GUILDFORD CITY FC   Saturday 23rd February 2013   NORTHWOOD FC

Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division

  Guildford City 3  Northwood 1  

Rivers 27, 75
Moody 47

Burgess 57

Team line-up  

  Team line-up
1 Anthony Hall     1 James Reading
2 Elvis De Freitas     2 Ricky Rogers
3 Ben Rayner     3 Ryan Phillips (85m)
4 Simon Cooper     4 Brad Hewitt
5 Jamie Thoroughgood     5 Reece Yorke
6 Dammy Bada     6 Craig White
7 Dan Moody     7 Jerome Federico
8 Junior Kaffo     8 Mark Burgess (85m)
9 Sean Rivers     9 Romaine Walker (85m)
10 Scott Todd     10 Oliver Hawkins
11 Jaydon Gibbs     11 Lee Grant
Substitutes     Substitutes
12 Will Heavey     12 George Nicholas (85m)
14 Scott Elgar     14 Adil Salih (85m)
15 Casey McCabe     15 Dean Worman
16 Bruce McPhail     16 Niko Muir
17 Michael Hall     17 Bradley Wilkinson (85m)
      Referee: Alex Neil; Assistants: Marcus Carmichael & Andrew Mawby      
  REPORT by Alan Evans    PHOTOS by James Brown  



Guildford City strolled to a comfortable “double” over the Woods in their first season back in the Southern League but they were helped on their way by a Northwood side reduced to ten men midway through the first-half. The home side dominated from the start with Jaydon Gibbs, twin brother of Arsenal & England full-back Kieran, causing plenty of problems with his pace on the left. Ricky Rogers, making his comeback from injury, was twisted inside and out as Gibbs raced past him twice in the opening stages but his cut-back ball was skied by Scott Todd and then a shot flashed across the goal and wide.

Simon Cooper also headed over from one of several corners that Guildford forced but the Woods were still looking solid in the middle of defence until a real slip on 27 minutes. Reece Yorke had been struggling with an injury and Adil Salih was about to come on as his replacement when he slipped in possession and the ball rolled through for Todd to run on goal. Yorke tried to recover but only succeeded in clumsily running into the back of the striker and clipping his heels just inside the box. As last man, the red card was inevitable and the Woods had conceded their third penalty in successive games. Sean Rivers rolled home from the spot and Northwood were really up against it.

It was a case of damage limitation up to the break, and James Reading kept his side in the game when saving a long-range chipped effort from Todd and then from Mark Burgess as he sliced an attempted clearance. Seconds before the half-time whistle, the Woods finally recorded an effective attack themselves as Craig White won the ball and put Federico in to use his pace down the right. He raced away and cut in but goalkeeper Antony Hall pushed out his shot, while Oliver Hawkins was unable to reach the loose ball in the box.

When Guildford notched an easy second goal after 47 minutes, it would appear to be game over with top scorer Dan Moody casually flicking in Dammy Bada’s cross from the left. But the Woods responded well. A close offside call prevented Romaine Walker from pulling a goal back and then a Ryan Phillips free-kick was driven low through the wall but Hall got down to it well and kept his effort out by the post.

After 57 minutes Hawkins raced through on goal but saw the ball crash back off the post and when Federico knocked a pass back towards Mark Burgess, the player-manager blasted a shot that rifled into the top corner to give Hall no chance. It was his first Northwood goal since January 2009, when he scored fortuitously against Fleet Town in a League Cup game.

Almost immediately, hopes of a stirring comeback were put on hold as Oliver Hawkins was penalised for handling a close-range Junior Kaffo shot in the box and yet another penalty was awarded. This time Rivers didn’t send Reading the wrong way and the Woods keeper saved comfortably to keep the deficit down to just one goal. On 64 minutes, Walker threaded a good ball through to Hawkins and his shot flashed across Hall but rolled just wide of the far post before Walker had an effort well held by Hall.

It was after 72 minutes that City pretty much secured the points as the ten men of Northwood were stretched once again. Substitute Casey McCabe fired just over after another good ball from Gibbs but then Moody found space on the left to knock an inviting ball towards Rivers, who skilfully glanced a neat header out of the reach of Reading for a killer third goal.

The Woods made a late triple substitution but it failed to raise their fortunes or their spirits as their fourth game in eight games ended in a tired-looking defeat.