GUERNSEY 1 (Ernest og 15')
METROPOLITAN POLICE 1 (Galloway, 90+1')
Guernsey blew their golden chance to pick up their first win since the opening day on a blustery Saturday afternoon at Footes Lane.
Having led since a 15th-minute own-goal and looking comfortable, the Green Lions failed to find a clincher at took a taste of their own medicine from last week’s last-gasp draw at Hanworth Villa as their three points were snatched away in stoppage time, leaving them stuck in the relegation zone for another week.
Tony Vance’s side had controlled most of the game, bar the odd warning, and set that tone in the opening exchanges as the stroked the ball around nicely, prodding but not forcing openings as the Metropolitan Police looked happy to sit deep and keep it tight.
But the Sarnians’ dominance was earning them openings. Five minutes in, Keene Domaille picked up a loose ball following a tackle on Charlton Gauvain and worked a yard of space but saw his shot from the angle blocked.
Charlie Brown’s shot at the other end was deflected wide after a neat exchange on the left between Julien Saka and Shkyler Burrowes on 12 minutes, but Guernsey took command with a quarter of an hour on the clock. Domaille was at the heart of it again as he chased down a loose pass and slotted Matt Loaring into the area. Loaring delivered across goal and as Sam Murray went in with his marker to get on the end of it, the ball was turned in, the last touch later confirmed to come off Laurence Ernest for an own-goal.
It was reward for a bright start and Loaring and Domaille were at it again three minutes later, the former firing just wide from the edge of the box after the latter had won possession.
Kareem Akinnibi showed good skill to wriggle past two defenders and into the area for the visitors, but his shot was straight at Josh Addison, who just had to stand his ground to beat it away.
Gauvain sent a free-kick floating over midway through the half before GFC had their first real scare. Dave Rihoy was crowded out outside his area and Met Police were in. Jamie Dodd did well to reel Mason Galloway’s initial effort but the loose ball fell to Adam Green, who should have buried it but instead lacked composure and blazed over.
Addison had to be alert to prevent a freak equaliser just after the half-hour, as Met goalkeeper Liam Beach’s free-kick caught the wind and went bouncing towards goal. Addison had to get a hand to it to make sure it didn’t bounce in. A minute later, a ricocheted clearance fell for Sam Murray, but he opted against the early shot and instead was forced wider than he would have liked before his low shot was kept out by the legs of Beach.
Green had Addison scrambling to his right on 35 minutes as he tried his luck from range but his drive whistled wide to the Guernsey stopper’s right.
Domaille’s endeavour created a chance for Gauvain on the edge five minutes before the break but the playmaker sliced his shot and it went spinning well off target. Addison’s gather to keep out Burrowes’ curler was the last action of the half.
Met Police stepped up a gear in the second half in search of an equaliser but Guernsey were still relatively comfortable for most of the half. Louis Degand cut onto his left foot but shot straight at Addison on 53 minutes, then missed their best chance so far just after the hour.
Akinnibi was judged onside and headed for goal but Tom Vaudin did brilliantly to hold him up. The number nine was forced to cutback but held onto the ball to work another opportunity but Addison sprung forward to stop it with his legs.
Gauvain went for the spectacular midway through the half and almost repeated his halfway line goal against Ramsgate five years ago. His first-time shot from the centre circle caught the wind perfectly and was headed for the back of the net at pace, but Beach stretchws just enough to turn it behind.
A flurry of chances then came and went for Guernsey to make the points safe, but they couldn’t forced it in. Dodd hooked a half-cleared corner back in the area, which Loaring collected and drove at goal but Beach pushed it over. Loaring returned the ball to Dave Rihoy from the resulting corner and the latter fired the ball into the crowd from the angle, but it evaded everyone and whistled just wide.
The Green Lions briefly thought they had done it with little over 10 minutes to go as Domaille turned in after Dodd’s quick thinking on a free-kick set Loaring away for a cutback, but assistant referee ruled that Loaring had run a fraction too early and flagged him offside.
Substitute Alex Body screwed wide from a good position for the visitors after good work from Burrowes on the left as Met Police went for broke in the closing stages. Dodd then blocked as Galloway seized onto a loose ball and let fly.
The away side should have been level earlier than they were and it was a huge let off for Guernsey. Body’s cutback was poor but not dealt with, and Akinnibi found himself with a glorious opportunity six yards out, but blazed it over the top when he should have left the net bulging.
But that warning wasn’t heeded and the 90 minutes were up when Met Police scrambled an equaliser. A ball in from Jack Phillips on the right wasn’t cleared and Galloway was the grateful recipient, helping it into the corner to stun Footes Lane.
Just before that, Keene Domaille had seen red, being brandished a second yellow for kicking the ball away after the referee had blown for a free-kick.
GFC had blown it, but even then there was still just enough time to force a winner from a couple of Dodd long throws but the best chance, which fell to substitute Owen Wallbridge, was deflected wide.
It meant Guernsey ended the day in 20th rather than 18th, with Saturday’s other results as follows: Binfield 0-3 Badshot Lea, Chertsey Town 2-1 Chipstead, Marlow 4-0 Leatherhead, Raynes Park Vale 2-1 Ashford Town, Southam 5-2 Corinthian Casuals, Sutton Common Rovers 1-5 Hartley Wintney, Thatcham Town 2-0 Northwood, Uxbridge 1-3 Hanworth Villa.
Guernsey: 1 Josh ADDISON; 2 Niall HAINSWORTH; 3 Jamie DODD (c); 4 Dave MERRIS; 5 Tom VAUDIN; 6 Kieran MAHON; 7 Charlton GAUVAIN (14 Owen WALLBRIDGE, 78’); 8 Dave RIHOY (16 Seb VANCE, 88’); 9 Sam MURRAY; 10 Keene DOMAILLE; 11 Matt LOARING. Not used: 12 Joe ALVAREZ; 15 Ryan-Zico BLACK; 17 Tom DODDS.
Booked: Rihoy, Domaille. Sent off: Domaille.
Metropolitan Police: (1 Liam BEACH; 2 Alfie WALTERS (14 Alex BODY, 70’); 3 Julien SAKA (16 Shekinah REID, 85’); 4 Charlie BROWN; 5 Laurance ERNEST: 6 Isaac NKOSI; 7 Louis DEGAND (15 Jack PHILLIPS, 56’); 8 Adam GREEN; 9 Kareem Akinnibi; 10 Mason GALLOWAY; 11 Shkyler BURROWES. Not used: 12 Ekow OWUSU-Boakye; 17 Yapi KODJO.
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