Date Posted: 07/10/2018
The miserable weather at Princes Park on Saturday afternoon reflected Sarnian moods as Guernsey were comfortably beaten by Thamesmead Town.
It could have been worse if not for some excellent Callum Stanton saves in the downpour, which meant for a very sodden, slippery pitch that held the ball up along the floor. Afterwards, Tony Vance declared the display "unacceptable".
But the Green Lions couldn’t blame that as they rarely got going and were guilty of some poor passing that saw them lose possession on a regular basis. They could have no complaints as they opponents moved off the bottom of the Bostik South East table and leapfrogged Tony Vance’s side in the process.
Not the best way for Guernsey to mark their 350th competitive match.
Nassim Dukali and Merrick James-Lewis both lifted over the bar from the edge of the area as the Green Lions were pinned back early on.
Trey Williams also headed wide and shot over, while Callum Stanton collected a low weak shot from Bode Anigbude.
Guernsey were struggling to string passes together and their first chance of note took 25 minutes to arrive. Paris Pereira flicked on Matt Loaring’s left-wing cross with his head, with Will Godman making the save. Will Fazakerley also saw a scuffed shot deflected wide from distance after neat football between Loaring, Charlton Gauvain and Carlos Canha.
This bright spell was short-lived though, with Tariq Oassai cutting in from the right channel and miscuing wide at the other end.
The hosts’ pressure told on 36 minutes as Ossai had too much room in the area to fire a neat volley past Stanton. It was nearly two just three minutes later as a cross from the right was just kept out. The resulting corner found the head of Anigbude, whose effort beat Stanton and was headed for the corner but Gauvain got back to hook the ball off the line.
Vance took evasive action at the break, sending on Simon Geall for Keanu Marsh and going with three at the back, but it was to no avail. Stanton was required to make another strong block just five minutes into the second half, diverting an powerful effort wide from an unmarked Trey Williams.
In a rare moment at the other end, Canha turned the ball round the corner for Pereira to run onto, but the latter skewed the bouncing ball wide with his weaker foot.
The Guernsey defence provided far too much room for Williams as he provided the second goal on 57 minutes, with the forward calmly finishing past Stanton.
Stanton blocked at his near post to deny Ossai a second just after the hour, while Jake McIntyre went to ground to make an excellent tackle as Canha looked to shoot from the edge.
The Guernsey keeper was certainly getting plenty of shot-stopping practice. He was in the way again as Richard Pacquette blasted at goal from just inside the area and then somehow got fingertips onto the ball to divert Ossai’s belter onto the crossbar – the rebound was curled wide.
He then denied Williams twice in a matter of moments, first blocking when the striker was through one-on-one then reacting quickly to save the rebound.
But that was all merely prolonging the inevitable third, which was all Guernsey’s own undoing as Dodd carelessly gave the ball away on halfway. Pacquette stayed onside to meet the trough ball and tuck past Stanton.
Guernsey did actually manage to improve in the final quarter of an hour but it was too little too late.
Gauvain’s curling free-kick from the corner of the area was turned behind by Godman, who also blocked with his legs as Stanton long kick sent substitute Kyle Smith away.
Frank Tobin’s header almost brought late consolation as he flicked on Thomas Dodds’ cushioned volley towards the six-yard box, but the ball was diverted over the top.
Tony Vance and his side may well be glad to have a fortnight break to regroup and get their season back on track.
Three Bridges’ victory over Ashford United saw them also leapfrog the Green Lions, who drop to 19th. The weekend’s other results were as follows: Ashford United 2-4 Three Bridges, Cray Wanderers 7-2 Faversham Town, East Grinstead Town 1-1 Sevenoaks Town, Haywards Heath Town 2-0 Sittingbourne, Hythe Town 3-0 VCD Athletic, Phoenix Sports 2-2 Whyteleafe, Whitstable Town 2-0 Greenwich Borough.
Thamesmead Town: Will Godman, Matt Bodkin, Williams Danquah, Merrick James-Lewis, Afolabi Coker ©, Jake McIntyre, Tariq Ossai, Bode Anigbude, Richard Pacquette (Jack Godfrey 81‘), Trey Williams, Nassim Dukali (Lennie Laker 88’). Not used: Daniel Parish, Mohammed Oshaja, James Pass, Lenne Laker.
Goals: Ossai 36’; Williams 57’; Pacquette 74’.
Guernsey: Callum Stanton, Keanu Marsh (Simon Geall HT), Jamie Dodd, Thomas Dodds, Frank Tobin, Liam Mahon, Matt Loaring (Glyn Dyer 71’), Charlton Gauvain, Paris Pereira, Carlos Canha, Will Fazakerley (Kyle Smith 58’).
Highlights are available to view now on GFCTV.