GUERNSEY          2 (Murray 62', 87')
ASCOT UNITED   4 (OG 10'; Tack 20', 50'; Tucker 52')

A late rally couldn’t mask a poor afternoon from a Guernsey point of view as they were well beaten by Ascot United on Saturday afternoon.

Sam Murray’s cameo on his Footes Lane return from injury made the score look a little more credible, but in truth it the contest was well over by then and the Green Lions can have no complaints at this missed opportunity against a team within touching distance in the table.

Tony Vance’s side had been up against it from the beginning, unable to get themselves into gear and were very much second best, going two behind after only 20 minutes and well out of it just seven minutes into the second half.

The Yellas had already threatened twice in the opening exchanges as Harry Tucker’s volley bobbled wide and Taylor Morgan’s header bounced down and past the post, and the visitor’s positive start was rewarded in the 10th minute.

Chris Ellis’ long throws, perhaps the longest ever seen at Footes Lane, were almost undefendable all afternoon. This first one, not far off the halfway line on the left touch line, was hurled right under Josh Addison’s crossbar. The Guernsey stopper and his defence had no answer as the ball sailed almost straight in, but the slightest of touches meant the goal stood.

Morgan almost made it two on 18 minutes as he burst into the area after Jamie Dodd’s clearance was charged down. From the angle, he went for the delicate chip over the onrushing Addison, but lifted the ball just over.

But the second goal arrived just two minutes later in similar circumstances. Matt Loaring surrendered possession to Morgan on the edge of the box, and the big number nine was eventually thwarted by a block from Dodd. The ball ricocheted into the D, where Liam Tack collected and drove into the bottom corner.

Another throw from Ellis just before the half hour caused more panic just before the half hour as it glanced off a Guernsey headed and towards goal, but Addison was relieved to see it bounce wide of the post.

It took 35 minutes for the hosts to make something happen in attack. Ross Allen was set away to the byline by Seb Vance and pulled the ball back into the six-yard box. Owen Wallbridge challenged for it with three retreating defenders and in the scramble, the ball squirmed just wide of the post.

Sean McCormack cleared the crossbar and Morgan stabbed wide of the near post for Ascot, before Ellis volleyed well wide from the edge of the area.

Despite their poor performance, GFC should perhaps have had one back in the dying moments of the half as Charlton Gauvain whipped a free-kick across the six-yard box. Loaring met it at point-blank range, but Mark Scott in the Ascot goal reacted brilliantly to throw out his forearm and push the header away.

Guernsey did make a bright start to the second half as they looked to turn the tide back in their favour, but Scott was equal to Allen’s effort as the number 10 cut in and shot after bringing down Loaring’s free-kick.

But any fire the Green Lions were stoking was quickly extinguished by two quickfire goals from the visitors to kill the game off. The home defence didn’t put enough pressure on George Lock as he cut in from the right, and he was able to tee up Tack in the D, who turned and picked out the far top corner with an arrowed strike for his second.

The fourth came as an Ascot free-kick was cleared up to the centre circle. Harry Tucker collected, drove forward and blasted in screamer from 30 yards, which was still rising as it hit the top corner.

The hosts needed some pride back and substitute Murray sparked a bit of a revival. Having started the move in the centre circle, he was on hand to slide in six yards out to send the ball high into the net after Brandon Wallace exchanged passes neatly with Loaring and cut the ball back from the byline.

Substitute Oliver Harris flicked a low cross against the outside of the post and McCormack drove straight at Addison, and Loaring then perhaps deserved better as he stole the ball back in midfield and drove towards the area, dropping the shoulder to snake past a couple of challenges. But the finish didn’t do his earlier work justice as he didn’t catch it right and Scott got down to hold.

Allen wriggled free of a crowd but lifted well over and Murray was then desperately unlucky as Guernsey went route one. Addison gathered a weak effort from Tack and launched the ball upfield. Gauvain rose highest and headed into the path of Murray, who carried the ball into the box and beat the keeper from the angle, but his shot bounced of the foot of the far post.

Luckily, he didn’t have to wait long for his second, combined with Gauvain again to rise and flick-on the playmaker’s free-kick into the far corner.

The Green Lions nearly set up a tense finish and threaten the unlikeliest of comebacks as Wallace delivered from the right and Loaring found himself free at the far post, but he didn’t catch his left foot volley as he wanted, sending it flying across goal beyond the far post.

There was an ugly end to the game as Ascot tried to keep the ball in the corner, with Tack going down holding his knee in a crowd of bodies. The referee deemed Dodd to be overzealous in his challenge and produced a red card.

Guernsey dropped one place to 17th in the Isthmian South Central table, with Saturday’s other results as follows: Ashford Town 0-1 Thatcham Town, Badshot Lea 0-2 Southall, Chertsey Town 1-1 Westfield, Chipstead 0-5 Binfield, Leatherhead 5-1 South Park, Marlow 4-1 Corinthian-Casuals, Metropolitan Police 2-2 Hartley Wintney, Raynes Park Vale 0-0 Hanworth Villa, Uxbridge 4-0 Sutton Common Rovers.

GUERNSEY: 1 Josh ADDISON; 2 Niall HAINSWORTH (14 Dave MERRIS, 60’); 3 Jamie DODD (c); 4 Tom DODDS; 5 Tom VAUDIN; 6 Seb VANCE (12 Ben SOLWAY, 76’); 7 Charlton GAUVAIN; 8 Matt LOARING; 9 Owen WALLBRIDGE (15 Sam MURRAY, 56’); 10 Ross ALLEN; 11 Brandon WALLACE. Not used: 16 Jacques CAUVIN; 17 Dave RIHOY.

Booked: Allen, Gauvain. Sent off: Dodd.

ASCOT UNITED: 1 Mark SCOTT; 2 George LOCK; 3 Oliver LAHTINEN-KALSI; 4 Harry TUCKER (18 Kraig McLEOD, 63’); 5 Chris ELLIS (c); 6 Joshua EDWARDS (12 Dan BAILEY, 55’); 7 Sean McCORMACK; 8 Liam TACK; 9 Taylor MORGAN (11 Oliver HARRIS, 59’); 10 Usman Lalustani; 14 Oliver MASON. Not used: 13 Alex SYKES; 15 Harry LAFLIN.

Booked: Ellis.

Attendance: 622.

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