Fringe Box



A Transformed City Fail to Get Their Just Deserts

Published on: 24 Mar, 2024
Updated on: 25 Mar, 2024

Guildford’s busy forward Ben Mitchell makes another goal attempt with the Fleet keeper at full stretch. Photo: Cosmo Wells

Fleet Town (1) 3, Guildford City (1) 2

By Barry Underwood

Guildford City, who after a series of poor performances, came out like a side transformed on Saturday (March 23).

In a thrilling game for neutrals, they were desperately unlucky to leave Calthorpe Park with no reward.

“The Sweeney” did start the game hesitatingly and early on Fleet had a half chance at the back post. Then, on 15 minutes the home side counter attacked swiftly and a low cross from the right was converted by Tommy Whitby.

But Guildford responded positively. A penalty shout was waved away when Jamie Hilton went down in the box, and Anthony Ogbanufe was posing problems on the right. On 28 minutes Jake Heighes headed a free kick into the net, but the linesman had spotted a very controversial offside, and after a consultation the “goal” was ruled out.

But this apparent injustice only spurred City on and their game lifted several notches. James Glover’s shot from the edge of the box was deflected inches wide of the post. With 36 minutes played, Callum Sullivan’s fine pass set the impressive Ben Mitchell through on the left side of the box where he was brought down as he rounded the Fleet goalkeeper Filip Chalupnkzak. Mitchell dusted himself down to drive home the penalty from the spot.

City were playing confident and attractive football, and there was clearly everything to play for in the second half.

City opened the second period with attacking intent. A low Anthony Ogbanufe cross just eluded the stretching Ben Mitchell. Minutes later Mitchell received the ball on the left and going past two defenders his 20-yard piledriver was spectacularly parried by Chalupnikzak, and the high rebound was turned wide by Jamie Hilton from what was a difficult chance.

Jamie Hilton on the ball. Photo: Cosmo Wells

Around the hour mark Fleet saw a long-range effort go wide, and more threatening a header from a corner that went over the top.

On 70 minutes Anthony Ogbanufe and Leon Dadey combined for Ben Mitchell who pulled his shot wide.

Soon after City deservedly took the lead when Owen Sims cross was headed home from close range by Ben Mitchell. Guildford came close again when Jake Heighes headed a free kick back into the box where it deflected off a defender in the direction of the goal. Credit to Chalupnkzak who scrambled back to scoop the ball away from the goal line.

The impressive Ben Mitchell challenges in the box. Photo: Cosmo Wells

The game’s defining moment came on 87 minutes. Ben Mitchell’s strength saw him come through three challenges and his low cross found Jamie Hilton free in front of an open goal. Inexplicably the young midfielder lifted what should have been a tap in over the bar.

Experienced Sweeney watchers feared the worst and so it came to pass. Dan Bone for Fleet scored a 90+2 minute penalty to bring the scores level, and worst to come a corner in the 90+7 minute was headed goalward and Dan Bone turned in an unlikely winner to break City’s hearts.

Full credit to City’s travelling support who once again sang their hearts out in support of their team. They certainly didn’t deserve the juvenile abuse from Fleet’s goalkeeper, who thought the best way of celebrating a fortunate win was by unpleasantly abusing the City fans behind the goal.

Team: Mac Chisholm, Owen Sims, Callum Sullivan, Jake Heighes, James Glover, Niall Stillwell, Anthony Ogbanufe, Shiloh Ndiulor, Ben Mitchell, Jamie Hilton, Leon Dadey. Unused subs: Rayyan Adam, Lewis Taylor, Jack Phillips, James Whiting, Shane Johnson.

Referee: Mudiwa Manyange

Attendance – 473

Next match: Badshot Lea vs City 7.45pm, Wednesday,  March 28

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Responses to A Transformed City Fail to Get Their Just Deserts

  1. Olly Azad Reply

    March 24, 2024 at 11:47 pm

    The childish and abusive antics shown by the Fleet goalkeeper towards Guildford City fans is deplorable.

    This player should be sanctioned before being allowed back on the field.

    In the meanwhile, best wishes to GCFC on their next match against Badshot Lea on Wednesday.

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