Flackwell Heath bow out of FA Vase as mistake gifts Guildford City late winner

Flackwell Heath 0, Guildford City 1 (FA Vase)

You had to feel for Flackwell Heath goalkeeper Isaac Hay after his late rush of blood to the head enabled Guildford City to snatch a 90th minute winner in today's FA Vase tie at Wilks Park.

Prior to that Hay had been one of the Heathens outstanding performers, pulling off a string of fine saves in the second half to keep the hosts in contention going into the final minutes.

However, with the clock ticking past the 90-minute mark, and with penalties looming, the Flackwell custodian raced out of his goal to try and clear a hopeful ball forward from the visitors, but neither he, or any of the covering defenders were able to deal with the situation and Jordan Adeyemi stole in to sweep the ball into an unguarded net.

The visitors just about deserved to progress to the third round on the strength of their second half performance, and they'll feel their late winner was just desserts after the chances they created but failed to take in the final half hour.

Before that the game had been very even, and there was also no doubting that Flackwell were the better side in the first half.

In a game which produced relatively few clear-cut chances, the hosts carved out the better ones in the opening 45 minutes.

Alan Akerman came close to side-footing them in front in the third minute from Fabian Driffill's low cut back, however, a City player managed to get in a last ditch block to deflect the ball over the crossbar.

The Heathens continued to advance forward with purpose in the opening quarter. Matthew Ayres sent a shot from long range just over the crossbar and Driffill, who was suffering with a dead leg going into the game, turned well but fired wide in the 10th minute.

They came mightily close to an opener in the 20th minute when Jamie Essex rose well in the box, but his powerful header landed flush on the post and bounced away to safety.

It wasn't the moment which turned the tide in this game, but Flackwell never came as close to scoring again.

Guildford grew into the game, began competing for the second balls and started to create a few chances of their own through their lively front line.

Their best chance of the half arrived five minutes before the interval when Nathaniel Mensah lost his marker in the area but steered his header into the side-netting when he maybe should have tested Hay.

The Heathens were a little more hesitant in the second half and Guildford sensed an opportunity. Hay made his first save of note in the 58th minute, turning away Mensah's dangerous cross from the right with City players lurking in the box.

Driffill remained a threat for Flackwell, and he managed to dig out a decent shot in the 61st minute, after cutting back inside his marker, but City keeper Michael McEntegart was equal to it. A few minutes later Matthew Ayres spun a very presentable free kick over the bar and the hosts threat as an attacking force dwindled in the final quarter.

In contrast Guildford enjoyed their best spell of the game in the final 20 minutes. Mensah, who was a pest to the Heath defence throughout, saw his point-blank header pushed behind by Hay in the 70th minute before Prince Mbengui rolled a shot a whisker wide of the post five minutes later.

Flackwell weren't exactly on the ropes, but they were certainly under the cosh heading into the final 10 minutes. Hay pushed away Max Oldham's cross come shot and Jack Taylor hooked another dangerous looking cross away from underneath his own crossbar.

Hay was alert once again to keep out Isy Nzelo's back post volley with his feet in the 87th minute, but just when it looked like he might get the chance to really be his side's hero in a penalty shoot-out, Hay got caught in no man's land outside of his area having misjudged a simple ball over the top and Adeyemi took full advantage of his and his defenders' clumsy attempts to clear the ball and took a couple of touches to compose himself before firing home the winner.

This is only the second defeat of Chris Ayres' and Paul Shone's short time in charge. They’d won six of their last seven games coming into the fixture and will look to bounce back when they host New Salamis in the league next Saturday.

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