Date Posted: 15/04/2018
Guernsey kept up their fine form with another accomplished away performance to beat Herne Bay 3-1 on Saturday.
The Green Lions are now five unbeaten away from home – the last time that happened was four years ago - and have just one defeat in 11 after weathering early storms in each half to emerge the stronger side and give themselves the chance to move up two places to 16th in Bostik South with a win at South Park on Tuesday.
Weeks ago, a midweek away win seemed far beyond our reach – now, it looks achievable.
The Sarnians had to deal with a fast start as Danny Leonard swept over the bar inside the area as the hosts attacked down the left straight from kick-off.
Despite the frantic start, GFC kept the chances-conceded count low, with Jamie Dodd deflecting Tom Carlton’s effort behind, shortly after Ryan-Zico Black had dragged a low shot wide from the edge of the area on the quarter-hour mark.
Black was at the heart of much of Guernsey’s good early work, forcing Ben Hunter into a low save twice from free-kicks.
The Green Lions were improving, and that led to the lead on 34 minutes as a home attack was snuffed out and Keanu Marsh drive forward. He was tripped on the edge of the area and with the Herne Bay defence letting their concentration drop in anticipation of the free-kick, Tom De La Mare stabbed the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the area as the referee opted to play advantage.
Joshua Wisson forced a final save from Callum Stanton before the half was out, but Guernsey were good value for their league at the break.
It didn’t take long for The Bay to get back on level terms, though, just five minutes after the restart. Leonard slotted the ball through for top-scorer Jake Embery, and he tucked past Stanton from the edge of the area.
Guernsey clicked straight back into action and Loaring got on the end of a free-kick only to see his effort deflected wide at the near post. That was a sign of things to come as Tony Vance’s side restored their lead just eight minutes after being pegged back.
Paris Pereira fed Rihoy with an inch-perfect throughball but the number seven was forced wide by the onrushing Hunter. Rihoy kept it alive on the left byline and hit it towards goal, where Pereira was waiting to help it in from virtually on the line. There was a hint of offside but the assistant referee kept his flag down and the goal stood.
A helping hand from Stanton, and then blocks from Alex Le Prevost and Dodd, denied Ben Gorham, Embery and Leonard respectively as the host sought a quick response.
But it was nearly 3-1 as Black let fly from range and lifted the ball just out of Hunter’s reach but it struck the bar as it dipped.
Guernsey extended their lead midway through the half and it is a contender for goal of the season given the impressive team build-up.
Dodd swept a ball out to the right wing for substitute Liam Mahon, who cushioned the ball back for River Marsh. Marsh teed up Black to send it back into the right channel for Mahon, and he sent in a low cross that Pereira dummied for Rihoy to shuffle and stab home from close range.
Pereira could have made it four as an excellent solo run took him through on goal but Hunter bailed his team out by blocking the one-on-one.
The Green Lions saw the rest of the game out without too much drama, although Harry Tobin nearly put the icing on the cake in the last minute with a speculative effort from the corner of the area that flew narrowly behind.
All-in-all, a good day out for Vance’s side, who have made a really strong finish of the latter part of their season, no matter what the results in their final three games, and teed themselves up nicely for a trip to fixture-congested South Park on Tuesday.
The other Bostik South Saturday results were as follows: Ashford United 1-2 Greenwich Borough, Carshalton Athletic 4-3 Whyteleafe, Cray Wanderers 8-0 South Park, Hastings United 1-0 Shoreham, Horsham 0-3 Faversham Town, Hythe Town 5-3 Chipstead, Lewes 2-0 East Grinstead Town, Molesey 1-1 VCD Athletic, Phoenix Sports 0-1 Sittingbourne, Ramsgate 2-2 Corinthian-Casuals, Thamesmead Town 2-1 Walton Casuals.
Herne Bay: Benjamin Hunter, Danny Rumbol, Simon Kabama, Ben Gorham (c), Jardel Bunda-Kamara (Raphe Brown 65’), Joshua Wisson (Connor Cox 77’), Bradley Schafer, Thomas Carlton, Jake Embery, Miles Cornwell, Danny Leonard. Not used: Samuel Menzies, Darnell Weiss, Anthony Deer.
Goal: Embery 50’. Booked: Kabama, Bunda-Kamara.
Guernsey: Callum Stanton, Simon Geall (c) (River Marsh 62’), Jamie Dodd, Alex Le Prevost, Harry Tobin, Keanu Marsh (Liam Mahon 56’), Dave Rihoy, Ryan-Zico Black, Paris Pereira (Callum Le Lacheur 81’), Tom De La Mare, Matt Loaring.
Goals: De La Mare 34’; Pereira 58’; Rihoy 66’. Booked: Tobin.
Highlights are now available on GFCTV, with the full 90-minute playback available until the start of the next broadcast on Sunday.