Sunday, 22 November 2015

Some went missing in Walton-on-Thames

Surrey police issued a missing persons alert shortly after the attendance figure for yesterday's match at Walton & Hersham was announced. They are concerned that at least 85 people must have disappeared without trace shortly after passing through the turnstiles, if gate of 135 is anywhere near accurate

There seemed to be, at most, 50 paying punters in the ground and the majority (by some margin) were wearing green.

With the local council seemingly desperate to force the club to leave Stompond Lane for a toxic environment near the river on the other side of town, things are looking grim for the Swans. The club is run by a very small handful of volunteers who, in the circumstances, do an excellent job. But with a landlord, i.e. the council, focussed on the £s available from a housing development and, on yesterday's evidence, a fanbase that can be counted on the fingers of,, at most 2 people, they must sometimes wonder of it's worth the effort.

The match was both relatively uneventful and encouraging at the same time. Walton & Hersham had by far the bulk of possession on the first half with, in particular, Aaron Watson causing the usually blistering fast Simon Geall to have kittens on a number of occasions. Clear cut chances were few on the ground however and the couple that presented themselves saw the aforementioned My Watson suffer what can politely be described as stage fright.

We created next to nothing until a peach of a through ball from Guille Fernandez left Dom Heaume in space in the Walton penalty area. The 'keeper got a hand to his shot but, having been hit with sufficient power, it was but a minor detour on the ball's journey to the back of the net.

Shortly afterwards the lead could, maybe should, have been doubled when Ross Allen found space in the box. With just the 'keeper to beat he managed to get no lift on the shot, which hit the 'keeper's legs before sloping harmlessly away.

With just a minute to go before half time we conceded what, even from a vantage point several score metres away, looked a bit if a soft free kick. Andrew Mensah reacted quicker than any of our lads to rise at the far post and put away a relatively straight forward equaliser.

Possession wise the second half was a lot more even, which meant we sorted the problems with the game plan and largely closed the match out. The highlight should have been Ross Allen's very neat finish from another Guille Fernandez defence splitting through ball. Rocco's 199th goal for GFC was somewhat overshadowed by the home side's captain, Andre Scarlett, tremendous reaction to the referee's judgement that he'd committed a foul when booting someone up in the air near the half way line.

He ranted at the ref for what seemed like hours, before tearing off his gloves and throwing them off the pitch in the ultimate display of disgust at a perceived grave injustice.

As a performance it fell well short of 'total football' but, for an away match with a shorthanded squad, it couldn't have been better. Ross Allen was the isolated lone man up front but he held play up when it mattered so the reinforcements could reach him. I didn't see a poor performance from any GFC player but Craig Young's contribution in midfield needs calling out. Tenacious and disciplined throughout.

Not a classic performance in the so-called 'Guernsey way' but tactically it was spot on. We could do a lot worse than use it as a bench mark for future away games.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

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