Guildford City 4 – 1 Fleet Town

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Guildford City finally ended their barren run of ten games without victory with a fantastic 4-1 thrashing of Fleet Town at The Spectrum Ground this afternoon. Scott Todd, with only his second goal for the club, put Guildford in front after 13 minutes with a well taken finish. Fleet leveled from the spot before Moody scored twice, once from the spot, and Joel Hughes finished a rebound after missing another penalty late on.

Guildford seemed to benefit from having the previous weekend off, after the postponement of the Uxbridge fixture, with the players looking noticeably fresher and Jamie Thoroughgood returning from illness, although the club was dealt a blow this week with the departure of Corey Holder, who followed Austin Gacheru to Chatham Town, and Simon Cooper continued his suspension.

The game started brightly with both sides sharing possession and threatening to make chances, although the pitch was in poor condition after the recent weather, which made fluent passing nearly impossible. Scott Todd opened the scoring after receiving the ball from Hughes who had driven from the halfway line into the area, beating two men, before laying off to his strike partner, his first touch seemed to enable the Fleet defenders to press him but he calmly steered the ball past the keeper.

Fleet Town were then awarded the first penalty of the game after 25 minutes, to much confusion, they had the ball down the left hand side with Danilo Cadette who delivered into the box, the first shot was saved but the rebound put in, but the whistle had gone. A penalty, apparently for handball. Craig Davis though, stepped up and sent Antony Hall the wrong way to make it 1-1.

Fleet then dominated the remainder of the half and created some good chances, Hall made a couple of great saves, once at the feet of Cadette when the winger looked like he had to score and once from Jack White who shot with power on the volley, Hall tipped onto the bar and cleared the danger. In the final minutes of the half though, Scott Todd got in behind the Fleet full back and was allowed to slide a cross through to Dan Moody, who tapped in to give Guildford the lead at half time.

Guildford were awarded three second half penalties as Fleet seemed to forget how to make tackles; two were fouls from keeper Ryan Pryce who should have seen red for the first challenge alone, however he was cautioned before being let off completely for the second tackle and was allowed to complete the 90 minutes. Full back Marc Vockins was also booked for his reckless tackle on Scott Todd for the final penalty. Dan Moody dispatched the first kick before missing his second, then Joel Hughes went on to miss the third before finishing the rebound to round off the scoring.

Guildford played impressively in the second half and although both the second half goals came as a result of penalties it was the play that led to the fouls that will have pleased Kevin Rayner, as Dan Moody and Joel Hughes linked up excellently with Scott Todd forcing the Fleet defenders into mistakes. At the back City were also in good form with Dammy Bada giving a man of the match performance at left back, his pace and willingness to chase down everything helped keep Guilford on the front foot.

The victory, the first since November 17th, pushed Guildford up to seventh with a home match against third place Rugby Town next week.

Video highlights available on YouTube.

Post-match interview with manager Kevin Rayner and defender Jamie Thoroughgood.

Guildford City:
Antony, Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Ben Rayner (Captain), Tom Penson, Jamie Thoroughgood, Dammy Bada, Dan Moody (Sean Rivers), Jack Guilford (Bruce McPhail), Scott Todd (Will Heavey), Joel Hughes, Scott Elgar.
Unused substitutes: Mike Hall, Tony Chaplin.

Match Report by Bruce Archer