Heaume’s piece of magic makes the difference
Thursday 26th September 2013, 5:00PM BST.
Video supplied by GFC in association with Kings Life.
THEY made hard work of it, but Guernsey FC won’t mind, as two of their big names got them out of trouble on a tense Footes Lane night.
For the first 56 minutes of a lively encounter, but short of genuine quality in the final third, it was a frustrating time for the Green Lions, who have been in such sparkling form in recent weeks. But with their array of attacking options, a chance of magnitude was always likely to present itself. And when it did there is no better man than Ross Allen for it to fall to and with it, nerves were eased.
Not that it would end the drama, as a Chipstead sending off and an Allen missed penalty would follow, as well as a bizarre moment late on when Allen was denied his second by a pile of sand.
In truth, it was far from GFC’s best performance, but one in which they showed maturity to scrap out, as they have quickly learned what is required of Ryman South football. A man more used to this level, Angus Mackay, was the star at right-back for the hosts in a defence that, barring a couple of careless back-passes, looked solid in the main.
Dom Heaume was again excellent in the heart of midfield and would grab the winning assist in brilliant fashion, although his earliest contribution would be to win a free-kick on the edge of the area. Glyn Dyer fired that straight at visiting keeper Anthony Hall and that was an early indication of how the first half would pan out. When a rare chance did come about, Hall was more than equal to it. He showed his class with a fine stop from Matt Loaring’s run and effort that bounced in front of him, although his coup de grace was a stunning reaction save from an Allen header in first-half stoppage time.
Those first 45 minutes and, indeed, the entire match, proved the competitiveness of the league as Chipstead defied their lowly placing against a GFC team that on paper were strong favourites. In particular, Simon Cooper was magnificent for the visitors in centre midfield with his touch, vision and passing, one of five ex-Guildford City players who lost dramatically against GFC back in March 2012. Cooper was the man who scored a brace of brilliant free-kicks that night, but couldn’t do the same again this time from a near-identical position, his shot deflected wide before the break.
All stats at that point would have said GFC were dominant, particularly their high corner count, but there was still a big question mark about whether the deadlock would be broken. Dan Moody came close for Chipstead moments after half-time, but dragged it wide.
For GFC, cometh of the hour, cometh of the man – yet again Heaume – as a moment of pure brilliance won the game. He picked up a pass in his stride, but still had two men to beat as he ran from deep, a situation not regarded as his forte. He had different ideas, though, with a surging run preceding a magical back-heel across into the path of Allen, who emphatically fired into the roof of the net from 15 yards, giving the pass of the season the finish it deserved.
Chipstead’s night would get worse on 64min. when Jack Guilford received his marching orders for a second caution after clipping Dyer, having earlier taken down Mackay needlessly in the corner. He showed his frustration at referee Neil Davies, as did his team-mates, when the same man pointed to the penalty spot moments later, Dyer being upended in the area.
Hall kept his side in the game with an excellent save from a powerful, albeit not greatly placed, effort from Allen, who continued to persevere without any further reward. Moody had a couple of wonderful chances to grab a point late on for Chipstead, as Tardif and his defence desperately cleared their lines, but once that was averted, GFC finished the job well.
They should have had a second in added time, Allen looking to have fired home from Marc McGrath’s squared ball, but the shot hit a patch of sand and instead of finding the net, jumped a couple of feet in the air and came back off the post.
Guernsey FC 1, Chipstead 0.