Date Posted: 04/10/2017
Guernsey put in a spirited display despite a ruthless Lewes side putting three past them at Footes Lane on Wednesday night.
The Green Lions gifted chances to the Rooks, and they duly punished the hosts to go in at half-time with the result looking more or less sewn up as they were coasting to the top of the table.
But to their credit, Tony Vance’s side rallied and deserved a goal for their efforts in the second half, with the away keeper required to make a couple of strong saves.
Vance’s only two changes to the line-up were enforced as he kept his promise that those who were performing well would keep their shirt regardless of who was available. And GFC looked dangerous going forward early on, just lacking the final ball. James Hammond’s free-kick that flew well high and wide inside five minutes was the only time Callum Stanton’s goal was threatened in the opening quarter-hour.
But that was all the time it would last as new Rooks signing Billy Medlock pounced in the 15th minute to put his side ahead. He reacted quickest at the near post as Charles Coppola headed down a right-wing cross and stuck out a leg to help the ball past Stanton.
It was a setback for the Green Lions, who began to lose their way a little bit and Stanton was required to make a strong save from Bouwa Bosma as he nipped in on the edge of the area.
Lewes’ next two goals could have been avoided but to their credit the Sussex side showed no mercy in demonstrating why they are one of the favourites to go up.
Just inside the half-hour, Frank Tobin slipped as he ran forward and Lewes countered at speed. An inch-perfect throughball between the Guernsey centre-backs found the well-timed run of Medlock, who rounded Stanton and finished well from a very wide angle – despite the efforts of Jamie Dodd on the goal-line – for his fourth goal in just two games since joining Lewes.
Frank Tobin produced another strong run and fired over before two became three on 39 minutes.
Again, it was a bit too easy as Stanton misjudged a ball over the top, coming out but then backpedalling when he realised he wouldn’t get there. Bosma had time to lift the ball over him into the far corner of a gaping net.
For all their promising attacks early on, it took until the final minute of the first half for the Green Lions to actually register an effort on goal as Charlton Gauvain won the ball back in midfield, strode forward and arrowed a rising drive at the Lewes net. Unfortunately, it was too close to Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke, who held.
The second half saw a renewed vigour and purpose from Guernsey. Craig Young just needed someone in the six-yard box to finish off after he had beaten Stroomberg-Clarke to a through ball and rounded the keeper. He was forced to an acute angle and his low centre flashed virtually along the goal-line and away to safety without anyone to apply a finishing touch.
Alex Le Prevost almost caught the Rooks stopper by surprise as he unleashed a thunderbolt from 40 yards, but Stroomberg-Clarke held.
Medlock had the first of only two second-half chances for Lewes – who to be fair had taken their foot off the gas a bit – as a left-wing cross dropped to him in the area, but he sliced the bouncing ball well high and wide from a good position.
Young then closed the Lewes defence down on the hour to earn a chance for Dave Rihoy, but the forward cleared the bar from the edge of the area as he struck when off balance.
Substitute Paris Pereira almost took advantage of an opportunist effort when Gauvain’s speculative shot was diverted towards him in the area. He stuck out a leg to force it back towards goal and Stroomberg-Clarke was forced to make a reaction block, just minutes before the stopper then beat behind a powerful drive from Rihoy.
Kyle Smith almost benefitted from good fortune as a cross bounced off his knee and towards goal but Stroomberg-Clarke gathered. Substitute Smith then saw a shot from the edge blocked by Lloyd Cotton moments later.
A fourth for Lewes would have been very harsh on Guernsey but the visitors came close to getting it late on when Matthew George pounced on Young’s poor clearance and advanced on goal, only to be denied by a smart Stanton save.
The Green Lions were running out of steam thanks to their second-half excursions and could only muster one more effort in stoppage-time as Young curled one from outside the area that was just inches wide.
A commendable second-half effort from the Sarnians had gone unrewarded as they stay 20th ahead of a 10-day break.
The rest of the midweek Bostik South results were as follows: Ashford United 0-4 South Park, Chipstead 1-1 Walton Casuals, Cray Wanderers 3-1 Phoenix Sports, Greenwich Borough 2-0 Corinthian-Casuals, Hastings United 2-0 Carshalton Athletic, Herne Bay 0-1 Sittingbourne, Hythe Town 2-1 Thamesmead Town, Molesey 4-2 East Grinstead Town, Ramsgate 3-2 Faversham Town, Shoreham 1-2 Horsham, VCD Athletic 3-3 Whyteleafe.
Guernsey: Callum Stanton, Keanu Marsh (Paris Pereira HT), Jamie Dodd, Alex Le Prevost, Harry Tobin, Frank Tobin, Dave Rihoy, Thomas Dodds, Kieran Mahon (Seb Skillen 61’), Craig Young ©, Charlton Gauvain (Kyle Smith 72’). Not used: Simon Geall, Angus Mackay,
Booked: Dodd, Le Prevost, Dodds.
Lewes: Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke, Steven Brinkhurst, Matthew George, James Hammond (George MacCarthy 84’), Lloyd Cotton ©, Alex Malins, Bouwa Bosma (Liam MacDevitt 53’), Ghassimu Sow, Billy Medlock (Wilfried Grimaud 69’), Charles Coppola, Ronnie Conlon. Not used: Jonte Smith, Harry Reed.
Goals: Medlock 15’, 29’; Bosma 39’. Booked: Hammond.
Highlights will be uploaded to GFCTV on Thursday but subscribers can already access the full 90-minute playback.