Routine win for Guildford as Hughes grabs landmark goal
Match report by Tom Wellman
Guildford extended their lead at the top of the Combined Counties Premier Division to 14 points with a comfortable 5-0 victory over Cove at the Spectrum. The hosts were four up by the break but it was the 5th goal, scored by Joel Hughes, which had everybody excited as it was Guildford’s 100th league goal of the season.
It is the first time that Guildford have scored 100 league goals in a season since the war and needed just five more against the division’s leakiest defence to hit the milestone prior to tonight’s game.
Austin Gacheru (2), Ben Rayner and Dan Moody all contributed first half strikes to edge Guildford closer before Hughes strolled through the Cove defence to slot home, though memories of the strike were overshadowed by a hilarious premeditated mock toboggan run celebration!
Gacheru began proceedings in the 16th minute following sustained Guildford pressure; Hughes put the leading scorer through on goal and he found the bottom left corner with ease. The 22 goal striker could have had a second but for a tame shot just 7 yards out moments after.
Eleven minutes later though it was 2; Hughes again laid the ball on a plate for Ben Rayner to score his 5th of the season from the edge of the area, giving the team an early platform to push on and reach the century of goals.
Clearly motivated by the honour, Guildford grabbed two more just before the interval. A clumsy foul on Gacheru in the area gave the referee no option but to award a penalty. Dan Moody put it away and soon afterwards Gacheru claimed his second with a close range finish after the ball fell into his path somewhat fortuitously as Hughes tangled with Cove defenders.
Cruising 4-0 at half-time and with 99 goals for the season, priorities could focus on grabbing the limelight and scoring a famous goal. Ben Camara tried his luck twice and Moody saw opposing keeper Luke Edgecombe save his fierce drive brilliantly until the moment came.
Hughes, with a hand in three of the goals already, eased past several Cove defenders and blasted the ball past Edgecombe before beginning a memorable celebration just past the hour mark.
Milestone achieved, Guildford could now sit back and see the game out; Cove had offered little since leading scorer Andrew Harewood was replaced at half time. However, the Farnborough team did improve as Calvin Thomas and Jack Ball threatened, the latter firing a shot against Antony Hall’s crossbar.
A consolation proved to be out of their reach though, and despite Gacheru and Will Heavey trying their luck, City settled with a 5-0 score line on a famous and noteworthy night for Hughes and the league leaders.
Antony Hall, Elvis Defreitas, Ben Rayner (Moses Spencer 63), Simon Cooper [capt], Tony Chaplin (Luke Bradnick 68), Will Heavey, Dan Moody, Ben Camara, Austin Gacheru, Joel Hughes, Jaydon Gibbs (Martin Debrah 68).
Unused substitutes: Jack GUilford, Lance Banton-Brown
Referee: G. Mays