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Bohan is the hero of Mount Hale

Sport | Published:

Alderney 1, Guernsey 4 ROBERT BOHAN was the hero of Alderney on Saturday.

Alderney 1, Guernsey 4

ROBERT BOHAN was the hero of Alderney on Saturday. The young nephew of Alderney Football Association president Billy Bohan, he was the first Ridunian to score a goal against Guernsey for 11 years, much to the delight of nearly 300 passionate home supporters at Mount Hale.

The game was long over as a contest by the time of Bohan's superb 67th-minute strike, but that was irrelevant.

The incredulity and ecstacy with which the face-painted crowd greeted it summed up the significance to Alderney of merely scoring a Muratti goal.

Bohan raced onto a long ball upfield, hedging his bets on Guernsey making a mess of a routine clearance. And they did. Stuart Polson hit the ball against Bohan's legs and the fragile-looking midfielder steadied himself, drew Bisson to the edge of his 18-yard box and curled a beautiful shot around the Guernsey goalkeeper and inside the far post.

The scenes of delirium that followed were enough to warm the heart of even the most ardent Sarnian supporter. The goal was a long time coming, but how brave, improving Alderney deserved it.

Their last goal against Guernsey was scored in 1992. But Alderney lost 9-1 11 years ago. This year's mere three-goal margin of defeat proved conclusively that they are getting better; they are more organised and disciplined and much fitter these days.

Predictably, though, there was never any chance of Alderney ending 83 years of Muratti hurt by reaching the final. From a clinical viewpoint, once again this was nothing more than a great day out for the northern isle.

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Muratti semi-final day is always a nervous one for the two big boys of Channel Islands football. And Guernsey started in an edgy, unconvincing manner.

They struggled to establish any sort of rhythm, they floundered trying to take advantage of the strong wind and lumping long balls forward.

Those moves that must have pleased island coach Phil Corbet invariably involved that old mercurial warhorse, Tony Vance, who was handed a Muratti recall at the expense of Sylvans teammate Matt Warren, who was dropped and missed his first Muratti match since the 1998 final.

In the 25th minute, the visitors were awarded a penalty. Vance broke down the left and went down under Kevin Maxwell's challenge. Vance fell too easily, but referee Andy Bradshaw was probably right to point to the spot.

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However, justice was done as far as Alderney were concerned when veteran goalkeeper Nick Carre saved Ryan Tippett's penalty. It was as good as scoring a goal for the jubilant home crowd.

With just over a third of the match gone, Guernsey fans started to cast their first worrying glances at watches as they wondered just how nervy an afternoon it would be.

But their concerns were allayed seconds later when Steve Brehaut put Guernsey one up. He met a long throw with a strong header from 12 yards that looped over Carre into the top corner.

Guernsey scored a second in the 37th minute when Chris Chamberlain converted from 12 yards a low cross which wrong-footed Carre and his fellow defenders. The goal was the result of a quick break after an Alderney attack and exposed the home side's slight lack of pace at the back.

Danny Bisson scored a header five minutes into the second half and Tippett made amends for his penalty miss by converting a badly-defended cross in the 64th minute.

Guernsey very briefly threatened to run riot with the strong wind at their backs.

Alderney scored at just the right time in that respect. Their goal seemed to shock Guernsey slightly and the last 25 minutes were more even.

Carre was called into action on three or four more occasions.

And he was more than equal to anything that was thrown at him, making two brilliant saves in particular and once again to end as the fans' choice as man of the match.

But that was the sober judgement.

Robert Bohan was the real fans' favourite after his historic goal.

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