In an archetypal game of two halves, Guildford City came away from Honeycroft with their play-off dreams left hanging by a thread. City also departed Uxbridge’s impressive home ground with injury concerns, as both full-backs Tom Penson and Dammy Bada limped from the field during the second-half.
The first half of a thoroughly entertaining encounter belonged to Guildford. City dominated the central midfield area, with Junior Kaffo in particular putting in a strong shift, and time and again the visitors looked dangerous with Dan Moody and Scott Elgar attacking on the flanks, and Jaydon Gibbs looking lively in a more central role. Uxbridge’s speedy strike force threatened but was largely contained by City’s defensive line. On 20 minutes Guildford deservedly nudged ahead. Junior Kaffo skilfully won space to feed Gibbs, who in turn fed Scott Elgar wide on the right. Elgar’s first time cross with the outside of his foot was met gleefully by Sean Rivers who turned the ball in at the near post. Dan Moody had a chance shortly after when his exquisite turn in the box gave him a shooting opportunity that was comfortably saved by Elston-Bull in the home goal. As the half came toward a close Uxbridge increased their influence on the game; Matt Woods header forcing Antony Hall into a good save. The equalising goal came when Stuart Farrell made a dangerous run into the box, before crossing under pressure to Wayne Carter fifteen yards from goal who made no mistake. In the dying moments before the break City nudged ahead again. Dan Moody regained the ball after chasing what seemed a lost cause across the field. Dammy Bada’s subsequent cross was met by Sean Rivers, who laid the ball off to Jaydon Gibbs who took the ball past a defender to fire home.
The home side were more purposeful in the second period, and City’s midfield was unable to exert the influence they enjoyed in the first half. Not that the game was one sided. Jaydon Gibbs had a fierce effort on goal blocked at full stretch within minutes of the restart, and on 51 minutes City had a glorious chance to go further ahead when Gibbs challenging free-kick was met unchallenged by Sean Rivers, but sadly for City fans his effort finished well wide of goal. The writing was perhaps on the wall after Uxbridge twice wasted good opportunities down the left side, and inevitably on 58 minutes the scores were level. Nicke Kabamba turned on the edge of the box and fired in a low effort which bounced off Antony Hall’s chest to the predatory Matt Woods who tucked the rebound home. City immediately hit back and should have regained the lead. Dammy Bada’s clearance was superbly headed down by Rivers to Jaydon Gibbs, whose slide rule pass put Scott Elgar in the clear. One on one with the keeper his skilfully chipped effort looked for all of the world as if it was going in, but crucially it slid inches wide of the left hand post. Defensively Simon Cooper rose to the challenge with a fantastic goal-saving block, but on 76 minutes in a frantic goalmouth scramble Matt Woods was on hand to bundle the ball over the line for his second goal of the game. With the minutes ticking away City threw everything forward and Ben Rayner, Sean Rivers and Will Heavey all had chances to bring the scores level. In the end it was not to be but City had played their part in a terrific encounter as sadly their play-off dreams seemed to be slipping away.
Audio Interview – Ian Plested interviews Manager Kevin Rayner after the Uxbridge game
Antony Hall, Tom Penson (Elvis Defreitas 76), Ben Rayner, Simon Cooper, Jamie Thoroughgood, Dammy Bada (Bruce McPhail 89), Dan Moody, Junior Kaffo, Sean Rivers, Scott Elgar (Will Heavey 67), Jaydon Gibbs.
Unused substitutes: Luke Bradnick, Casey McCabe.
Referee: Tim Donnellan