Guildford City continued their winning return to the Southern League with a 4-3 victory over AFC Hayes. Dan Moody bagged a brace either side of a Ben Rayner goal, but City’s eventual winner came from an own goal scored by Hayes.
The Guildford players and members of the Sweeney supporters group, battled through the heavy south west London traffic to claim another valuable three points at AFC Hayes Farm Park ground. In an end to end thriller there were chances galore and in truth it was a shame that either side had to lose. Hayes took the lead though on 15 minutes when Mitchal Gough drove a 25 yard free-kick low through the wall, and despite Antony Hall’s best efforts the ball found the back of the net. Guildford upped the stakes and after Simon Cooper’s free kick had gone narrowly wide, City got themselves on the scoreboard. Ben Rayner’s beautiful chipped pass found Dan Moody who beat the offside trap to fire low into the right hand corner. On 25 minutes City pressure told and after the Hayes defence failed to clear a corner, Ben Rayner fired through a crowded goalmouth to put City 2-1 up. City were dominating possession and the chances at this stage, but unfortunately a defensive error gave Hayes a way back in and suddenly it was 2-2.
By common consent at half-time this was anybody’s game, and the second half opened in the same, almost frantic, end to end vein. Chances came and went at either end. On the hour Tony Mendy was thwarted when Antony Hall brilliantly saved, and Moses Spencer was on hand to clear the resulting loose ball. Then on 75 minutes it looked as if City might have clinched the game. Ben Rayner, enjoying a man of the match performance, chipped the ball over the defence for Dan Moody to run on and calmly slot the ball home for his second goal of the night. However Sweeney heads went down when from another lightning raid Mendy blasted home an equaliser to make it 3-3 with just four minutes left on the clock. Despair turned to joy as 90 minutes was reached, when Simon Cooper’s free-kick into the box was glanced into his own net by an unfortunate Hayes defender. City then withstood a nervous eight minutes of stoppage time, before referee Tony Power brought the curtain down on a pulsating game.
Antony Hall, Tom Penson, Ben Rayner, Simon Cooper, Moses Spencer, Corey Holder, Dan Moody, Jack Guilford (Ben Camara 66), Austin Gacheru (Dammy Bada 79), Joel Hughes, Tommy Tydeman.
Unused substitutes: Junior Kaffo, Luke Bradnick, Jamie Thoroughgood.
Cautioned: Tom Penson, Jack Guilford, Tommy Tydeman