Guildford City 2 – 3 Ashford Town (Middx)

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Ashford came into this match on the back of two heavy defeats. Any fears that Ashford may have had of a third big defeat on the trot were quickly dispelled, when they opened the match brightly, and indeed Antony Hall in City’s goal was called into action in the first minute to deny Kofi Lockhart-Adams. Seconds later Mark Bitmead fell in the area after a tangle of legs with Tom Penson and on another day referee Craig Green might have pointed to the spot. City did manage two shots on goal from Junior Kaffo early on, but Ashford had the momentum, and looked very much as if they were the team at the top of the table. Ashford’s Scott Weight shot over Guildford’s bar after a corner, and on 15 minutes from another corner Daniel Brown arrived late in the box to head Ashford deservedly into the lead. With Scott Weight hitting City’s post moments later, Ashford were dominant and threatening to run away with the game. The momentum changed however after 26 minutes when following a free-kick into the box, Simon Cooper latched onto Tommy Tydeman’s looping header to turn the ball in for Guildford’s equaliser. Noticeably more confident after opening their account, City were seeing far more of the ball, and minutes before the interval Joel Hughes splendid run into the box was thwarted by a last ditch challenge.

City were a different side in the second period. Dammy Bada, on for the injured Gibbs at half-time, was enjoying himself down the left flank, and Junior Kaffo, playing in a more advanced role in the second-half, was impressing in a rare starting appearance. Indeed it was Kaffo who put City into a 51st minute lead. Dan moody’s delightful delivery from a free-kick gave the 6ft 4ins Kaffo the chance to head past Kyle Merson in the visitor’s goal. Within minutes Kaffo’s cross cum shot deceived Merson, but his blushes were spared when the ball rebounded away off of the crossbar. With further efforts on goal from Moody, Bada and notably Junior Kaffo; Kaffo’s 81st minute low effort being excellently saved at full stretch by Merson. A third goal would have clinched the game for the home side, but unfortunately an 87th minute calamitous communications error in the home defence, against the run of play, led to Ashford’s unexpected equaliser through Dan Brown. No doubt frustrated, worse was to follow. Deep in stoppage time, a brilliant cross on the run from Ed Thomas was met with an equally good header from Daniel Brown. In a blur the ball thumped down to the ground off the underside of the crossbar. The ball was hoofed out of the area, but Ashford’s vehement appeals that the ball had crossed the line for a winning goal met success, when the linesman confirmed that the ball had indeed crossed the line. Defeat from the jaws of victory then. Frustrating it certainly was, but in the cold light of day City won in very similar circumstances against North Greenford recently, and as they say “what goes around, comes around”!

Guildford City:
Antony Hall, Tom Penson, Ben Rayner (Will Heavey 80), Simon Cooper, Jamie Thoroughgood, Corey Holder, Dan Moody, Tommy Tydeman (Tony Chaplin 65), Junior Kaffo, Joel Hughes, Jaydon Gibbs (Dammy Bada 45).
Unused substitutes: Elvis Defreitas, Mike Hall.
Cautioned: None

Referee: Craig Green
Attendance: 113

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Click here to hear manager Kevin Rayner’s post-match thoughts