A sparkling performance from City winger Jaydon Gibbs was the catalyst for Guildford’s impressive victory over Northwood. In a stop start season with injury, Gibbs was at his rampant best on the left flank, posing constant problems to the visiting defence. Indeed it was Gibbs who created the game’s first opportunity, when after a scintillating run his cross just eluded the on-rushing City strikers. Playing some creative football City were dominating the early stages, and from Jamie Thoroughgood’s nod down, Junior Kaffo could only screw his effort wide. On 18 minutes a City corner saw Simon Cooper head just over at the near post, but after almost constant pressure Guildford took the lead on 27 minutes. After a defensive stumble the diminutive Scott Todd burst into the box and just as he was pulling the trigger he was brought down from behind. Northwood’s Reece Yorke was subsequently dismissed from the field, and Sean Rivers stepped up to put City one-up from the spot. Dammy Bada and Dan Moody both had dangerous runs as the half closed, but there was still time for Antony Hall to pull off a fine diving save from Romaine Walker’s fierce effort.
City opened the second half in spirited fashion, and on 47 minutes Jaydon Gibbs silky skills on the left set up Dammy Bada to fire a low cross into the box where Dan Moody expertly fired a first-time effort into the net for his 24th goal of the season. Any thoughts that it was game over was dispelled as Northwood came increasingly into the game during the second period. On 56 minutes Northwood’s possession was rewarded, when the impressive Oliver Hawkins broke free, and after his effort came back off the post the ball was fed back to Mark Burgess who smashed an absolute screamer into the top corner from 20 yards; a goal every bit as good as that scored by Manchester United’s Rafael on the same day.
Almost immediately City had the chance to restore their two goal advantage when Junior Kaffo’s close range effort was handled in the box. Up stepped Sean Rivers again but on this occasion his tame effort was comfortably saved by James Reading. By now the game had opened up. Oliver Hawkins shot just wide for Northwood when the home defence got stretched, and from Junior Kaffo’s fine pass Jaydon Gibbs cut inside and fed Casey McCabe whose effort just cleared the bar. On 75 minutes Guildford did regain their two goal advantage. From a throw deep in Northwood’s half, Dan Moody found space to fire a fine ball into the box where Sean Rivers peeled off his defender to glance his header beyond Reading into the corner of the net. Will Heavey had a late shooting chance but City were content to play out the final moment with some fine possession football.
Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Ben Rayner, Simon Cooper, Jamie Thoroughgood, Dammy Bada, Dan Moody, Junior Kaffo (Will Heavey 70), Sean Rivers (Scott Elgar 75), Scott Todd (Casey McCabe 60), Jaydon Gibbs.
Unused substitutes: Bruce McPhail, Mike Hall.
Referee: Alex Neil