Guils give Flint a Welsh Cup wake up call
By Nigel Sheen
Flint were given a reality check ahead of next week's live TV clash with Bala, as Guilsfield romped home with three second half goals
Whether or not the Flint player's focus was 100% on the task in hand, with their mind's drifting to next week, who knows, but the Silkmen paid the price for producing a flat performance devoid of any real spark, as Guilsfield scored three without reply.
Both sides turned in subdued displays in the first half, with the only incident of note being a surging run from Mark Cadwallader, which took him into the opposition penalty area, before he was clipped by a defender. The Flint attacker managed to keep his feet, but was off balance when he struck his shot which deflected out of play. With the Flint players screaming for a penalty, the referee saw fit to award only a corner.
Guilsfield scored their first goal on 53 minutes. A good spell of pressure on the Flint goal had given rise to some desperate defending, and the imminent danger looked to be over as the ball as cleared from the goalmouth, but Stuart Rogers was waiting just outside the 18 yard box as the ball rolled into his path. He executed a well taken shot, which went just inside the post, and out of the reach of Aaron Jones in the Flint goal.
Flint almost created something on 64 minutes, when Cadwallader met a ball played in from the right, but he couldn't get enough purchase on his header, and it was blocked before a scramble ensued at the far post, with Jack Higgins being unable to force the ball home.
Steve Blenkinsop drove into the Flint box a couple of minutes later, before hitting a curling effort that went just wide of the target, as the Guils signalled their counter attacking threat.
On 69 minutes, Flint had their second penalty shout of the afternoon, and this one looked an absolute certainty to be given as a spot kick. A long throw had been flicked on by Richie Foulkes into the heart of the box, where a Guilsfield defender controlled the ball with his arm before clearing it. The referee, who as well positioned, waved play on, to the astonishment of the Flint players, management team and supporters.
This was Flint's best spell of the match as they made an effort to get themselves back into the game. But the Guilsfield defence, which was being well led by skipper Sam Littlefield were standing firm, and doing a good job of protecting their keeper, Mike Jones. On 75 minutes, Cadwallader thought he got his side back on terms, when he met a good Sam Hart delivery from a free kick, but his effort crept just wide of the far post.
A swift counter by the hosts paid dividends on 79 minutes, and George Clifton applied the finishing touch from close range following good work by Callum Bromley down the right. As Flint were still trying to clear their heads from this latest setback, the Guils struck again a minute later. This time they came straight down the middle, and a through ball split the Flint defence wide open. Adam Jenkins raced onto the pass, and cooly finished into the top corner.
In the closing stages it could have got even worse for the Silkmen, as first Jack Richards played in Blenkinsop, but Jones pulled off a point blank stop, and then a wicked cross-cum shot from wide on the left as just about kept out by Jones who blocked the effort, with the loose ball being unable to be turned into the net by an incoming attacker.
With this defeat our five game winning streak comes to an end, and we drop a place in the League table. Not the best of performances or results to take into next week's big game, and if we are to pull of a shock we will need to be much sharper in all aspects of our play, but hopefully we will rise to the occasion and give a good account of ourselves.
Line Ups :
Guilsfied - 1. Mike Jones, 2. Callum Bromley, 3. James Parry, 4. Stuart Rogers, 5. Sam Littlefield (c), 6. Robbie James (16. Chris Cathrall 66), 7. George Clifton, 8. Andrew Ford, 9. Steve Blenkinsop, 10. Adam Jenkins, 11. Jack Richards. Unused Subs - 12. Curtis Weetman, 14. Nathan Leonard, 15. Danny Barton
Flint Town United - 1. Aaron Jones, 11. Kyle Smyth, 2. Tom Kemp, 14. Sam Hart, 15. Jacques Welsh, 17. Ryan Smith (20. Jake Hampson 46), 8. Richie Foulkes (c), 9. Brandon Burrows (19. Alieu Sheriff 67), 10. Mark Cadwallader, 7. Andy Brown, 22. Damien Ketley (3. Jack Higgins 49). Unused Subs - 6. Socrates Martins, 15. Ieuan Hewitt
Guilsfield - Stuart Rogers (53), George Clifton (79), Adam Jenkins (80)
Guilsfield - Sam Littlemore (61)
Flint Town United - Tom Kemp (6)
Flint MOM - Sam Hart (a solid, competent display)