Date Posted: 15/02/2017
Guernsey’s night ended in another heavy defeat but the manner of it was far better than the previous two disappointing outings.
Those two 3-0 reverses left very little to take as positives but a young Green Lions side showed plenty of effort and enthusiasm on Wednesday night at Footes Lane in a bizarre game that had very little clear-cut goalmouth action despite five goals.
Vance’s side gave as good as they got in terms of performance but the game was out of sight with just over an hour gone. Corinthian-Casuals’ goals all came out of the blue - two were gifts courtesy of individual errors and one was an absolute stunner.
But the Sarnians kept plugging away and got their rewards and something tangible to take from the game as Matt Loaring marked his 200th appearance for the club with a deserved consolation in the final quarter-of-an-hour.
GFC had started brightly and created the first opening after 10 minutes, but Paris Pereira was unable to get the ball out of his feet as he was put through and Danny Bracken was able to rush out and block his effort.
But Casuals bagged the opener on the quarter-hour mark and it was completely against the run of play. Jordan Clarke delivered a pinpoint cross to the right and Casuals top scorer Shaun Okojie rose to glance a head the ball down and bouncing into the far corner.
The second was even more out of the blue, and was not even an attempt on goal. Coskun Ekim received the ball from a throw-in nearer his own halfway line than the penalty area. He slung in a high cross from the right touchline that Josh Addison completely misjudged as he came off his line, allowing the ball to sail over his head into the corner.
Those three pieces of action were rare occurrences in the half. Simon Geall was in the right place to easily mop up a weak shot from Dan Summers that was trickling past Addison towards goal and Matt Loaring also fired into a crowd of bodies from a corner with half-hearted appeals for handball waved away in first-half stoppage-time in the only other notable moments.
Mu Maan screwed a half-volley well wide early in the second half. After an hour it was game over – and it was another gift.
It was a night to forget for Addison as he miskicked a pass out of defence and it bounced kindly for Okojie, who was able to place it into an empty net from outside the area.
There was no disputing the quality of the fourth goal as Mu Maan let fly from well outside the area three minutes later. The ball rifled into the top corner, giving Addison no chance – a stunning strike.
Robbie Legg was introduced midway through the second half and actually had one of the game’s most clear-cut chances despite not scoring. For the first, he twisted and turned his way past Jack Strange but was forced too wide when it came to taking his shot, and Bracken blocked.
In the final few minutes, he latched on to an inch-perfect throughball from fellow substitute Craig Young, but Bracken was equal to the task of blocking the low, powerful strike.
Those chances came either side of GFC’s solitary strike, and they deserved it for their efforts. Young and Jamie Dodd had bundled their way into the box and the ball eventually came to Loaring, who took a touch to make himself some space before firing into the right corner.
Despite netting four goals, Casuals had hardly carved out a good chance all evening but had three good ones in the dying minutes as Guernsey pressed for another. Maan skewed well wide from distance, but two vital blocks prevented what would have been an extremely harsh fifth.
Dodd’s careless pass across the area was latched onto by Max Oldham, whose shot would have found the corner instead of just wide had it not been for the intervention of Simon Geall, who flew in to make a block and got a vital touch.
Oldham was through again in the last action of the match but Geall put him under more pressure and Addison made the block.
The Footes Lane crowd were fully appreciative of their sides efforts at both half-time and the final whistle, and it was clear to see the effort that had gone in from the Green Lions in response to the two previous dispiriting afternoons.
A big positive was a first start for 16-year-old Charlton Gauvain, who hugely impressed on his full debut.
Guernsey: Josh Addison, Simon Geall ©, Tom De La Mare, Sam Cochrane (Jamie Dodd 56’), Jacob Fallaize, Keanu Marsh, Charlton Gauvain (Craig Young 59’), Thomas Dodds, Dominic Heaume, Paris Pereira (Robbie Legg 64’), Matt Loaring. Not used: Josh Steel, Angus Mackay.
Goal: Loaring 77’.
Corinthian-Casuals: Danny Bracken ©, Juevan Spencer, Dave Hodges, Danny Dudley, Jack Strange, Coskum Ekim, Ben Checklit (Max Oldham 68’), Mu Maan, Dan Summers, Shaun Okojie (Luke Tan 83’), Jordan Clarke (Terry Murray 74’). Not used: Shaun Brown, Callum McAllister.
Goals: Okojie 15’, 60’; Ekim 27’; Maan 63’.
Highlights will be available soon on GFCTV, but Premium subscribers can already access the full 90-minute playback. Look out for reaction from Matt Loaring on making his 200th appearance on Audioboom, while there will be a comprehensive match report in Thursday’s Guernsey Press.