Lions must ‘pounce’ on home advantage

THE Green Lions have to make the most of the upcoming run of four successive home games to build much-needed momentum.

Tony Vance addresses his Guernsey FC players during a break in play at Chipstead on Saturday afternoon.  (Picture by ESA Photos, 30095567)
Tony Vance addresses his Guernsey FC players during a break in play at Chipstead on Saturday afternoon. (Picture by ESA Photos, 30095567)

That was Guernsey FC manager Tony Vance’s message as he reflected on his side’s 3-0 defeat at Chipstead on Saturday in their first away game of the campaign as they play catch-up on the rest of the Isthmian South-Central teams who started their season in August, compared with GFC getting under way this month.

‘We will take any favours we get given at the moment,’ said Vance.

‘It is a positive and we have to pounce on these opportunities at home when we have the chance.’

GFC will host Northwood, Tooting & Mitcham United, Thatcham Town and Bracknell Town respectively on consecutive weekends at Footes Lane.

The first of those visitors suffered a 3-2 home defeat last weekend to Sutton Common Rovers, who had lost to GFC a week earlier.

If the Green Lions are able to pick up significant points over the next four weeks, it will ease Vance’s fears of having to change GFC’s playing philosophy when on the road, which is something he wants to avoid even though he admitted that his side were comfortably second best at Chipstead.

‘It is easy in hindsight to look back and say perhaps we should have played differently considering the circumstances, but what we are trying to do is create an identity and playing style which is going to be best for our resources,’ he said.

‘The only way we are going to achieve it is by practise and trying to do it against stronger opposition, be willing to make mistakes and learn from them.

‘We could have perhaps drawn ourselves in a little bit, but I believe you should try to practice what you preach and you have to step out of your comfort zone to learn.

‘The best summary is that Saturday taught the new boys that it is not as pretty and rose-tinted as it had been at home and there are teams out there who, if you are not quite at it, will pick you off and control you. It was also an early reminder to the older members of the squad of what it is like at this level, too, and I will throw myself and Fal [coach Colin Fallaize] into that as well.

‘In terms of level, Chipstead were a notch up from Sutton Common Rovers and, obviously from looking at the table, there are a couple of teams who are a notch up from Chipstead.

‘In the two games we’ve had, we have shown we can compete, but we also need to learn fast and develop fast.’

On a positive note, Vance reported that Ross Allen’s withdrawal midway through the second half was precautionary and both he and Kyle Smith should be available to face Northwood.

The manager added that Kieran Mahon was the pick of his side at Chipstead.

‘Kez was a standout again in terms of his energy, desire and will not to get beat. He was definitely one of our driving forces.’

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