Date Posted: 02/12/2017
Another feast of goals was served up at Footes Lane as Guernsey kicked off their festive schedule and life after Ross Allen with a well-earned three points against VCD Athletic.
Fans can’t argue about a lack of value for money, with the net bulging 27 times in the last four games at Footes Lane thanks to scorelines of 2-4, 4-4, 5-2 and 4-2.
The build-up has been dominated by news of Allen’s departure but the Green Lions showed they are well equipped to score and win without him with some very well-worked goals, including two from birthday boy Craig Young.
And the youngsters continue to shine. Robbie Legg got himself on the scoresheet, while Charlton Gauvain, Seb Skillen Keanu Marsh and Thomas Dodds again made telling contributions, not to mention some great saves by Bournemouth loanee Will Dennis.
While more senior players, who haven’t had as many minutes as they would have liked recently, such as Glyn Dyer and Matt Loaring, showed they are as hungry as ever.
Dyer in particularly was deadly with his delivery, which was evident within two minutes as he whipped a low ball across the face of goal that Dave Rihoy couldn’t quite catch up with it after Junior Baker had swung a leg at it and missed.
The Vickers gave it a good go and Simon Geall made two blocks in quick succession early on – one to divert the ball behind for a corner, and then blocking a header right in front of Dennis from the resulting delivery.
It was an even and tense opening and it took 20 minutes for another decent opening to be created as Dodds set up Gauvain for a dinked cross. It was just over the head of Legg and Rihoy sliced over at the far post.
Rihoy was then tackled as he shot following a good move that started from the back with Dennis and went through Marsh, Gauvain and Young.
That led to a corner and the start of two glorious minutes midway through the half for the Sarnians as they moved into the driving seat.
Dyer pulled the ball back in one of Guernsey’s classic short-corner routine. Legg missed the ball completely as he swung a leg at it but it sat up nicely for Young, who lashed the ball into the roof of the net from the middle of the area.
As has happened a lot recently, both for and against the Green Lions, the hosts won the ball back straight from kick-off. A pass sent Rihoy through on goal, and the number seven took the unselfish option of squaring for Legg to tap into an empty net.
Legg was making the most of his opportunity in trying to take Allen’s vacated spot and came close again on 35 minutes as he cut back onto his right foot from the left by-line – Dennis had spotted him and launched it long to send him through, with Marc Gorbell missing his header. Legg’s shot across goal rolled just wide, with Rihoy agonisingly close to turning it in at the far post.
Tony Vance’s side were keeping their opponents at bay well and Omar Lawson’s hit from range that flew a foot over from 25 yards was the only other chance they were able to offer before half time.
It was more of the same in the early stages of the second period. A high deflected cross landed at the feet of Legg, but he hit his shot into the ground and bounced through to Joe Mant.
But then the Vickers, who had made a change at half-time in an attempt to salvage something from the game, began to mount pressure. Ellis Brown mishit a cross from the right that was headed for the Guernsey net if not for Dennis tipping over the bar.
Omar Lawson then cut in from the left and arrowed one at goal that was straight at Dennis, who parried and grabbed the ball at the second attempt.
Sixty-four minutes in, VCD got themselves back into it. Alastair Gordon’s right-wing corner looped high towards the far post, which Gorbell rose highest to plant a header past Dennis.
The visitors now had their tails up as Gordon’s cross was flicked on by Anthony Martin and drifted wide with the ball just evading Junior Baker.
It was getting nervy from a Guernsey point of view, but they removed any doubt with a third with just over 20 minutes to go, with Young marking his birthday with a brace.
Dyer clipped an inch-perfect ball over the top for substitute Loaring to chase. His cutback found Young just inside the area, with the midfielder drilling the ball home.
GFC had a spring in their step again, and Rihoy shot low straight at Mant from range when he had better options to his left in Gauvain and Loaring.
Dennis then produced his strongest stop of the game as he positioned himself perfectly and spread himself to block from Brown, who had been sent through on goal. Lamin Camara then looped a shot wide after the ball had been lobbed into the box.
On 78 minutes it was 4-1 and pretty much game over. And it was perhaps the best goal of the lot from a devastating counter-attack as all three of Guernsey’s substitutes combined.
Frank Tobin won the ball back on the edge of his own box and swept the ball to the left for Tom De La Mare. He drove forward and slipped the ball left for Seb Skillen, who had run round the outside. Skillen looked up and didn’t even have to break stride as he clipped a left-footed cross in first time. Loaring was waiting in the middle to arrow a header into the corner just out of reach of Mant’s dive.
The deficit was cut back to two with a minute as Brown bundled in from a yard out following a goalmouth scramble at the other end.
Dennis made another excellent stop as he stretched to tip over Martin’s spontaneous hook at goal.
But there was no real threat of another Guernsey collapse as Dennis comfortably saw Gordon’s low screwed shot wide.
Young came close to a hat-trick in stoppage time as he curled a free-kick narrowly over the bar and Dennis made one more excellent stop to tip over Lawson’s free-kick.
But the Green Lions had kept their visitors at bay well and edged up three places to 16th Isthmian South.
The rest of the weekend results were as follows: Ashford United 4-1 Thamesmead Town, Carshalton Athletic 1-1 Cray Wanderers, Corinthian-Casuals 2-3 Chipstead, East Grinstead Town 1-3 Sittingbourne, Greenwich Borough 1-1 Lewes, Hythe Town 2-2 Hastings United, Phoenix Sports 1-0 Horsham, Ramsgate 2-1 Herne Bay, Shoreham 1-1 Molesey, South Park 2-1 Walton Casuals, Whyteleafe 1-1 Faversham Town.
Guernsey: Will Dennis, Keanu Marsh (Tom De La Mare 66’), Glyn Dyer (Seb Skillen 75’), Simon Geall (c), Harry Tobin, Frank Tobin, Dave Rihoy, Thomas Dodds, Craig Young, Charlton Gauvain, Robbie Legg (Matt Loaring 65’). Not used: Jordan Kelly, Angus Mackay.
Goals: Young 23’, 68’; Legg 24’; Loaring 78’. Booked: Marsh.
VCD Athletic: Joe Mant, Daniel Smith (Marc Gorbell 18’), Ricardo Joseph (c), Junior Baker, Jonathan Adebayo (Lamin Camara 72’), Siao Blackwood (Rashid Kamara HT), Omar Lawson, Alastair Gordon, Anthony Martin, Kojo Awotwi, Ellis Brown. Not used: Kamarl Duncan, Aymin El-Moyhalbel.
Goals: Gorbell 64’; Brown 79’. Booked: Lawson, Gorbell.
Highlights will be uploaded to GFCTV over the weekend, while susbscribers can already access the full 90-minute playback.