘derby’ match against local rivals Fleet Town. Hopefully ‘The Sweeney’ will be up for the trip to Calthorpe Park at 1500hrs, to cheer on the City!
It should be an interesting match with both teams struggling at the bottom of the Calor League 1 South & West. It could be even spicier as the Fleet Town Striker is an ex-Guildford City FC player.
Another win for Guildford City will hopefully kick start the season, and enable them to build some sort of form for the new year. Having won last week 3-2 against Clevedon Town, whilst Fleet gained a draw against high flying Cirencester. Hopefully more of the same this week from GCFC.
Come On City!!
Guildford City were hosting Clevedon Town yesterday, and managed to record only their 4th win of the season. During the first half, City created numerous chances but ended up looking down the barrel of defeat.
But with the sharp youngster Sam Spencer scoring twice & contributing with an assist for the own goal City ran out 3-2 winners, “Come On You City”, “Kevin Rayner’s Red & White Army”
Guildford City FC are meant to be playing away at Swindon Supermarines tomorrow, however the weather seems to want us to play on a weekday evening, which is a real pain in the arse as it is always difficult to field a strong team away from home on weekdays. Players have work commitments and whilst Swindon isn’t the furthest ground in the league from Guildford it still means players have to get there 1 & 1/2 hours before kick off add to that at least 2 hours journey for most of the players.
Anyway pitch inspection tomorrow morning at 1030hrs, judging by the weather forecast, it will most like involve checking the depth at the shallow end & posting the appropriate signs around the pitch.
Anyway off shortly to the New Years Party & Buffet at the Guildford City Club, for copious amounts of music, food & most importantly drink, Yay.
Happy New Year to you all.
Eventually we got on the road at 1050hrs, and headed off to the west country. Yate Town to be precise which is very close to Sodding Chipbury. Just over 100 miles each way in a Minibus restricted to 62mph, makes the M4 seem a very dull stretch of road, a quick food stop at Chieveley Services and then on to the ground where we arrived in good time (indeed maybe a first that we had 15 players at the oppositions ground at 1330hrs). However the match kit was travelling in a different vehicle. Although it did arrive eventually there were concerns that the GCFC Awayday jinx had struck again.
Anyway the Awayday jinx did strike despite a reasonably solid performance a couple of errors ended up Guildford losing 4-1. City really now need to put a run of results together in January, otherwise they will lose touch completely with the teams ahead of them, they probably also need to hope that other results are kind to them.
Anyhoo the next match is away at Swindon Supermarines on New Years Day, I am figuring that my hangover might prevent my attendance, then after that we are at home to Mangotsfield, who we lost to first game of the season, 5-3 having conceded twice in the first three minutes. After that there should be a re-scheduled match against Godalming Town.
Damed that was wet, I have been wetter, but only in the bath. Today I was at Thatcham Town Fc v Guildford City FC in the Calor League South & West Division One, which according to the FA is a local derby (a 100 mile round trip) It started pissing down with rain about 3 minutes into the match and then stopped when the Referee blew for half time.
The first three or four minutes of the second half were dry, after that it pissed down even harder than the first half.
Oh well, if the weather keeps this up, the Boxing Day match will most likely be cancelled, which is probably just as well, as it will give the camera kit a chance to dry out.
Anyway today was an away trip to F*ck Me, Bridgwater Town FC, we left the Spectrum a little later than was considered appropriate, yesterday would have been appropriate, with a nice 5* hotel, expenses paid brekkie & copious amounts of beer, but as this is Non League football, (with a team with a very small budget) we ended up in two 9 seater minibuses leaving Guildford at 10.30…. No hang on 10.40, ahh wait a while, 10.50am.
Fortunately the 9 seaters buses we had are unrestricted unlike the 17 seaters (62 m.bollox.p.bollox.h.), so we can make up some time, “honest Guv we never broke any speed limits, mumble mumble autobahns mumble mumble.
A disappointing result, caused directly by at least 4 shocking refereeing decisions. The first of which was why the F*ck was this referee not down at Specsavers, and his two linesmen (sorry assistant referees allowed pitch-side without their guide-dogs). Once again City are at the wrong end of loads, I mean loads of shit decisions by the
official twats Monkeys Fucking Corrupt Officials.
Now don’t get me wrong I am a Gooner. I am not a GCFC fan, there is no bias with me here, I don’t hold a torch, I have no argument to make, I have my team & and my country, neither of which are Guildford. But I do have a problem with incompetence or corruption. FA take note, I have chosen 2 ways of describing it, I think an audit would nail which one it is.Sorry GCFC I wish I could have been a good luck charm, but it looks like my 100% coverage rate is due to end next week (unless commissioned by the SA), or the following week for other reasons..
Once again our thanks go (not only to our players, sponsors, management etc), but also to Methold Vehicle Hire of whom GCFC are proud to be associated, for their brand new 9 seater minibuses.
Match Photos are online Here
I have complained before about the lighting at non-league grounds before so I won’t go into it again, however I have tried to be a little more constructive……. Bloody lighting at Non-League grounds stinks!! Sorry. Positive mental attitude adjustment taking place, Bloody lighting…., Nope it’s going have to be a complete re-boot and reset to factory defaults… Could be a while hang on.
OK my kit, in its day was the mutts nuts, but 6+ years have passed and it is now nowhere near as good as the current batch of DSLRs at high ISOs, in fact many of the current crop of Pro DSLR (i.e. the Nikon D3S and the Canon D1x are better at 1600ISO than my MKIIns are at 400ISO.
Time to experiment with Noise reduction software, first test was on a match that I covered at Bishops Cleeve on Tuesday, ISO3200 and exposures of 1/160 @ F2.8. The results are really not pretty. So I have download a copy of DeNoise.
First Impressions: Hmmm favourable but at a price, around 10 seconds per image, with only one image open, I wonder how slow when I am working on 10-30 images at a time. But at least the results seem to be usable.
GCFC only have a 280 mile round trip on Saturday, the England Team during the world cup have a 3,500 mile round trip to do. However, they will most likely be flying, in 1st Class, plenty of leg room, meals & drinks supplied, and will probably be in the air for 3 hours or so each way. Whereas GCFC players will mostly drive from home (upto an hour) then sit in a minibus for 3 hours, with a 20 minute stop at a motorway services for food & drink and then the same on the way home.
Anyone have a helicopter that they lend us?
This league is ridiculous in the amount of travel that Guildford City FC & Godalming Town FC have to do. It makes it particularly hard for players who have have work commitments to make it for weekday away matches. Last night was a case in point, despite the brilliant result, it was a cobbled together side, that probably a good few had never played together before.
In match where the home team felt that they would give us a spanking, City managed to stay in the game despite Bishops Cleeve hitting the woodwork three times & forcing some good saves from the city shot stopper. In the second half, City’s Lance BANTON-BROWN struck twice to put the smiles back on the faces of the hard-core city fans that travelled the 200 mile round trip.
Have to add, the stadium lighting was absolutely shocking, for those that know (3200ISO, 1/160sec wide open, and that was at the brighter end).
Well Done City, onwards & upwards. Bridgewater at the week-end 280+ mile round trip. COYG!!
Cinderford at home is the next game, come on the City!!!!
I drove one of the Minibuses to the Shortwood United v Guildford City FC match yesterday. They have a lovely little set up there, a nice compact little stadium and nice facilities, however the journey to get there is really interesting, I am glad that I was driving a “little” 17 Seat Minibus, anything bigger would have been a problem, I wish that I had set up a dash camera to record it.
If you haven’t been there you really probably can’t imagine. But I can help, you know the end of the Italian Job, where the coach is barrelling through the Alps, well keep that in mind, reduce the width of the road to a car & a half wide. Great Fun, but when it came to leaving it was even more fun, pitch black, icey and headlights that have next to no spread so turning in blind into a blind corner, time after time.
Thanks to Methold Vehicle Hire, another Away trip negotiated without a problem (unlike some previous trips last season, with another Minibus supplier)
Ok, let’s get this straight, I am a Gooner, always have been always will, “We are top of the league, We are TOP OF THE LEAGUE!”. But as a functionary of the Guildford City Football Club (I take photos & drive one of the team buses) I am thoroughly pissed off with the standard of refereeing in this league (The Calor Division 1 South & West). Today the GCFC were cheated by some shocking refereeing decisions, including one goal that was so far off-side that even from the other end of the pitch I questioned it.
It seems that a lot of the “western” teams know all of the referees by name as well as Assistants and not only the 4th Officials but also seemed to have gone to their daughters weddings, and today the GCFC manager was refused permission to talk to the ref & his officials after the game.
GCFC having some brilliant players that seem to be persistently targeted by referees because of the “former” GCFC disciplinary record which really annoys me, if you know me, you’ll also know that I am annoyed by lots of other things, lying, cheating, corruption & being shit at your job are just a few, and over the last couple of months I have seen them all from “match officials” It’s wrong, it has to stop..
I am not going to call the referees and assistants corrupt, YET. BUT F*ck me what do GCFC have to do to get decisions to go their way. I’ve got a grand or two in the bank, maybe that will help.
Well played to all of the GCFC players today, you certainly wouldn’t believe that Shortwood had knocked out Aldershot and met Port Vale in the FA Cup. In particular Pat COX, Calvin Thomas, Omari Hibbert. Josh Clayman, Dom Ogun, Dean Thomas (I was surprised, well played!) Darren Stapleton (no more bookings please) and others deserve special mentions, Didcott on Wednesday, more of the same spirit please,…..
A second yellow for Darren Stapleton, kind of sealed the deal in the second half, but you have to say that if you are looking for positives out of a 4-0 drubbing, the main thing is that we made them work very hard, and at times they really didn’t look like a team that should give us a problem at home. Next up Didcott at home, 3 points please lads.
Should be fun, A two hour trip to Gloucestershire tomorrow to play the team that knocked out Aldershot Town and eventually lost to 4-0 to Port Vale in a good FA Cup run. After several team changes since the beginning of the season, it looks like City have a good solid core of players, assuming no fitness/injuries or disciplinary problems, they should start to climb the league table.