After losing in midweek from a winning position, Guildford City made amends with a comprehensive victory at Ashford’s Robert Parker Stadium. Tom Penson and Dammy Bada had both limped out of the action midweek but were fit to take their place in the starting line-up. Scott Todd however who would have faced his former club was absent with a hamstring injury, and big forward Sean Rivers was named on the bench after feeling under the weather.
City opened in enterprising fashion with Jaydon Gibbs and Dan Moody looking dangerous down the flanks. In the early stages both sides exchanged shooting opportunities that cleared the crossbar, in City’s case a direct free-kick from Jaydon Gibbs. On 17 minutes Guildford broke the deadlock with a nice passing move. Club captain Simon Cooper, playing in a more advanced role, picked up the ball 30 yards from goal. A ball out wide to Gibbs was delicately played through for Will Heavey to run onto the ball and shoot past McCarty in the home goal. Ashford had two glorious chances to bring the scores level. Firstly Barry Conteh headed wide when in space, and then minutes later from a long throw, Perry Luckins somehow sliced the ball wide from a central position. City made Ashford pay for such profligacy when they scored a second on the half hour. Jaydon Gibbs and Junior Kaffo worked a one-two on the left which allowed Gibbs to race on into the area where he was brought down in an over robust challenge. Dan Moody stepped up to the spot to score his 25th goal of the season. Ashford did get themselves on the scoreboard before the interval when a low ball to the near post was netted by Kofi Lockhart-Adams at the second attempt.
The home side enjoyed a greater proportion of the possession in the second period but largely were unable to break down a steady, stubborn City defence. When Ashford did come within range of the Guildford goal Antony Hall rose to the challenge admirably. As the game entered its final quarter City posed more of a threat in an attacking sense. On 70 minutes Elvis Defreitas fired a cross field pass to Jaydon Gibbs whose attacking run led to a chance for Ben Rayner who miscued his effort over the bar. Shortly afterward a quick clearance from Antony Hall put Gibbs in the clear. He cut inside a defender but his right foot effort zipped inches wide of the post. Junior Kaffo and Simon Cooper then both had long range efforts comfortably saved. On 84 minutes the game was made safe. A defensive header fell short and Simon Cooper latched onto the chance to nonchalantly lift the ball over the advancing keeper. Gibbs had another opportunity late on when his fierce effort was well saved by McCarty. There was still time for Antony Hall to be called into action, although unexpectedly it was from an over enthusiastic back-pass from Tom Penson.
Guildford City: Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Ben Rayner (Luke Bradnick 86), Simon Cooper, Jamie Thoroughgood, Dammy Bada, Dan Moody, Will Heavey (Tommy Tydeman 77), Junior Kaffo (Scott Elgar 84), Tom Penson, Jaydon Gibbs.
Unused substitutes: Casey McCabe, Sean Rivers.
Referee: Shaun Barry