GFC ‘battle really hard’ to keep the score draw

TECHNICAL coach Steve Sharman professed himself happy with a point after Guernsey FC’s 1-1 draw with Leatherhead, on a Saturday afternoon on which thoughts frequently turned to more sombre events elsewhere.

Sam Murray is congratulated on his first goal for Guernsey FC on Saturday. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31278606)
Sam Murray is congratulated on his first goal for Guernsey FC on Saturday. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31278606)

The Green Lions played with confidence and purpose in the first half but went into the interval without a goal to show for it.

Sam Murray opened the scoring in the second half with his first goal for the club but the lead was short-lived, with the visitors’ captain Dave Tarpey scoring from the penalty spot.

Leatherhead then grew in composure and determination and looked the more likely to score as the game drew to a close, leaving Sharman – in charge alongside performance coach Colin Fallaize in the absence of manager Tony Vance, who is resting after an operation – feeling content with the final outcome.

‘Overall, we’re happy with a point because we’re just growing as a group and we’ve now got a long period off, in which we can really work with our players and prepare for the next game,’ he said.

‘I was really, really pleased with the amount of players that we got into the box and I think if we’d been ahead at half-time, it wouldn’t have been a travesty. We were really positive with the players at half-time.’

Sharman was in frequent dialogue with Fallaize during the second half, as GFC were forced to substitute the injured Kieran Mahon – replaced by brother Liam, who himself is recovering from injury – and switch things around to counter the increasing threat from the Tanners.

‘They were good in the second half and we had to battle really hard,’ he said. ‘I think we did about four different formations during the second half but we got ourselves through. We’ll have to see whether it was a penalty or not.’

Man of the match Ross Allen described ‘so many positives’ after the game, highlighting the increased physical threat up front offered by Murray, Will Fazakerley and Danny Hale, ‘with me floating in the pocket in behind’ but he felt the home side ‘just lost our legs a little bit’ at the end.

Leatherhead assistant coach Steve Sallis believed the visitors had been dominant in the second half but viewed their point as well earned against ‘a really good side’.

Spectators at Footes Lane stood for one minute of applause on the 70th minute, to celebrate the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Earlier, they and the players and officials had observed a minute’s silence before a rendition of God Save the King.

The result means GFC have picked up four points from two games after earning only one from their first three.

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