Barkingside hit for six
Monday 7th October 2013, 5:00PM BST.
Video supplied by Guernsey FC in association with kings.gg
Barkingside 0, Guernsey FC 6
AS EVERY week of this Guernsey FC journey goes by, the attacking talents wearing green continue to be the envy of so many different opposition.
Through the Combined Counties Leagues, they fired the Green Lions to unprecedented success and even now, with the noticeable step up in standard, they are continuing it into the Ryman League.
Here, on a glorious afternoon in London, they had far too much for a fellow step four side at the start of yet another cup run, which, on this evidence, could go on even beyond their next assignment in a fortnight.
Because for all that Barkingside were poor – and of that assessment there is little debate – the visitors to the Oakside Stadium were exceptional going forward with their exciting options.
Marc McGrath stole the limelight and rightly so after his second GFC hat-trick, but he was just one of a large number of goalscoring avenues that had progression sealed well before half-time.
Going into the contest and another exciting new era with the introduction to another cup for Tony Vance’s men, Barkingside had the worst defence in their league, shipping more than three goals a game.
After this glorious October day, it was easy to see why.
Time and again, they left their in-form opponents with space, regularly facing three-on-three situations that any strong side with pace and movement would exploit.
GFC have both in abundance and it would propel them to one of their most eye-catching results.
The opening few minutes gave little indication as to the carnage that was about to unfold, as the hosts looked pretty threatening and GFC’s promising counter-attacks were coming to nothing.
But as soon as the deadlock was broken, everything changed and it was little surprise to see Ross Allen heavily involved in a decisive double-strike within a matter of a couple of minutes.
A quick breakaway saw one of those 3 v. 3 situations and when Matt Loaring passed into Allen, his flick and breathtaking spin beat his marker, before sliding in McGrath.
Going through a mini-goal drought, McGrath showed little sign of it, as he clipped his finish beyond home keeper Chris Clark and into the far bottom corner.
If that was a good start for the Lions, it was about to get even better as within a minute of the restart, it was 2-0 and they had a foot well into the next round.
Allen’s trickery on the right hand edge of the penalty area turned Aaron Scott inside-out and then he floated a perfectly inviting cross to the back post, where Glyn Dyer was there to head home emphatically.
It was a rare sight to see the little winger so deadly in the air and he would revert to scoring a more accustomed strike later on, but only after further chances had come and gone.
Chris Tardif’s save from Richard Oxby was the only chance that Barkingside had in the half, although that was a clear-cut one-on-one opportunity, while it was far busier at the other end.
GFC were opening up the sky blues at will, with McGrath having the best chance of the lot to seal it, shooting straight at Clark.
Although they could have been more clinical in those areas, it was not to matter, as the match was wrapped up after 38min., the first of two cracking long-range strikes on the afternoon.
The ball dropped invitingly to Dyer some 25 yards out and, with a brilliant half-volley, he fired home into the bottom corner.
Dom Heaume missed a glorious chance just before half-time for another, after good intricate build-up play, but it did not change the fact that the Lions were all but there at the midway point.
As much as Barkingside played into GFC’s hands with their wide open approach, the visitors still produced one of their finest attacking performances and deserve all the credit they will get after the most resounding win of the entire FA Trophy weekend fixture list.
Quite simply, this is not the CCL Division One any more, the standard is far higher and yet this ever-improving GFC group is still ruthlessly swatting away teams at will, led by the irrepressible Allen.
He got the goal his performance deserved within 30 seconds of the second-half restart, with a strike that, by his lofty standards, is the norm, but for the 205 spectators watching, it was still spectacular.
Under pressure, he weaved his way in and out through a crowded penalty area and fired his left-footed effort from a tight angle past Clark and into the far corner.
It was remarkably the eighth different competition that Allen has scored in and, with it, the club’s 350th competitive goal since forming, in just 111 games and little more than two seasons.
That strike, perhaps unsurprisingly led to a long period, of the game petering out to its inevitable outcome, with Dave Cooper’s unmarked header the one genuine threat to GFC’s pending clean sheet.
Such was the nature of the lead that Vance was able to withdraw Allen after an hour and in a significant show of strength, threw Dave Rihoy on against a beleaguered home defence.
He came close to his first goal of the season when he guided just wide, but it was McGrath who would steal the show in some style in the dying minutes, to take his own impressive GFC tally to 15 goals in 24 games, just 16 of them starts.
His second – and GFC’s fifth – was routine after 84min., as he finished off a good move by rounding Clark and sliding home into the empty net, having missed another good chance only minutes earlier.
As for the strike that completed his treble, it was the coup de grace and something rather special.
Spotting Clark just off his line when the ball arrived on the right-hand side, he executed a breathtaking chip into the top corner that drew applause from everybody, including the home fans.
It was a fitting end to a near-perfect GFC away day and one that sends out another serious message of intent as they get set to welcome a mid-table Ryman Premier outfit in the form of Billericay Town to Footes Lane in 12 days’ time.
On this evidence and that of the gutsy defeat to Dover Athletic a week earlier, it is an occasion where it could well be the home fans celebrating a famous success and a cup upset to boot.
Barkingside: Clark, Toms, Cooper, Crossley, Scott, Cosson, Calloway (Gufler 46), Suchley, Edmunds (Onreti 80), Davi, Oxby (Ralslay 77).
Guernsey FC: Tardif, Mackay, Le Prevost, Dodd (Trebert 69), Martin, Loaring, Heaume (Mahon 56), de la Mare, Dyer, Allen (Rihoy 62), McGrath.