Guildford City suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of AFC Hayes, courtesy of a double from Lawrence Shennan, to extend their run to eight league matches without victory, at the Spectrum ground this afternoon.
It was clear from the offset that this would be no game for the football purists; the ball bobbled and changed direction without warning as the pitch churned and cut up under the lightest of passes and got worse and worse as the game went on. Guildford began the stronger, although heavily under strength in the absence of regular central defensive partners Jamie Thoroughgood and captain Simon Cooper, attackers Joel Hughes and Jaydon Gibbs and with this week’s departure of Austin Gacheru, last season’s top goal scorer for the club, to Chatham Town. The first opportunity nearly came directly from kick off; Scott Todd found himself in the box with time to pick out an arriving forward, but his first time pass was cut out and the ball cleared.
Hayes, now warmed up, started creating chances of their own and should have taken the lead after 8 minutes but captain Dan Buckle missed the first of his innumerable efforts, thwarted by keeper Antony Hall. Hall, though, nearly cost his side minutes later as he fumbled a soft free kick from Mitch Gough, but managed to recover and clear the ball for a corner.
After thirty minutes Hayes eventually took the lead, a lofted cross from winger Tashan Jordan on the left-hand side found Shennan in acres of space, he headed down low into the bottom corner of the net, leaving Hall with no chance. It should have been game over by half time with Shennan and Buckle guilty of missed opportunities in the closing moments, shooting high, wide and straight at Hall, with Guildford lucky to still be in the match.
Guildford, though, begun the second half brighter but it was their turn to spurn good chances as Scott Todd and Dan Moody should have found the equaliser; Hayes continued to deployed a risky offside trap, but when it was breached City were unable to find the finish and Ben Goode, in goal, stood firm.
Shennan made it 2-0, finishing the tie, after 79 minutes. Again the cross came in from the left-hand side and the striker finished for his tenth goal of the season, completing another disappointing fixture for Guildford City; one final effort from the away side came as Mitch Gough hit the crossbar from a 25-yard free kick.
The result keeps Guildford in 9th place, although only 1 point above Slough Town who have 6 games in hand, and 10 points outside the play off spots which the club had occupied for the majority of the season. The poor form over the course of the winter period, although disappointing, has to be looked at with some caution as newcomers to the division, and it’s widely believed that the next win will breathe life once again into the side and help kick-start another run to push the club back up the table.
Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas (Scott Elgar), Ben Rayner (Captain), Tom Penson, Tommy Tydeman, Corey Holder, Dan Moody, Jack Guilford, Junior Kaffo (Bruce McPhail), Scott Todd (Dammy Bada), Will Heavey.
Unused substitutes: Mike Hall, Jeremy Williams.
Cautioned: Tommy Tydeman.