Guernsey 1 (Murray 52')
Leatherhead 1 (Tarpey (pen) 63')
Sam Murray got his first goal for Guernsey as the Green Lions ground out a 1-1 draw with Leatherhead at Footes Lane at Saturday afternoon.
Murray’s lob early in the second half opened the scoring, but the Sarnians were pegged back by a penalty 10 minutes later and were unable to kick on from there, the game fizzling out the longer it went on.
They did make a bright start to the game, and should have been ahead with just over a minute on the clock, but Danny Hale could only hook over the top from close range after a neat move down the right.
GFC had a minor scare of their own making on 20 minutes as Jamie Dodd’s header back towards Jason Martin was a little short and Mitchell Parker seized onto it, but could not take advantage as he lifted the ball towards the far post and saw it bounce wide.
Ross Allen came within the width of the crossbar of putting his side in front on 26 minutes, flicking the ball against the woodwork as the referee played a good advantage after Joshua Webb had pulled down Will Fazakerley on the edge of the area. However, the Tanners full-back was very luckily to escape a second yellow, having been booked just minutes earlier, especially considering Tom Vaudin was cautioned for the exact same offence as the visitors went on the counter attack.
Fazakerley was next to have a go just before the half-hour, wriggling into a yard of space in the box and placing a shot to Luke Williams’ left, but the Tanners stopper clawed it behind. The resulting corner found Dodd at the far post, who dropped a shoulder and flashed a low shot across goal that rolled wide.
Hale’s run was halted by an outstretched leg as the game entered first-half stoppage time. The resulting free-kick was a good 30 yards out but that did not deter Allen from having a go, his dipping effort flashing wide to Williams’ right.
Four minutes into the second period minutes, Archie Burnett’s volley just inside the area was charged down by the defence before Keane Anderson drove the loose ball over the top from range.
The Green Lions got their noses in front just two minutes later, out of nothing. Allen hooked a routine ball forward that caught the visiting defence napping, and Sam Murray got there ahead of his man to lift it over Williams. The ball bounced into the far corner for the forward’s maiden goal in green.
Leatherhead upped the ante, with Jerry O’Sullivan hitting the outside of the post as he tried to catch Martin out from the angle. Tarpey should also have had his side level just before the hour as he was slipped in behind the Guernsey defence, but went for the near post and could only find the outside of the upright.
Hale will be disappointed with himself for not then doubling GFC’s advantage. He didn’t have to break stride as he ran into the box and leapt to meet Kieran Mahon’s delicious cross, but planted his header over the bar.
It came back to haunt the hosts as Leatherhead levelled from the spot just after the hour. The Guernsey defence was incredulous when the referee pointed to the spot after Tarpey ran through and went to ground, but their appeals were waved away and Tarpey struck the penalty confidently right of centre, with Martin guessing the other way.
They were almost in front straight away as the referee played another good advantage, but Jermaine McGlashan dragged wide as he ran through.
There was somewhat of a lull in action for the next quarter of an hour or so, with Martin alert to hold as Adam Allen hooked a long throw towards the near post on 83 minutes.
Allen battled brilliantly to keep the ball on the left touchline and send a cross in towards Murray. He flicked it on towards the far post for Legg, but the substitute snatched at his chance and sliced it high and wide.
But that was the only time the Green Lions threatened in the closing stages as the game’s momentum rather petered out towards the end. Guernsey seemed happy to settle for a point, which was fair result at the final whistle, a result that shows slight progress for either side but not ideal for their efforts to climb the table.
Saturday’s other Isthmian South Central Results were as follows: Basingstoke Town 5-0 Ashford, Hanworth Villa 3-2 Thatcham Town, Marlow 3-0 Chipstead, Northwood 2-1 Chertsey Town, Southall 1-1 Tooting & Mitcham United.
Guernsey: 1 Jason Martin; 2 Keanu Marsh; 3 Jamie Dodd (c); 4 Tom Vaudin; 5 Jacob Fallaize; 6 Tom Dodds; 7 Danny Hale (15 Robbie Legg, 76’); 8 Kieran Mahon (16 Liam Mahon, 69’); 9 Will Fazakerley; 10 Ross Allen; 11 Sam Murray. Not used: 12 Brandon Wallace; 13 Josh Addison; 14 Ben Le Tocq.
Goal: Murray 52’.
Booked: Marsh, Vaudin, Murray.
Leatherhead: 1 Luke Williams; 2 Joshua Webb; 4 Keane Anderson; 5 Benedict Frempah; 6 Jake Eales; 7 Jermaine McGlashan; 8 Adam Allen; 9 Dave Tarpey (c); 10 Mitchell Parker; 11 Archie Burnett; 12 Jerry O’Sullivan. Not used: 3 Danny Dudley; 14 William Hellestoe; 15 Steven Duff; 16 Samir Bajja; 17 Louie Paget.
Goal: Tarpey (pen), 63’.
Booked: Webb, Eales, Burnett.
Highlights will be available on GFCTV this weekend.