Guildford given plenty to Mull-on
Kingstonian emerged from a potentially tricky match as comfortable 3-0 winners against Guildford City in the first Qualifying Round of the FA Cup at the Spectrum.
In a match that was played in very hot and sunny conditions Kingstonian dominated for long periods and if anything could have scored more.
Mullen was making a rare start up front and took full advantage by opening the scoring in the fifth minute. Outmuscling Guildford skipper Thoroughgood, he brought the ball under control before cutting inside and beating the keeper at the near post from the edge of the area.
It wasn’t entirely one way traffic at this point as Guildford generated a couple of half chances. First they almost turned the ball in at the near post from a free kick on the edge of the area, before Hughes headed just over from a corner.
It looked like life might get trickier for Kingstonian in the 29th minute as Tolfrey had to leave the field having cut his chin as he punched clear a cross and collided with an attacker. However it was Kingstonian who finished the half much the stronger creating a number of chances, the best of which fell to Murphy whose close range shot was deflected over the bar when he looked bound to score.
As Wade Small limped off with the recurrence of a hamstring injury just before half time, to be replaced by Clayton, the only real concern at this point was that Kingstonian had failed to extend their lead before the break.
Any such concerns soon passed as Kingstonian created a flurry of chances at the start of the second half. Mullen was played through by Lodge only for the Guildford keeper, Hall, to make a good save. Somner almost scored with a 40 yard volley from a mis-hit clearance from Hall, who soon atoned with an athletic dive to turn a Mullen shot around the post.
The pressure finally told in the 60th minute as Pattison scored with a fine shot from 25 yards that found the bottom corner of the net. He almost extended the lead five minutes later with a longer range shot that was very well saved by Hall. Two minutes later though the result was put beyond all doubt. Clayton did well to make room for a cross from the right and Lodge’s mis-hit shot fell for Mullen to finish from six yards.
Apart from creating a couple of half chances Guildford now looked thoroughly demoralised, knowing that they had been pretty comprehensively outplayed. They created no problems down either flank and it was left for Hughes to drop back to pick up the ball before he could cause any alarm. In truth he looked like Guildford’s only chance of scoring, but often received too little support.
In the end this was a very comfortable victory. Guildford did not create one chance on target, whilst at the other end the generally excellent Mullen probably should have had a hat trick. With Lodge, Pattison and Clayton providing the creative edge, Somner snuffing out most of the danger in mid field and Loma and Goode linking well down the right, Kingstonian looked dangerous all over the pitch. Restricting the hitherto free scoring Guildford to a small number of half chances was a good return for a solid defensive performance.
Tougher challenges lie ahead but Kingstonian can look forward to the draw for the next round with confidence.