Guildford City’s mounting push for the play-off positions continued apace at struggling Leighton Town, with an impressive six goal victory. With Scott Todd missing with a hamstring injury, Sean Rivers returned to the starting line-up following his midweek work commitments. City also welcomed back club captain Simon Cooper from suspension. Interestingly with City’s back-four looking settled in recent weeks, manager Kevin Rayner opted to play Cooper in a wide midfield role.
Leighton opened the match possibly the brighter of the two sides, and in the opening minutes twice forced Guildford’s defence into last ditch clearances. Quickly though City’s midfield exerted their influence on the game, with Simon Cooper especially impressing on the right flank. The first real chance for the visitors came after 12 minutes. Dammy Bada and Sean Rivers set up Joel Hughes in the box but his miss-timed shot was turned away by home keeper Sam Mazurek. Seconds later Guildford went ahead – Jamie Thoroughgood rising unchallenged to head home his first goal of the season. Sean Rivers has a “goal” chalked off for a narrow offside decision, before on 20 minutes City went two ahead; Ben Rayner’s low free-kick zipping across the goalmouth and settling in the far corner. Leighton’s young wide player Jordan Davis, lively all afternoon, saw a fierce effort watched wide by Hall in the visitor’s goal. On 32 minutes City were three goals to the good. Dan Moody had been brought down twenty yards from goal, and Simon Cooper’s curling free-kick was saved by Mazurek’s legs, only for Jack Guilford to bundle the ball over the line. A glorious run and cross by Moody almost resulted in another City goal. Moody’s cross being mistimed by Sean Rivers when in a great position. Leighton’s Mark Burfoot dis escape the clutches of City’s back four but his hurried effort sailed harmlessly over the crossbar. The seconds before the interval Joel Hughes won the ball, and weaved and bobbed before delicately sliding the ball home off of the inside of the post.
To their credit Leighton came out for the second period in determined fashion, and within minutes Burfoot had headed against City’s crossbar. With Jordan Davis and fellow youngster Jerry Nash impressing, City’s defence were being given a tough workout, but were rising to the challenge superbly. Dan Moody did break free on 55 minutes but Mazurek saved well to block his effort. Dan Moody had a second chance when he won the race to lift the ball over the advancing Mazurek, to tap in for City’s fifth goal. Minutes later Moody picked up Antony Hall’s long clearance with an exquisite first touch, before blazing just over. Jordan Davis came closest to scoring a consolation for the home side. After once again jinking inside his powerfully struck shot was well saved by an outstretched Antony Hall.
Jaydon Gibbs had time to smash a free-kick against the Leighton bar, before in the closing moments Junior Kaffo flicked the ball on for Jaydon Gibbs to run free, and calmly pick his spot in the corner. Credit to Leighton who had given their all, but on the day had met a City side rapidly gathering momentum. A special word for Ian Plested incidentally, who manned the Sweeney position behind the goal with his “lucky” flag, and gave great vocal encouragement to the lads.
Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Ben Rayner, Simon Cooper (Jaydon Gibbs 50), Jamie Thoroughgood, Tom Penson, Dan Moody, Jack Guilford (Casey McCabe 58), Sean Rivers (Junior Kaffo 58), Joel Hughes, Dammy Bada.
Unused substitutes: Bruce McPhail, Mike Hall.
Referee: Ellis Clark
Attendance – 71