Fringe Box



City Lose Out to Play-Off Chasing Alton

Published on: 14 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 14 Jan, 2024

Alton (0) 3, Guildford City (0) 1

By Barry Underwood

In-form Alton maintained their play-off push with three late goals that killed off Guildford City’s sterling attempt to take something from the game.

As so often this season City’s performance on the pitch belied their lowly league position. At the beginning of both halves Alton enjoyed territorial advantage, but each time Guildford worked their way into the game, and playing some good football, they were a match for their in-form opponents.

As early as the third minute City’s inswinging corner struck the top of the goalpost and was cleared. Minutes later Mike Coppinger slid a pass to Nas Regragui who stretching couldn’t get enough power in his shot. The home side came close with a header from a corner that went wide.

Regragui had another half chance after good work by Anthony Ogbanufe, but again his attempt on goal was underhit. Callum Wilson then did well on the right byline. His low cross was blocked and, from the rebound, Alton keeper Lewis Mees saved Wilson’s attempt with his body.

City created two chances in the final minutes of the half. A fine run from Owen Sims gave Anthony Ogbanufe a shooting chance from outside the box which Mees saved comfortably. Then from close range and with bodies in front of him, Nas Regragui hooked a loose ball over the crossbar.

After the restart and despite Alton’s early possession there were few chances at either end.

At around the hour mark there was a flurry of goalmouth activity. City’s Mac Chisholm saved smartly after a long throw had caused problems in the City defence. But then Alton’s Owen Sims created two good goalscoring opportunities.

The first low cross went right through the six-yard box with no touch. Minutes later another low cross gave Ben Thompson a chance from close range, but the 16-year-old couldn’t make a strong enough connection under pressure and the chance was lost.

Mike Coppinger. His assist led to City’s goal.

On 69 minutes Guildford deservedly went ahead. An excellent Coppinger pass put Anthony Ogbanufe through, and he powered a low shot under the diving Mees. The game turned with the injury to defender Scott Armsworth. Alton equalised on 76 minutes with Cam Miller scoring after a period of pinball in the City box.

Tragedy then struck when miscommunication in City’s defence caused an own goal. City were on the ropes. Mac Chisholm brilliantly saved a free-kick, but he couldn’t repeat the exercise moments later from another set piece from Perry Coles which found the bottom corner.

It was without doubt yet another frustrating day in the life of Guildford City.

Team: Mac Chisholm, Owen Sims, Darnell McDonald, Scott Armsworth (Niall Stillwell 68), James Glover, Callum Wilson, Nas Regragui, Conor Stillwell, Ben Thompson (Leon Dadey 75), Mike Coppinger, Anthony Ogbanufe. Unused subs: Callum Sullivan, Jake Heighes, Lewis Taylor.

Referee: Robert Nicholas

Attendance – 186

Listen to Ian Plested’s post-match interview here…

Next match: Guildford City vs Spelthorne Sports at Spectrum 3pm Saturday, January 20.

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Responses to City Lose Out to Play-Off Chasing Alton

  1. Olly Azad Reply

    January 17, 2024 at 6:19 pm

    The fact that Guildford City was leading the game up to the 69th minute is encouragement in itself. Of course the overall result was disappointing but if GFC in their next match can hold on to that lead for longer then a win is round the corner.

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