Following the disappointment of last week’s result at Airbus, and the general manner of the performance, Flint returned to winning ways with an assured display on a difficult, bumpy pitch at Guilsfield. In fact, the playing surface probably did little to help the home side either, who were a pale shadow of the side who had looked so dangerous at the Essity just a couple of weeks ago.
Flint were boosted by the return of Elliott Reeves, Jay Owen and Anthony Stephens following their collective suspensions last weekend, and the side looked all the stronger for their presence.
The Silkmen signalled their intentions after five minutes, when a ball was cleared out to the lurking Jake Phillips, whose half volley attempt flashed over the bar. Guilsfield saw a good chance go begging at the mid-point of the half, when a flick on sent Reece Warder through on goal. Fortunately Rhys Williams was alert, and came out to confront Warder, and managed to block the striker’s effort with his legs.
Flint opened the scoring just before the half hour mark. Lewis Sirrell played a ball into the feet of Reeves, who had his back to goal. But the forward produced a clever turn, outwitting his marker, before delivering a sublime low finish into the net.
Following a corner in the 45th minute, the ball fell to Jake Cook for Guilsfield, who hit an excellent 20 yarder that looked to be creeping beneath the bar, at least until Williams produced a fine fingertip save to divert it over the bar. From almost equalising, Guilsfield fell further behind in added on time, when Flint mounted a swift counter, and Josh Jones, from the bye-line stood the ball up at the far post for Reeves to head home expertly and notch his, and his teams’, second goal of the game.
The second half was by and large a scrappy affair, played mostly in the Guilsfield half, with Flint always looking to have the upper hand in the contest. However, in the 70th minute, Tom Williams did manage to make a surging run down the right for the home side, before delivering a good cross to find Jamie Hyne, who could only succeed in dragging his shot wide of the target from a good position.
Flint responded with great effect, by effectively sealing the game with their third goal. Ben Hughes did well on the right, and sent a delivery into the box, which was only cleared as far as Jones, who accepted the invitation and cracked his shot in off the underside of the bar from 15 yards out.
The game’s big moment of controversy came with 10 minutes remaining, when a flare up involving both sides’ captains saw each of them receive a straight red card. Owen went in to win the ball with a strong challenge, which Jolyon Harries took exception to, and retaliated against, raising his hands into Owen’s face. The Guils’ skipper was sent off for his reaction, whilst Owen was also dismissed for the original tackle, which in the referee’s view was considered to be reckless, although the Flint man was visibly angry with the decision as he left the pitch.
With a few minutes remaining, Guilsflield grabbed a consolation goal, as Iwan Matthews was picked out in the middle of the box, and for once wasn’t closed down quickly enough, and he was allowed the time to fire past Williams and reduce the arrears. Despite that slight setback, it was a well deserved victory for the Silkmen who controlled large parts of the game, once they had got their noses in front.
Report by Nigel Sheen. Photos by Steve Parker (All Sports Media)
Line Ups :
Guilsfield – R. Williams, C. Bromley, C. Cathrall, J. Harries (c), I. Lambert, A. Knott, J. Hyne (J. Richards 90), A. Evans (J. Haycock 68), I. Matthews, R. Warder (T. Williams 67), J. Cooke. Unused Subs – A Lloyd, A. Ford, E. Turner
Flint Town United – R. Williams, S. Forde J. Williams, A. Stephens, L. Sirrell, D. Harrison, J. Phillips, J. Owen (c), E. Reeves (H. Peagram 65), B. Hughes, J. Jones. Unused Subs – L. Murphy (GK), L. Lacey, M. Roberts, G. Maire, M. Burke, J-L Akpa-Akpro
Flint MOM – Elliott Reeves (two classy finishes to set his side on their way)