Fringe Box



City Bounce Back to Winning Ways

Published on: 17 Sep, 2023
Updated on: 18 Sep, 2023

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

By Barry Underwood

Guildford City bounced back from last week’s league defeat in dramatic circumstances at the Spectrum. Our young team played some nice football in spells, but for much of the game there was little between the sides.

But the game intensified in the latter stages and during 17 extra minutes of stoppage time(!) there was action galore.

Tolu Ajayi-Obe leaps for the ball in a packed Fleet defence. Photo Cosmo Wells

The first shot on target from Fleet’s Louis Blake was comfortably saved by Adam Longman. Guildford themselves briefly thought they had gone ahead when Will May turned past his marker and drilled a low shot inside the far post. But referee Tolga Inanc had spotted a handball in the build-up.

There was indecision in the City defence when a ball was allowed to bounce, and Louis Blake’s effort was well saved by Adam Longman. On 26 minutes, Fleet again came close when from a free-kick Connor Young deflected the ball onto the crossbar and over for a goal kick.

Guildford themselves came close from the unlikely boot of full-back Lewis Taylor. A corner was cleared, and Taylor struck a thunderbolt shot from 35 yards that forced Callum Smart into a fine save low down.

Five minutes before the break Fleet went ahead from the penalty spot courtesy of top scorer Connor Young. But three minutes into first-half stoppage time Guildford also won what was probably a fortuitous penalty.

Manny Acheampong put in another great performance before he went off injured after a clash of heads. Photo Cosmo Wells

Manny Acheampong had driven into the box and his shot struck a hand from close range. Up stepped Will May who netted to bring the scores level at the break.

The visitors opened the second half brightly. A header cleared the bar, and moments later Adam Longman saved well at his near post. On the hour mark City’s Tolu Ajayi-Obe saw his header from a corner headed off the line. Almost immediately, in response, Adam Longman tipped a long shot wide.

The tempo of the match changed in the 82nd minute. There was a terrible clash of heads when Manny Acheampong raced onto a through ball and headed past the advancing goalkeeper. But Callum Smart was advancing at speed, and he clattered into Acheampong leaving them both prostrate on the ground.

After lengthy treatment both players left the field with Fleet’s Connor Young exchanging his shooting boots for the goalkeeper gloves.

Sensing victory was possible City went forward with purpose. They thought they had won a penalty when Ethan Cassie’s low cross seemed to be handled on the floor, but the ref waved play on.

But then, in the tenth minute of stoppage time, Guildford did win a penalty. George Fox was upended in the box and up stepped Mike Coppinger for the spot kick. However Connor Young showed he is equally adept between the sticks by saving well low down to his right. (See video clip below.)

The ball though was immediately recycled and from a Kai Becks pass Nathaniel Mensah swivelled and drove home what proved to be the winner.

The winning goal from Nathaniel Mensah (second from right). Photo Cosmo Wells

Finally, after a half lasting an hour and two minutes the whistle finally went and City moved up to second place in the league.

City team: Adam Longman, Lewis Taylor (George Fox 55), Callum Sullivan, Tolu Ajayi-Obe, James Glover, Owen Sims, Manny Acheampong (Ethan Cassie 86), Owen Tanner, Will May (Kai Beck 67), Mike Coppinger, Nathaniel Mensah. Unused subs: Louis Lindsay, Jack Cleevely.

Referee: Tolga Inanc

Attendance – 164

Hear Ian Plested’s post-match interview with first-team coach Dan Goodall and club captain James Glover here:

Injury update: Sadly, news about Jack Knight, injured in the match against Sandhurst at the end of August, is not good. An MRI scan showed an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and cartilage injury. Full reconstruction is necessary, devastating news for our young footballer. He is likely to be out for 12 months. We all wish Kjack well with his recovery and hope to see him around Spectrum in due course.

Next match: City v Tadley Calleva – Wednesday, September 20, at 7.30.

City’s fixtures and results. From the GCFC website

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Responses to City Bounce Back to Winning Ways

  1. Olly Azad Reply

    September 18, 2023 at 7:37 pm

    Well done Guildford City, I’m so pleased for the entire team to be back on a winning streak again. Best of luck on Wednesday playing against Tadley Calleva.

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