Goals at the end of each half from Joel Hughes and new signing Junior Kaffo secured victory for Guildford City in their first match in the Southern League. Aylesbury levelled in the second half through Brian Haule reacted quickest after Antony Hall, who had an excellent game, saved a penalty.
On a stifling day of intense heat City visited Aylesbury for our first Southern League fixture in 38 years. With Jack Guilford having been injured in the warm up, Guildford took time to settle following a tactical reshuffle, and increasingly it was the home side that were enjoying the territorial advantage; typified on 15 minutes when Corey Holder sliced the ball over his own crossbar under intense pressure.
On the half hour Austin Gacheru was brought down in the box and despite loud appeals from the City fans behind the goal, the referee was unmoved. Aylesbury’s best moment of the half saw Antony Hall brought brilliantly into action for a stunning double save; first he parried a 20 yard effort at full stretch and then recovered to save the subsequent header with his feet.
Then moments before half-time Dan Moody, celebrating recently becoming a father, played a ball down the line to Austin Gacheru, who expertly threaded a ball through to Joel Hughes who calmly placed the ball past the advancing keeper and inside the post.
On 57 minutes City had a tremendous opportunity to score a second when a long ball found both Gacheru and Moody chasing the ball to the edge of the home penalty area. Gacheru it was who won the race but sensing glory he blazed the bouncing ball over the bar. Six minutes later Aylesbury hauled themselves level after an unfortunate hand-ball in the City box. Brian Haule took the spot kick which was well saved by Antony Hall, but fortunately for the penalty taker he was able to react first and head the rebound into the gaping net.
On 72 minutes a melee led to the sending off of City full-back Elvis Defreitas and up against it in the hot conditions the City side had to dig deep. This they did and on 75 minutes former Billericay midfielder Junior Kaffo, on début, spun in the box and drilled low past the keeper to clinch a memorable, and confidence boosting, win.
Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Ben Rayner [capt.], Tom Penson, Moses Spencer (Jamie Thoroughgood 72), Corey Holder, Dan Moody, Tommy Tydeman, Austin Gacheru (Tommy Rose 88), Joel Hughes, Dammy Bada (Junior Kaffo 61).
Unused substitutes: Luke Bradnick, Jack Guilford.
Cautioned: Jamie Thoroughgood
Sent off: Elvis Defreitas