Guernsey Press

Police nick point with injury-time equaliser at GFC

It did not amount to daylight robbery, merely a case of deja vu for Guernsey FC.

Charlton Gauvain on the ball at Footes Lane. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32671989)

Yet again they lost points to a very late goal at Footes Lane, this time a 92nd-minute equaliser that deprived them of two points that they merited over the course of the game, but had no-one but themselves to blame for letting them slip from their grasp on this occasion, having held the lead for over 75 minutes after Matt Loaring’s cross was turned into his own net by a retreating defender.

After that visiting goalkeeper Liam Beach proved unbeatable as he came up with some remarkable saves to keep the Green Lions at bay, before Mason Galloway volleyed home for the Met Police to nick a point, just moments after Keene Domaille was sent off for a second bookable offence.

GFC manager Tony Vance admitted the result felt like a kick in the guts, but added that he never felt comfortable after the turnaround.

‘To be honest, I thought second half we were loose, we weren’t in control of the game and it was a bit like basketball, which was different to the first half,’ he said.

‘I thought we were, bar a period, pretty good and deserved to be ahead. What you need is goals sometimes when it’s a bit wobbly and their goalkeeper did everything he could to keep the ball out of the net, so that tells the story.

‘We deserved three points, but when it’s 1-0 and then you end up with 10 men, it can be a little bit wobbly.’

Playing into the gusting wind, Guernsey were much the better side in the first half as they retained possession for long periods and it was Domaille who created the goal on the quarter-of-an-hour mark with a neat turn before laying the ball into the path of Loaring on the left-hand side of the penalty area.

He tried to pick out Sam Murray in the six-yard box and although it was not the striker who got the touch, the ball ended up exactly where GFC wanted it, in the back of the net.

By that stage Beach had already saved a shot from Domaille, whose first booking came on 20min. for a foul on Alfie Walters, and later in the half would block Sam Murray’s drive with his legs while Loaring and Charlton Gauvain were unable to hit the target with efforts.

Chances at the other end were a rarity, but Kareem Akinnibi did sting Josh Addison’s palms while Beach nearly produced an astonishing goal as his long clearance skipped off the greasy surface and needed to be tipped over the bar by his back-pedalling opposite number.

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Met Police did improve after the break, though, with Addison saving from Louis Degand early on and then making a good block to deny Akinnibi with the defence convinced the offside flag should have been raised.

GFC weathered that spell, though, and then Gauvain’s audacious effort from inside the centre circle, which was tipped away by Beach, spurred them onto the attack.

However, the Police keeper followed up that crucial intervention with a couple more outstanding saves in the space of three minutes to deny Kieran Mahon and Loaring at corners.

Not being able to convert any of those chances proved costly for the home side and they were given a warning when Akinnibi somehow shot over the bar from five yards out in the 89th minute.

Domaille was then shown a second yellow for kicking the ball away and moments later the Police were given too much time to get the ball into the box from the right and an unmarked Galloway found the bottom corner with his volley from 10 yards.

‘It was frustrating because we’d had a warning sign with the cross coming in which we shouldn’t be allowing and that was too easy and they should have scored and they didn’t,’ Vance said.

‘Then five minutes later the same thing happened again and that was poor really – it gave them the opportunity to get something from the game.’

‘That was nothing down to us being 10 men, that was just we should have stopped the cross. And that’s an area of the game that we need to be better at.

‘But here we are frustrated that we got a point. And so that perhaps is a sign of things to come.’