Date Posted: 01/01/2018
The 5-2 Victory over Shoreham was notable for the fact that it was the 150th competitive match Guernsey FC have played at Footes Lane.
Our media team got together to pick their dozen most memorable matches.
GREEN LIONS OFF AND RUNNING IN STYLE
Saturday 6th August 2011, Knaphill (W 5-0), Combined Counties Division One
There was still a bit of apprehension about the ability of a team from our small island to hack it in a national league, but in our historic rst ever competitive home game, the Green Lions blitzed that theory with a stunning first-half performance in which we raced into a 5-0 lead. Glyn Dyer volleyed in the rst ever competitive goal in our history to write himself into the record books, and two incidences of awful defending helped Ross Allen net the first of what would be fairly routine hat-tricks in addition to Dom Heaume’s contribution. The second half was dull by comparison but Guernsey sent out a message that they had well and truly arrived in non-league football.
THE FIRST GREEN LIONS’ MAULING
Saturday 24th September 2011, Sheerwater (W 9-0), Combined Counties Division One
They had already handed out a couple of four and ve- goal pastings, but this marked the rst time that the Green Lions really annihilated a team. A fairly routine rst half ended 2-0, but the Sarnian forward ran riot in the second half against their tiring opponents. Allen netted four, Heaume bagged what to date is his only GFC hat-trick, and the young talent was shining through with Matt Loaring and Luke Winch getting in on the act in the closing stages.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Saturday 12th November 2011, Feltham (W 2-0), Combined Counties Division One
A fairly mundane and routine performance and result
in the grand scheme of things but GFC’s story was generating national interest and this fixture was noticeable for the presence of the Sky Sports cameras, who came to do a feature on the island that was shown on the following week’s Soccer Saturday with Jeff Stelling, Matt Le Tissier and co. Allen saw his brace replayed on national television. We were making headlines.
Saturday 24th March 2012, Bedfont Sports (W 7-1), Combined Counties Division One
Not only did we win the league, we did it in style – against our nearest rivals! Three points separated the sides, Guernsey had a game in hand. Because of our vastly superior goal difference, Bedfont needed a win to give themselves a realistic chance of snatching the title from under Guernsey’s nose. Ryan-Zico Black, Matt Loaring, Dom Heaume (twice, one a stunning volley), Dave Rihoy, Glyn Dyer and Ross Allen contributed the goals as GFC blew their rivals away to lift the league trophy with two games to spare and secure the rst leg of a debut season double.
Friday 30th March 2012, Guildford City (W 4-2 AET), Premier Challenge Cup
Two-nil down to a team a league above in a semi-final – it looked like dreams of a double were over for Guernsey. Two almost identical free-kicks in the rst half saw GFC trailing but Dom Heaume pulled on back just before the hour. The 1,700-plus crowd thought Tony Vance’s side had blown their best chance when Allen missed from the spot with less than 10 minutes to go but he made amend with a late leveller. The momentum was very much with the Green Lions in extra-time and Heaume and Rihoy netted to send the Sarnians through to the final on a glorious night Guernsey.
GUERNSEY COMMUNITY PULLS TOGETHER
Saturday 23rd March 2013, Spennymoor Town (L 1-3), FA Vase semi-final first leg
Heavy promotion for this game saw the target of 3,000 fans smashed as the Green Lions attracted more than 4,000 to Footes Lane. GFC were just two games from Wembley after an extraordinary cup run but came up short over two legs against a very strong North East out t. But it was the sense of community around this game that made it so special. Awful weather over the winter and the state of the Footes Lane pitch meant the game was in serious danger of being the latest in a long line of postponements. The club put out an appeal for help the night before, and not only did loyal fans respond magni cently to work on shift during the night to fork the pitch – some were there from 10pm to 5am - but a helicopter also flew low on the morning to blow surface water away. A great team effort on and off the pitch.
WE ARE GOING UP
6th May 2013, Farnham Town (W 1-0), Combined Counties Premier Division
Guernsey had played a mindblowing 16 games in April due to the fixture backlog, and Vance’s side went into an even tougher final weekend schedule of FOUR GAMES IN FOUR DAYS – and we had to win them all. And win them we did, topped off with this nal bank-holiday Monday game in which Matt Loaring scored the goal that took us up. It was finally over to much a relief, and time for a long and well-deserved rest before the step up to the next level.
1st January 2014, Crawley Down Gatwick (W 11-0), Isthmian Division One South
Guernsey served up a New Year’s Day treat to rack up a massive record scoreline. Yes, Crawley Down were sinking down the league like stone and had lost their
manager and many players before the turn of the year, but GFC were unstoppable and would have thrashed many teams in this form. Two from Dyer, one each from Black, Hutton and McGrath were all just supporting roles to a stunning individual display from Allen, who bagged a double hat-trick.
FA CUP FOOTBALL IN GUERNSEY (FINALLY!)
Saturday 20th August 2016, Thamesmead Town (D 2-2), FA Cup pre-qualifying round
The FA Cup came agonisingly close to coming to Guernsey on two occasions before but a combination of reasons had dented that dream. It nally happened last season to great fanfare, with even the trophy itself making the trip. On the pitch, the entertainment certainly lived up to the occasion. A penalty and the most freakishly wind-assisted goal you will ever see saw GFC trail by two at the break, but Dave Rihoy was the hero as his brace hauled his side level late on. Craig Young nearly won it and Thamesmead hit the post in the dying moments in a breathtaking finish. The Green Lions unfortunately lost the replay on penalties.
LIONS SHOW PURE CLASS
Wednesday 28th September 2017, Walton Casuals (W 4-1), Isthmian Division One South
This one stands out as it was one of the most complete performances, both defensively and offensively, Vance’s side have ever produced at this level. They looked threatening every time they went forward and were defending solidly, with Rihoy giving his side the lead. Dom Heaume unfortunately own-goal to level things up in the second half did not dampen Guernsey’s spirits as goals from Allen, McGrath and Young put the icing on the cake of a ne display.
RELIEF AND ECSTACY
Wednesday 27th September, Molesey (W 3-2), Isthmian Division One South
This one stands out for the mixture of joy and relief it brought to the team and fans. The Green Lions were on a club-record eight game losing streak and rooted to the bottom of the table. The chips were down and when the Moles went 2-1 ahead in the nal minutes, it looked like number nine was on the way. But Craig Young levelled from the spot to at least halt the dreadful run, but then Paris Pereira was put through on goal in the last minute to slot in for his first goal in four years to send the Garenne stand wild. One of the most exciting moments at Footes Lane.
Saturday 14th October, Carshalton Athletic (W 2-1), Isthmian Division One South
You could almost copy and paste the text from the aforementioned Walton Casuals game. The Robins were one of the top sides in the division, but every single GFC player was bang on form. As Rihoy and Young got the decisive goals either side of Tommy Bradford’s free-kick – the only way the visitors could breach an in-form Guernsey. Save for a wobbly five minutes after Carshalton’s equaliser, another one of the most complete displays Vance’s men have provided.
Other notable mentions
Our first ever home defeat, to Eversley, in a feisty game stands out because we looked unstoppable at home in our rst season. Eversley will go down in history as the rst away team to win at Footes Lane in a competitive fixture. Another one for the ‘hammerings’ section was the 8-0 demolition of Croydon on the opening day on season two – we scored 15 goals in just two games against them that season, while the big crowd and buzzing atmosphere of the FA Vase replay against Walsall Wood (W 3-1) was a stand-out Saturday night. They couldn’t go in the above list on account of the fact they weren’t competitive xtures, but two friendlies deserve a special mention. The first ever against AFC Wimbledon was both a historic day and a real humdinger of a game with the visitors winning 6-5. Ryan-Zico Black’s historic free-kick opener was the pick of the goals. The recent 1-0 defeat to Bristol City cannot be ignored given that the Championship side brought a strong team packed with professionals that a resulted Guernsey defence from six levels below them protected their goal doggedly, with keeper Josh Addison making the headlines for several brilliant saves.
Guernsey’s 150-game record at Footes Lane
Won 91, drawn 21, lost 38, scored 390, conceded 210.
Goalscorers in 150 Footes Lane matches
Allen (125), Rihoy (51), Heaume (40), Loaring (30), McGrath (27) Young (17), Dyer (16), Black (11), L Winch, (9), Hutton (7), Cochrane (6), Dodd, De La Mare (5), K Mahon, Isabelle (4), Legg (3), Mackay, Jordan, Le Prevost, Fallaize, Smith (2), Geall, Mauger, McKenzie, J Winch, Strawbridge, Drillot, Martin, Andrews, Dodds, Skillen, Pereira (1), plus 9 own goals.