Friday, 30 January 2015

You probably already know this but, in case you don't, Mike Thomas was announced as winner of the Michael Lucas Sporting Hero award at last night's CI Sports Personality of the Year extravaganza at the Hotel de France in Jersey.

Mike couldn't attend the awards night as he's lounging around Grand Anse beach sipping Clarke's Court Pure White, but if you go to the Guernsey FC website you should find a video of him being presented with the award in the dressing room at the ARS by Tony Vance.

Tomorrow we're to Three Bridges where we won quite comfortably last season through 4 goals from Ross Allen. The half time team talk in the home dressing room could be heard by almost anybody within a half mile radius of the ground, it could have been written by Andy Murray's other half.

They're 1 place and 1 point behind us and their last 6 matches have seen 2 wins, 3 defeats and 1 draw. The wins include a 3-0 at home to Tooting & Mitcham on 20th January. We beat them 8-1 at the ARS earlier this season but, notwithstanding we've won 5 on the bounce, expect it to be closer tomorrow.

There's no Cockers or Strawbridge and, at the moment, just a 14 man squad. No problems with the names travelling but a change in the centre of defence is never particularly welcome, neither is a short handed squad (there's a chance another name will be added though). Could be one of those games where throwing caution to the wind pays off, especially in an effort to get an early goal or two. Anyway, here's the squad:-

Tardif, Mahon, Mackay, Steel, Dodd, Winch, de la Mare, Black, Dyer, Loaring, Rihoy, Heaume, Mcgrath, Allen.

If you're travelling tomorrow you can find essential info here. Given the early kick off a train to Three Bridges then a rest in the Plough is probably a good compromise. Decent clubhouse at the ground, though, which makes up for having to stand in the carpark for one half of the match.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

A couple of stories you may not be aware of concerning fellow isthmian south clubs.

Firstly, Corinthian Casuals were in Brazil last week. They played in front of a few more than they're used to down in Tolworth. Click here for the story and a few photos courtesy of the Surrey Guardian.

Meanwhile down at Horsham where years of work in finding a new home for the football club looked to be bearing fruit when the local planning officers recommended approval. Then the local politicians got involved as you can read here. Difficult to disagree with the views of one Horsham FC fan here.

Don't ya just love (local) politicians.

Three Bridges preview tomorrow including, most importantly, where we'll be for a pre-match refresco.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Not a bad night for GFC in the Isthmian South. Second placed Faversham beat Chipstead 2-1 in front of 133 souls, South Park lost 2-3 at home to Horsham and Walton & Hersham played out a 1-1 draw with Herne Bay at Stompond Lane. Which is about as good as it could have been for us tonight.

Eric Watch now and if you were planning to line the Bridge in support of him tomorrow you can stand down. Unfortunately due to a family bereavement tomorrow's walk has been postponed. The upside for you, of course, is that you can stay in the Mariners.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Speaking to the enigma that is Penfold of the Press after the Tooting match Tony Vance mentioned the matter of 3 away games in a week starting next Saturday. "We're in a good run of form and have got another important win but, if we don't come out of those 3 games with a positive return, we will be a mid-table team" he said to Penfold. It's not that long ago when we would have said yes please if offered an end of season place in mid-table.

Vancie went on to say that we were fortunate to get the win and, after Badiali was sent off, Tooting & Mitcham looked like the side with the man advantage, not us. You do have to wonder if the ref saw Crusher grabbing the 'keepers shirt, surely a freekick to them if he did, albeit still a sending off for what a rush of blood to the head, to put it mildly.

Just three mid-week games in the Isthmoan South this week, all of them tomorrow:-

Faversham v Chipstead ; South Park v Horsham ; Walton & Hersham v Herne Bay.

Wins for Faversham and Horsham and either a draw or home win at Stompond Lane would be ideal.

Back tomorrow with the results and 'Eric Watch'.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Dave Rihoy opened the scoring at the ARS after just four minutes, Crusher McGrath got a second from the penalty spot after a headbutt bythe Tanners 'keeper, who saw red for his trouble. Each time the visitors pulled level through Frankie Sawyer. The ten men of Tooting and Mitcham played like 12 for much of the 2nd half only for Crusher to get his second and the winner after 81 minutes.

So another important 3 points for us and one or two interesting results elsewhere in the Isthmian South:-

Burgess Hill 1 Sittingbourne 0 ; Carshalton 3 East Grinstead 1 ; Chipstead 1 Walton & Hersham 1 ; Faversham 1 Whitstable 3 ; Herne Bay 1 Worthing 0 ; Ramsgate 3 Three Bridges 3 ; Redhill 2 Hythe 2 ; Walton Casuals 0 Horsham 2 ; Whyteleafe 1 Merstham 5.

Which leaves us sitting in 9th, 9 points behind Worthing in the final play-off spot with a game in hand and we still have to play them at the ARS.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Just one of the scheduled Isthmian south matches survived the freezing weather conditions tonight. Three Bridges hosted Tooting & Mitcham and took all three points on offer with a very good 3-0 win.

Which gives us an opportunity to leapfrog Tooting &Mitcham should we beat them on Saturday. An opportunity nobody present at Imperial Fields back in October would have envisaged.

Tomorrow is Wednesday which means GFC fan and friend of Ormering Eric Graham will be continuing his walk around Guernsey in support of the Autism Guernsey charity's Autism 365 initiative. Eric is doing 12 laps of the island during 2015, each lap being cut up into 4 bite size chunks to be undertaken whatever the weather on Wednesdays.

Tomorrow is the 3rd stage of his first lap. The stages are Town to Icart, Icart to Pleinmont, Pleinmond to l'Ancresse, l'Ancresse to Town. Start time is 10am each Wednesday so, in case you're lagging, Eric will be setting off from Pleinmont at 10 tomorrow to head up the West coast to l'Ancresse.

Although he still claims to surprise 'Er Indoors occasionally it is fair to say that Eric is no Spring chicken, so please show your support by walking with him, honking your Chelsea tractor's horn or raising a glass as he passes your local hostelry on his way North. Maybe also offer him a glass of something from Yorkshire along the way. Monetary donations would also be welcome, it's for chariddy after all. Our Guernsey based reader will probably have seen details on how to donate in the Press but we'll let our Maneland reader know soon(ish).

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Walton & Hersham 0 Guernsey FC 3

Despite not being a person of faith when it comes to football I am as superstitious as they come. So when the Llama Express trundled past some actual llamas on our detour through Surrey I knew the omens were good.

Things got better in the Ashley Park, just opposite the station, where White Witch ale cast its spell as kick off time approached.

Stompond Lane hasn't changed much since our last visit, other than seemingly edging closer to being turned into housing. The main stand was enjoying the winter sunshine, the tennis club was enjoying it's Diggling Dome and the old terrace opposite the main stand was still derelict but even more inaccessible than ever.

The opening bars of the match saw our white and green clad heroes get off to a bit of a slow start. Fortunately we have a chap called Tardif and he pulled off a couple of superb stops to deny the Swans any return from their stronger start to the match.

It wasn'tlike last season however. We were crossing the halfway line and creating chances, albeit the there was nothing of note in the last third. Until we reached the middle eight.

With half an hour gone Tom de la Mare received the ball on the left, headed towards the penalty are (imagine a line 45 degrees from the centre of the goal line) and put the ball beyond the advancing 'keeper for a fine finish. This is the scene a raction of a second after the ball hit the back of the net:

A few minutes later we had a penalty. From where we were standing it did look as if the defender moved his left arm towards the ball and the ref would have had a similar sight line to us. Everyone on the other side of the ground thought it was a harsh decision however, which begs the question as to why the lino didn't help the ref out. Subsequent flagging by said lino provided the answer.

Anyway Crusher stepped up to make it 2-0 from the spot so we went into the break reasonably comfortably ahead, although not exactly setting the world alight with our performance. That said either side of our two goals the home 'keeper did very well to keep out an effort from dave Rihoy and divert a cross from Jamie Dodd who,incidentally, enjoyed quite a few marauding runs down the left throughout the match.

The second half started similarly to the first with the home side coming out of the traps faster. Not surprising really given they were 2 down, but that man Tardif was again more than up to the task.

Other than a sluggish start to both halves the GFC defence had a really good day, playing as a unit with Tom Strawbridge having a particularly impressive display. If you're thinking that the goalie is part of the defensive unit then you can ignore the bit about sluggish starts...

Just over 10 minutes to go and the Swans had a gilt edged chance to get one back and set up a grandstand finish. Unfortunately, for them, Dylan Cascoe opted for power over placement and over the bar it went.

With a couple of minutes left it was down to 'Oi Oi it's' Dave Rihoy (pronounced Ree-Hoy according to some) to score GFC's 500th goal with a very smart finish indeed.

To some a win against walton & Hersham might not seem much of a big deal. Check out the leahue table before and after the game and you'll see why it was though. The smiles after the match (in the GFC camp anyway) said it all though.

Also in the clubhouse after the game Sam Cochrane presented Jim le Conte with the signed GFC shirt he won on our raffle and 'Our Nige' was given a few quid to take with him on his trip to Guernsey next week.

Then it was back on the Llama Express for the trip home. All in all a good day out glad we ignored the warning signs at the station...

Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 16 January 2015

A trip to Walton-on-Thames tomorrow and we're hoping for a slightly different outcome to last season's fixture. Hammered 4-0 by a Swans side that didn't actually look too good themselves, we didn't muster a shot until about 80 minutes. It was nearer the corner flag than the post. Our match report here is worth a read.

Walton & Hersham are 3 places below us, 3 points behind but with 2 games in hand. Their last 6 matches have seen 1 win, 3 draws and 2 defeats. The travelling squad is as follows:-

Tardif, L Mahon, de la Mare, Cochrane, Strawbridge, Dodd, J Winch, Mackay, Steel, Loaring, Dyer, Heaume, Rihoy, Allen, McGrath.

If you were thinking of going but put off by the prospect of a rail replacement bus service between Clapham Junction and Surbiton you can get a train from Waterloo to Byfleet & New Haw then get one from there to Walton-on-Thames. Be careful buying your tickets though, think you'll need one from London to Byfleet and one from Byfleet to Walton.

The Llama Express will be leaving Waterloo at 10.13. Must remember to take the signed shirt for Jim le Conte.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Real tearjerker of a story in the Guernsey Press today. Seems the island's estate agents aren't selling as many houses as they used to. couldn't help but think that the gentleman estate agent featured might flog a few more if he put a bit more effort in - a tie and a shave perhaps. If he's ever passing Ormering Towers and wants to pop in for a chat we'll happily share some sartorial hints and tips.

The Press also featured another GFC fan, Eric Graham, the other day - more on him tomorrow.

For now though, a couple of results in the Isthmian South tonight. Firstly a good home win for Walton Casuals who beat South Park 2-1 in front of just 61 (probably very cold) people. Worthing drew a crowd of 158 to see them defeat East Grinstead 2-0, a win that saw them move into a play-off spot.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Speaking to the Guernsey Press following the Corinthian Casuals match, Tony Vance said "We have said so many times that when the composition of the squad allows us to make selection decisions, rather than having them made for us, we would improve. That is proving to be the case and we are in an enviable position right now.

With the likes of Dyer, Isabelle, Martin, Hutton and Young on the verge of full fitness again he has a point. With three away matches in a week from 31st January we do need to hope that player availabity means selection is a luxury available to Vancie and Fal before a run of 4 home games on the trot. That spell of 7 matches will surely be crucial to us ending the season there or thereabouts.

There seems to be growing chatter here and there about the prospects of GFC making the play-offs. As it stands the ideal scenario is probably to make 5th spot then bow out with dignity in the play 0ffs. That would send out a signal, given the way things were looking not so long ago, but, realistically,  we are lacking in depth/experience to have a tilt at step 3 with a reasonable expectation of survival unless, of course we had a season where all the luck goes our way. Which could happen I suppose.

If you're to Walton & Hersham on Saturday don't forget the train journey via Clapham Junction will take a lot longer than usual as there's a rail replacement bus service between Clarm and Surbiton. Keep an eye on the weather as well.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Judging by social media updates it sounded like a corker at the ARS today. Goals from Loaring, Rihoy and Black. Key saves from Tardif and no 2nd half capitulation after being 1 up at half time. Another 3 points means we continue moving in the right direction, up to 13th now. If you were there feel free to send in a match report.

Elsewhere in the Isthmian South a bit of a surprise at Folkestone and Faversham moved level on points with Burgess Hill, albeit the Hillians have 4 games in hand. Here are the rest of the IL1S results then:-

Carshalton 0 Horsham 1 ; Chipstead 2 Tooting & Mitcham 2 ; Faversham 3 Three Bridges 0 ; Folkestone 2 Whitstable 3 ; Hastings 1 East Grinstead 2 ; Ramsgate 3 Hythe 3 ; Redhill 1 Worthing 2 ; Walton Casuals 0 Merstham 2 ; Whyteleafe 1 Walton & Hersham 1.

Another postponement due to rain at South Park, who were due to play Herne Bay.

In the FA Trophy, Burgess Hill Town entertained Conference National side Dartford. After falling behind in the 5th minute the Hillians pulled it back to go in level at half time. The second half saw just 1 goal, Dartford getting the winner in the 89th minute. Sounds like Burgess Hill did themselves proud with their performance though.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

A sausage, a wrap and a mild mannered janitor.

With the trials and tribulations of last season fast receding and o the back of three impressive displays, unbeaten against teams expected ...