On a bitterly cold evening the unlikely hero of this midweek encounter against Aylesbury was visiting player manager, and ex-Coventry and Woking striker, Craig Faulconbridge. However it was not his shooting boots that made Faulconbridge a hero, but his goalkeeping gloves. With regular keeper Simeon Charles delayed by a puncture on the motorway, it was Faulconbridge who donned the gloves for a delayed kick-off, and then proceeded to thwart the best Guildford could throw at him.
Sensing a weak link early on Guildford came out the traps well, and after just 2 minutes Scott Todd had a great chance as he broke into the penalty area but his early shot narrowly cleared the crossbar. Aylesbury did look lively on the break, and Simon Cooper was forced into a last ditch tackle to prevent a goal scoring chance. Antony Hall was also called into action saving well with his feet. On 24 minutes City carved out their best move, and best chance, of the game. Jaydon Gibbs superb inside ball set Joel Hughes free on the left, and using his customary strength he cut inside before pulling the ball back to Dan Moody who sadly mishit his first time effort. Five minutes later Brian Haule smashed a fifteen yard effort against the post, and minutes later the same player lobbed over following a defensive mistake.
At this point up stepped Faulconbridge. A clever build up in midfield enabled Moody to get a low shot away, but the visiting keeper dived full stretch to palm the ball wide. Scott Todd had a long range effort zip wide, before Faulconbridge again rose to the challenge. This time a jinking Todd run on the right, followed by a powerful cross was met spectacularly on the volley by Jaydon Gibbs, but somehow Faulconbridge managed the beat the ball away.
Truth be told the second half was a disappointing affair, save only what proved to be Aylesbury’s match winning goal. Lamar Simpson rang across the edge of the City area before unleashing a low shot that Antony Hall appeared to think was going wide. However the ball hit the inside of the post and rolled across the line, much to the jubilation of the visiting players. Scott Todd was at the heart of City’s best moves going forward, and from his quick free-kick Jaydon Gibbs drove low into the goalmouth where that man again Faulconbridge parried the shot, and the danger was eventually cleared. Shortly after Todd himself ran dangerously into the box, but as he went to ground loud appeals for a penalty were waved away. Then as the game drifted into stoppage time City had one last chance to draw level. Dammy Bada’s cross was headed down by Sean Rivers, but Ben Rayner was unable to make the most of the opportunity.
Audio interview – Manager Kevin Rayner reacts to the Aylesbury defeat
Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Ben Rayner, Simon Cooper, Jamie Thoroughgood, Dammy Bada, Dan Moody, Will Heavey (Junior Kaffo 65), Scott Todd (Scott Elgar 83), Joel Hughes (Sean Rivers 65), Jaydon Gibbs.
Unused substitutes: Casey McCabe, Luke Bradnick.
Referee: Stephen Woodison