Guernsey FC thankful for Allen’s late intervention
Monday 28th October 2013, 5:00PM GMT.
Video supplied by Guernsey FC in association with www.kings.gg
Guernsey FC 4, Worthing 1
SOME things just never change.
Guernsey FC are in a spot of bother at home with another three points looking in grave doubt when their talisman, Ross Allen, drags them out of trouble almost single-handedly.
It may have been a different-looking Green Lions due to a large number of unavailabilities, but with their lethal number 10 in this kind of mood, Tony Vance’s men are always in with a huge chance.
They had huffed and puffed for 30 second-half minutes without any reward, Dan Turner having cancelled out of Matt Loaring’s first-half opener, when Allen intervened with just 15 minutes remaining.
His first goal, which restored GFC’s lead, was an outrageously good left-footed finish to change everything, before a penalty and another coolly taken stoppage time strike sealed the win for the hosts.
Ironically, it was far from Allen’s finest game up to that point, although it certainly was not for the lack of trying as his motivation levels looked sky high, with the two best home players to that point being Angus Mackay at centre-back and Loaring.
The absences of Sam Cochrane, Tom Strawbridge, Dom Heaume and Alex Le Prevost meant Mackay and Jamie Dodd were used at the heart of defence and, aside from one mistake by Dodd for the goal, they gelled well.
Tom de la Mare was played out of position at right-back because of the shortages and also looked comfortable, while the strike pairing of Allen and Dave Rihoy has the potential to terrify opposition defences and they showed the odd glimpse of a decent partnership.
Despite the absentees, Vance was still able to name a balanced starting XI that saw a return for Kieran Mahon in central midfield, although the game’s first chance in the early moments came straight from the back.
Mackay regularly looked to carry the ball out from defence and, on this occasion, did so before sliding a beautiful through ball for Allen, who broke through and was one-on-one with goalkeeper Jack Fagan.
His dummy left Fagan on the floor and set for a certain goal, only for the quickly retreating Charlie Cooke to make a brilliant last-ditch sliding tackle to prevent the opener.
Rihoy also had a good chance in the early exchanges, firing wide, while Mahon’s low ball in caused chaos and could easily have gone elsewhere than its final destination of just wide of the post.
But after that early flurry by GFC, who were playing some decent stuff and who were in total control, Worthing began to grow into the contest and had a glorious chance through Jacob Peake, whose goalbound effort was superbly blocked by Dodd.
A few other decent balls in caused the odd problem for the hosts, but, on the whole, GFC looked in little danger and their control on the contest was rewarded with the opener on 28 minutes, Loaring providing it.
Not for the first time, the quick winger looked to break the offside trap and this time he got to Ryan-Zico Black’s ball over the top just ahead of Fagan, who was stranded, and when Loaring went round defender Malachi Robinson, he coolly slid the ball into the empty net.
The relief was palpable around the ground and took any concern away from GFC, as the game settled into a pattern that would remain for the remainder of the half, with GFC still creating the better openings.
But the half-time interval and team talks made a difference.
Worthing came out for the second half well on top and, in truth, controlled the contest all the way up to Allen’s later interventions and they made it 1-1 after 56min.
Dodd was careless in giving the ball away on the halfway line under pressure to Peake, but the move to punish that gap at the heart of defence was swift and ruthless from Worthing.
Peake slid into Mark Knee, who played Chris O’Flaherty in first time and although his shot was smartly kept out by Chris Tardif, the loose ball was just about bundled home by Turner for a deserved leveller.
From there on in, there only looked like being one winner.
That said, Worthing did not create many genuine chances, as they controlled possession and looked far more dangerous than the Lions.
But then came those dramatic last 15 minutes.
Only moments earlier Rihoy just failed to turn home Allen’s low drive, but it didn’t matter as Black and Allen combined again.
Black’s through ball over the top was decent, but there was still lots to do after Allen let it drop over his shoulder.
For him, though, it is what he loves and, after letting it bounce, he powered home a sensational left-footed bullet finish into the top near corner past Fagan, before the visiting number one had even moved, for a quite stunning goal.
Jacques Isabelle soon came on for Mahon, who was walking a tightrope with a couple of poor tackles having already earned him a booking, while Worthing also had their last throws of the dice with a double-change.
But that eagerness to try and find an equaliser was punished when Allen sealed it from the penalty spot after 86min., Glyn Dyer being brought down by Robinson.
Allen stepped up and gave Fagan no chance as he buried it into the bottom corner.
And then, deep into stoppage time, the icing was put on the cake as Dyer slid in Allen, who bore down on goal, went past Brannon O’Neill like he wasn’t there and slid home effortlessly under Fagan for another hat-trick.
He now has a remarkable 129 goals for the club and in this kind of form, Allen spearheading another GFC promotion push looks very probable over the winter months.
Guernsey FC: Tardif, de la Mare, Mackay, Dodd, Martin, Loaring, Black, Mahon
(Isabelle 77), Dyer, Rihoy, Allen.
Worthing: Fagan, Robinson, Berry, Cooke (Pamment 69), O’Neill, Turner, Gedling, O’Flaherty (Daniel 82), Knee, Peake
Referee: P. Yates.