Guildford City extended their unbeaten run to three games after drawing at home with Slough Town. Will Heavey equalised for City after Danny Burnell gave Slough the lead from the penalty spot. Despite winning their last two home games, manager Kevin Rayner felt a point was a good result for the side.
“I was more than happy to get the point with the players we had out there tonight. We got a bit ragged at the end with players playing in different positions and others coming back who weren’t fully fit. We were just out of legs in the last 15 minutes but it was still comfortable to see out.
“The confidence is back after our poor run. We’ve got players missing but everyone is putting effort in. You can see the commitment and I feel we’re back to where we were in November time.”
Guildford dominated the opening exchanges as Dan Moody and Heavey were both thwarted by opposing goalkeeper Jamie Jackson, but Slough were awarded a penalty when Burnell went down as a cross came in on 19 minutes. He picked himself up and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner. Boss Rayner felt the decision to give the spot-kick was tough.
“I thought it was very harsh to be honest. They’ve had to scream for it and the ref’s given it under a bit of pressure, but the lads got on with it, showed great character and deservedly brought it level.”
After having more of the attacking play since the goal, Guildford drew level on 37 minutes thanks to Heavey’s header. Giant frontman Junior Kaffo, starting due to the absence of Sean Rivers, found himself on the right wing and delivered a quality ball into the area for Heavey to nod past Jackson to equalise.
The hosts almost took the lead immediately after half-time as Scott Elgar’s cross nearly embarrassed Jackson but clipped the bar instead. Guildford did manage to beat Jackson for a second time but Kaffo tapped into an empty net from an offside position. It came after some good work by Moody and Heavey in the midfield area, but Heavey’s shot was palmed away to Kaffo who was behind the last defender.
As the match continued into the final 20 minutes, Guildford tired and allowed Slough to finally test home keeper Antony Hall. First he prevented Burnell from doubling his tally for the night with a good low stop and he then flew across his goal to palm away a fierce shot, again from Slough’s number 9.
The game finished all square at 1-1, Guildford’s third match unbeaten, rejuvenating the club’s hopes of reaching the play-offs.
“I think we needed to get anything tonight with the games we’ve got,” Rayner continued. “We’ve got all the long journeys out of the way, all the top sides have got to come here and we’re certainly in it. With the squad at full strength after tonight we’ve only got to put a run together of 3 or 4 games and we’ve got a good chance.”
Match report by Tom Wellman.
Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Ben Rayner (C), Tom Penson, Jamie Thoroughgood, Scott Elgar, Dan Moody, Will Heavey (Luke Bradnick 77’), Junior Kaffo (Casey McCabe 83’), Scott Todd (Bruce McPhail 45’), Dammy Bada
Cautioned: Junior Kaffo