GUERNSEY                 0
HANWORTH VILLA   5 (Merson 2', 45', 45+1', 81'; Mead 64')

Guernsey endured a miserable night under the lights at Footes Lane as a fantastic individual display from Hanworth Villa’s Sam Merson saw them well and truly beaten.

Clearly the talent runs in the family as Merson, son of Arsenal legend Paul Merson, helped himself to four goals and made the other with an inspired assist

The Green Lions didn’t help themselves in a bad night at the office. Struggling to cope with the visitor’s high balls over the top, there was a case to be made that they again gifted goals to their opponents. They were behind within two minutes and if they had gone in just one behind, they could have regrouped for a big second half. Instead, a calamitous two minutes just before the break saw Merson complete his hat-trick and give the Sarnians an impossible task for the second half.

After that, it was about damage limitation but Tony Vance’s side conceded two more to see their goal difference take another battering.

The tone of the night was set instantly as a ball over the top fell for Merson, who on this occasion got a huge slice of luck as his shot took a huge deflection off a defender and looped over Christian Povall, who on his home debut was far better than five goals suggests.

Louis Collins dragged wide from outside the box and Povall held a powerful 30-yard volley from Kyen Nicholas inside the first 15 minutes, before the Green Lions finally clicked in attack.

Ben Solway drove forward and exchanged passes with Owen Wallbridge, then played his team-mate in again down the right. Wallbridge drove in a low cross from the right byline which Solway, who had continued his run, so nearly connected with at the near post but the ball just evaded him and whistled across goal to safety.

Villa captain George Wells tried to catch out Povall from a free-kick but the Guernsey stopper watched it safety over, then on the half-hour Wallbridge drove forward and let fly from outside the area, forcing Harvey Rackley-Hayes to spill it but Ross Allen couldn’t make the most of the loose ball. Tom Vaudin also went in search of his first goal but headed over from Allen's cross.

Nicholas was off-target with his own attempted lob, and Merson miscued a similar attempt moments later as the same tactic continued to work for the visitors.

Jacques Cauvin almost caught Hanworth out with a low shot from distance as he cut inside, but the ball took a deflection and clipped the side netting.

The way things looked to be going, getting to the break just a goal behind could have been something to build on, but Guernsey threw away any chance of that in two minutes.

In the 45th minute, Guernsey lost the ball in midfield and it was played into Merson on the edge of the area, who curled in a lovely effort around Povall into the far corner.

If that wasn’t enough of a blow, Villa won the ball back form kick-off and attacked down the left. A lack of communication in the middle meant both centre-backs left Aston Nunn’s cross for each other, allowing the ball to drop for Merson, who took it first time to volley across goal and complete his hat-trick.

It was a similar pattern after the break, with Hanworth looking the more threatening. Guy Ansah-Palmer should have made it four from six yards but he cleared the cross bar from Merson’s long throw.

A rare chance for Guernsey saw Rackley-Hayes get down to his left to save Allen’s free-kick, but two minutes later it was 4-0 thanks to the best goal of the night.

It was the only goal of the night that he did not score, but Merson was still the architect as he let a ball out to him on the right drop over his shoulder to create space for himself, then volleyed a perfect pass inside first time towards the edge of the box. Not needing to break stride, Sam Mead ran onto it and hit it first time low into the far corner, the ball skipping off the turf past Povall.

Rackley-Hayes made a timely tackle outside his box as Wallbridge ran onto a through ball and tried to sneak round him, with substitute Brandon Wallace’s follow-up lob also saved.

Allen and Wallace both tried to catch Rackley-Hayes out from free-kicks out on the touchline but both narrowly missed the target and Allen caught a rebound at just the wrong moment to send it over, but amongst all that, it became five.

It was Merson again as he shook off the attention of Oscar Leadbeater and drilled under Povall from the corner of the six-yard box.

GFC came close to keeping up their impressive scoring streak, and were unlucky not to get a consolation as Cauvin drove down the right brilliant despite the close attention of Matthew Gbio. He cut inside and took aim but his curler struck the foot of the post. The rebound fell to Seb Vance, who was perhaps not ready for it and screwed wide.

Saturday at Uxbridge will be an interesting squad with it clashing with the Muratti semi-final in Alderney, but after three heavy defeats, the Green Lions are due a good day. They are now 15th in Isthmian South Central with the other midweek results as follows: Ashford Town 0-1 Leatherhead, Chertsey Town 1-0 Marlow, Chipstead 0-1 Westfield, Northwood 6-1 Badshot Lea, Raynes Park Vale 2-1 Thatcham Town.

GUERNSEY: 1 Christian POVALL; 2 Ben SOLWAY; 3 Jamie DODD (c) (15 Alex WARD, 73’); 4 Jacques CAUVIN; 5 Tom VAUDIN; 6 Kieran MAHON (14 Oscar LEADBEATER, 63’); 7 Owen WALLBRIDGE; 8 Seb VANCE; 9 Simon ARNOLD; 10 Ross ALLEN; 11 Matt LOARING (17 Brandon WALLACE, 53’). Not used: 12 Niall HAINSWORTH, 15 Zach GILMAN.

Booked: Mahon, Dodd.

HANWORTH VILLA: 1 Harvey RACKLEY-HAYES; 2 Kyron RICHARDS; 3 Aston NUNN; 4 Guy ANSAH-PALMER; 5 Matthew GBIO; 6 George WELLS (c); 7 Gagendeep SAMRA; 8 Louis COLLINS; 9 Kyen NICHOLAS (12 Quincy PATTERSON, 85’); 10 Sam MEAD; 11 Sam MERSON (14 Charlie HATHAWAY, 85’).

Booked: Collins.

Attendance: 421.

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