Uxbridge 3-2 Guernsey
Akintunde 31’; Haugh 45’; Martin 81’ – Allen 46’; K Mahon 90+3‘.
Guernsey put up a good show despite a narrow defeat to Uxbridge on Saturday.
Goals from Ross Allen and Kieran Mahon were not quite enough at Honeycroft but over the 90 minutes there wasn’t too much difference between the Green Lions and, as it stands, Bracknell Town’s closest challengers at the top of Isthmian South Central.
Missing a few key names – three of the defenders who started against Bracknell didn’t make the trip – Tony Vance’s side played some great football at times, especially in the first half, and were slightly unlucky to have to play catch-up for most of the game.
Neither side were really able to stamp their authority in the early exchanges, with the final execution lacking, and it took until the 17th minute for a shot on goal, with Frank Tobin scuffing a shot from range that was easily fielded up by his namesake Tyler Tobin in the Uxbridge goal.
Josh Addison was then alert to block as a ricochet fell kindly for Juwon Akintunde.
The next effort on goal came on the half hour came from the Uxbridge number 10, and it led to the opener, which was somewhat harsh on Guernsey. Akintunde found himself with a clear run at the near post after being picked out by Mahlondo Martin, and tucked past Addison.
It could have been two on 37 minutes but for an excellent double stop from Addison, first scrambling to his left to block Alex Aitham’s low curler from outside the area, then smothering as Akintunde got on the end of the rebound.
Twenty-five yards out, Kyle Smith sent a dropping ball fizzing towards goal on 40 minutes but Tyler Tobin got down to his left to make the save.
The Green Lions were dealt a killer blow with just moments left in the first half as the high delivery was bundled in at the far post, Ryan Haugh getting the final touch.
That made all the difference as GFC were up against it from then on, frustrating given their first-half showing.
But Vance’s side set about looking to make amends within seconds of the restart, with Ross Allen firing across goal from an almost impossible angle. He had made the chance for himself by closing down the home defence and receiving the ball back after Smith had challenged with the goal keeper. The captain shot hit the back of the net via the far post before the away fans had even managed to take their places behind the goal, and suddently The Sarninas were back in it.
There were some nervy moments amidst a goalmouth scramble eight minutes into the half, with Sam Shaw’s low shot blocked by Thomas Dodds, with Martin’s rebound diverted away from goal and Addison eventually holding a third show on goal.
Ezra Ndukuba couldn’t repeat Allen’s exploits and find the back of the net from the angle after being teed up by Witham, instead only hitting the side-netting.
Carlos Canha made his first appearance of the season as he replaced Smith 10 minutes into the half (and made a positive difference to Vance’s side.
Ben Acey barged into Prince Ogunmekan 30 yards out, presenting a chance for Martin to hit a free-kick, which was struck well enough but Addison shuffled across to grab it as it curled towards the corner.
The same man’s mazy run perhaps deserved a goal a couple of minutes later but Addison made another good save form the low shot.
Seb Skillen, making his first appearance of the season, had Tyler Tobin scrambling to his left as he drilled a shot high and wide from range midway through the half, while Akintunde should have connected with Martin’s wicked delivery from the left as he slid in, but didn’t get the vital touch. As GFC attacked again, Acey collected the ball from Canha but scuffed his shot straight at Tyler Tobin from distance.
Akintunde bundled the ball in from about a yard out after a corner had been delivered from the right but the flag was straight up to deny him his brace.
Canha did well to create a chance, picking out Gauvain when surrounded by defenders and receiving the ball back, but his shot hit a crowd of bodies.
GFC had battled well but hadn’t quite found that killer instinct, and it proved crucial as Uxbridge looked to have wrapped the game up as the game ticked into the final 10 minutes.
Ogunmekan was sent sprawling by an Acey challenge, and Martin couldn’t have placed it any better, right into the corner out of Addison’s reach to make it 3-1.
To their credit GFC didn’t give up and with Tyler McKane – who had replaced Seb Skillen, excellent on his return, just a few minutes earlier for his first appearance of the season – forced save out of Tyler Tobin as he lashed the ball at the near post.
The Green Lions did give their travelling support something else to cheer, though, three minutes into added-on time. Canha had flung himself acrobatically at Gauvain cross and it dropped kindly for Kieran Mahon to stick it in from close range, his seventh goal for the club.
One final clearance by the home defence from Addison’s free-kick was enough to preserve the three points the referee blew for full-time, but it’s a performance that Vance’s side can take great heart from, with several returning players playing well enough to stake a claim for a more regular starting shirt.
Guernsey remain 16th in the table with Saturday’s other results as follows: Bedfont Sports 4-0 Staines Town, Bracknell Town 4-0 Ashford Town, Chipstead 0-1 Northwood, Hanwell Town 0-1 Chertsey Town, South Park 4-0 Chalfont St Peter, Sutton Common Rovers 1-5 Basingstoke Town, Thatcham Town 1-1 Westfield, Tooting & Mitcham United 1-2 Marlow.
Guernsey: 1 Josh Addison; 2 Frank Tobin; 3 Ben Le Tocq; 4 Seb Skillen (12 Tyler McKane, 87’); 5 Thomas Dodds; 6 Kieran Mahon; 7 Charlton Gauvain; 8 Liam Mahon; 9 Kyle Smith (14 Carlos Canha, 56’); 10 Ross Allen; 11 Ben Acey.
Booked: Dodds, L Mahon.
Uxbridge: 1 Tyler Tobin; 2 Mark Goodman; 3 David Sota (14 Alan Hedley, HT); 4 Alex Paine; 5 Ryan Haugh; 6 Alex Witham; 7 Prince Ogunmekan; 8 Ezra Ndukuba (17 Victor Osobu, 90’); 9 Sam Shaw; 10 Juwon Akintunde (16 Anthony Mendy, 82’); 11 Mahlondo Martin. Not used: 12 Lonit Talla; 15 Adedade Adesoye.
Booked: Hedley, Mendy.
Highlights will be available on GFCTV soon.