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Saturday, 28 February 2015

'Watching' football on Twitter is OK but take me back in time to football on Ceefax anyday. Tonight's match at the ARS has left me with RSI and a seized index finger thanks to all that swiping.

The match was played in typical Guernsey al fresco dining weather and, judging by Twitter, was a bit of a tense affair at times. Close calls at either end, Chris Tardif saving a penalty and Zico being first to a rebound to net the winner (one of those 'unbelievable Tekkers' moments).

Other results in the Isthmian South today went our way as well:-

Chipstead 3 Herne Bay 4 ; Folkestone 5 Horsham 0 ; Merstham 0 East Grinstead 1 ; Ramsgate 1 Walton Casuals 0 ; Three Bridges 3 Hythe 4 ; Tooting & Mitcham 2 Redhill 2 ; Walton & Hersham 0 Burgess Hill 1 ; Whitstable 1 Worthing 0 ; Whyteleafe 2 Corinthian Casuals 3.

Faversham v Carshalton was abandoned after a serious injury (broken leg) to Carshalton player Jerome Walker, South Park v Sittingbourne was postponed due to SP's pitch being unplayable. Shock of the day was at Merstham where the visitors East Grinstead hardly saw the ball, let alone touched it.

All of which leaves that last play off spot looking a little more achievable and sets us up nicely for the first away game, in what seems like months, at Three Bridges on Tuesday.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 27 February 2015

Just over two years ago they were in the third round (proper!) of the FA Cup.

Now they're embroiled in a relegation dogfight, just 4 points clear of Redhill and the drop-zone. Redhill have 4 games in hand however and the ever more restless fans at the Pilot Field are beginning to hope that Redhill's pitch problems may turn out to be their saviour. Hastings makes for a good day out and that reason alone it is hoped that they stay up. It is also hoped that their fortunes turn around next week following a hiding tomorrow evening.

Kieron Mahon and Luke Winch are named in the provisional squad of 17 for tomorrow's match. It will be pared down to 16 tomorrow but these are the names in the frame:-

Tardif, L Mahon, de la Mare, Cochrane, Strawbridge, J Winch, Steel, Mackay, K Mahon, Black, Loaring, Dyer, Rihoy, Heaume, McGrath, Allen, L Winch.

For visiting supporters tomorrow it will be a case of squeaky bum time at the ARS, especially if the afternoon's results go against them. Home supporters will be hoping our recent run of form continues and we make amends for the 4-1 reverse at Hastings earlier in the season. If you're to the ARS don;'t forget it's an evening kick off due to a small number of Guernsey lads chasing an egg with a lot of others.

Get there early as Dame Mary will be flogging autographed parking clocks from the portaloo behing the goal before kick off.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Tonight's only scheduled Isthmian South match between Redhill and Merstham was postponed as the pitch at Kiln Brow was deemed unfit for play. Yesterday there was no problem with the pitch at the Pilot Field, the locals wished the same could be said of the team as Hastings went down 2-0 to Corinthian Casuals. They ain't a happy bunch at the moment, not surprising given they were in the 3rd round 'proper' of the FA Cup not that far back.

They went out at Middlesbrough, which leads us nicely into to 'BoroEric' Graham who continues his ramble round the rock tomorrow. Eric's setting off from Pembroke at 10am heading for town and would welcome the company if you able to join him for a spell. Most of you will probably be in the Mariners however so keep the door open and and show support when he hobbles by later in the morning. Eric's raising money for the local Autism charity so consider passing on the 6th pint of the morning (and a packet of scratchings) and give him a fiver instead.

Finally great news that Liz Windsor has pulled out all the stops for 'our dear Channel Islands' and is sending Sophie 'Wessex' over for the 70th anniversaary of the liberation celebrations. C&L should splash the cash and get Chris Tarrant over to join her in the back of the knock-off Roller.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

An interesting weekend started with news that there are Guernsey connections to a big wad of dosh residing behind numerous smoke screens in HSBC's Swiss private bank. God's representative in St Sampson's was quick to point out the Guernsey finance industry's is fully compliant with all the regulation under the sun - but no word as yet from his mate Gav.

Gav's saying nothing for the time being and any suggestion that that's because he was once a partner at KPMG, who just happened to be HSBC's auditors during this period of frenzied tax avoidance/evasion/planning (take your pick), not to mention money laundering in Central America, is just plain wickedness.

As far as we're concerned the above mentioned have nothing but you're best interests in mind, so vote for them next year. Don't bother with the idiot(s) that think disgorging cruise ship passengers on the Albert Pier though.....

The under 21 Muratti meant that GFC went into the match against Carshalton Athletice with enforced absences in what is a key area for us, mainly the defensive side of things. With the visitors having also seen an upturn in their fortunes of late nobody expected a walk in the park, and it wasn't (fromwhat I can gather from various sources on t'internet at any rate).

Two very well taken goals by Ross Allen and Jamie Dodd and some excellent saves by the Carshalton 'keeper were the highlights of the match. Speaking of which, one of my bugbears is the use of the term 'missed a penalty'. According to some sources Ross Allen missed a penalty against Carshalton, which would be a surprise to anyone seeing footage of the superb save by the Carshalton 'keeper. Highlights are worth a look at www.guernseyfc.com , Carshalton FC's match report can be found here.

Only 5 matches beat the weather in the Isthmian South on Saturday. This was due to overnight snow in places and heavy precipitation generally. The other results were:-

Hastings 2 Whyteleafe 2 ; Herne Bay 2 Folkestone Invicta 2 ; Horsham 3 Three Bridges 4 ; Worthing 1 Walton & Hersham & Hersham 1.

Which leaves us in 9th place, 8 points adrift of the final play off place with a game in hand.

If you don't know already the U21s bet the Crapauds 2-1 after being a goal down after 5 minutes or so, which was bloomin' marvellous.

Finally, wasn't it good to a see a gate of 800+ for the first time in 2015?

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 20 February 2015

Tomorrow, at the ARS, GFC host Carshalton Athletic. The away fixture back at the beginning of December was an important step in the getting the season back on track journey. Click here for a reminder of that evening's events.

Carshalton sit 3 places below us, with 3 points fewer having played a game more. Their last 6 matches have seen 3 wins and 3 defeats. Two of those six games were away from home and both ended in 2-1 defeats, to Chipstead and Hythe. They did beat Folkestone 5-3 at home a couple of weeks ago though.

We have a few faces missing as it's the under 21s Muratti in Jersey. Liam Mahon and Tom de la Mare are playing for the U21s, Gus Mackay is coaching them. Back in the squad are Etienne le Prevost and, making a welcome return after a leg break early in the season, Simon Geall. The squad is:-

Tardif, Machlowski, Geall, Cochrane, Strawbridge, Dodd, Winch (J), Steel, Black, le Prevost (E), Dyer, Loaring, Rihoy, Heaume, McGrath, Allen.

With that squad, and opponents more than capable of a good performance, it's unlikely to be a dull affair so get your arse down the ARS and sing yer 'earts out for the lads.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

If you LYFAO last week at the news that Sky had committed themselves to what could amount to a big strain on their cashflow, then got to wondering whether any of the overflow from the coffers of the country's footballing elite would find its way down to the grassroots, here's an idea. Cancel your subscription to Sky Sports.

Just 2 matches beat the elements in the Isthmian South tonight and both saw late winners for the home side. Hythe scored in the 93rd minute to beat Carshalton 2-1 and South Park scored in the 89th minute to defeat Walton & Hersham 1-0.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

People sometimes ask me why I left Guernsey all those years ago to move to a town just outside London where property prices aren't too far removed from those on the rock, taxes are much higher and I seem to spend half my waking hours commuting to/from work (at great expense I might add). Well, having been hit by cars on an almost daily basis whilst attempting to cross the road at that notorious accident black spot by the Albion, it didn't take long for Guernsey's medical professional to empty the family coffers of millions built up over the centuries through piracy and tax dodging.

Enough of my own travails. Wasn't it heartening to see Gavin St Pier leading the island's robust defence following Ed Milliband's speech on offshore tax havens the other day? With Gav having no background whatsoever in the tax avoidance industry, the electorate of Guernsey should be truly grateful that he has their collective interest at heart. Fingers crossed it doesn't turn out that HSBC has an operation on the island like it has in Jersey, eh!

I've heard much about the performance of the officials at the ARS yesterday. For the lardy perspective you might want to click here. Seen through green eyed specs via GFC's highlights I thought we were a bit fortunate. Seen through a lard covered lens it looks more than a bit fortunate.

Elsewhere in the Isthmian South it finished:-

Chipstead 2 Carshalton 1 ; faversham 3 East Grinstead 0 ; Folkestone 1 Hastings 0 ; Merstham 3 Burgess Hill 4 ; Ramsgate 0 Herne Bay 2 ; Tooting & Mitcham 4 Walton Casuals 1 ; Walton & Hersham 5 Redhill 0 ; Whitstable 4 Sittingbourne 1 ; Whyteleafe 3 Hythe 2. Matches at South Park and Three Bridges were postponed.

Just three midweek fixtures coming up this week, all on Tuesday: Hythe v Carshalton, Redhill v Folkestone and South Park v Walton & Hersham (still on!).

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

In the Isthmian south tonight a good win for Worthing, 4-2 away at Chipstead; Merstham scored a last minute winner to beat Horsham 2-1; South Park went to Redhill and conceded a last minute goal, losing 3-2 and Three Bridges were 2-1 winners at home to Ramsgate.

Promotion chasing cash splashers Merstham were watched by the biggest crowd of the night, 151 ensuring the wages bill will be covered again, cough cough.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Monday, 9 February 2015

You can read about our trip to Burgess Hill, with a few pics and a link to a match report here.

There are 5 mid-week matches in the Isthmian South this week. Tomorrow sees Chipstead v Worthing, Merstham v Horsham, Redhill v South Park and Three Bridges v Ramsgate. On Wednesday it's Burgess Hill v Walton & Hersham. A few scores for us to keep an eye on there then, presumably while the other one is roving elsewhere.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

The final score suggests a fairly one sided affair todaybut there wasn't much between the two sides, certainly as far as general play was concerned. Burgess Hill took their chances though and defended superbly, a very organised side that seem to have what it takes to acquit themselves well at Step 3. 3-0 could have been 3-3 or 3-4 on another day, more of a story with full colour pictures to follow.

Elsewhere in the Isthmian South today good wins for Carshalton and Corinthian Casuals, as well as Whyteleafe who are shaping up to make the final play-off place their own (long way to go yet though...). Here are the results then:-

Carshalton 5 Folkestone 3 ; Corinthian Casuals 1 Faversham 0 ; East Grinstead 1 Ramsgate 1 ; Hastings 2 Three Bridges 2 ; Horsham 1 Chipstead 2 ; Hythe 2 South Park 0 ; Merstham 0 Herne Bay 0 ; Redhill 0 Whyteleafe 1 ; Sittingbourne 2 Walton & Hersham 1 ; Walton Casuals 3 Whitstable 1.

The defeat means we drop a couple of places in the league but the performance overall serves to reassert the view that our place in this league is merited.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 6 February 2015

Really looking forward to the trip to Burgess Hill tomorrow, as I'm sure are the coaches and players too. Burgess Hill are having a tremendous season, they're still unbeaten in the league and not a lot of other teams at any level can say that.

They've only dropped points against 5 sides so far and the list of those teams might raise an eyebrow: Redhill, Horsham, Three Bridges, Whitstable, Hythe. The first 3 were back in August, the other 2 in November. They've only scored 4 more goals than us in the league and conceded 49 fewer.

The game is an opportunity for our lads to show their mettle, particularly with thoughts of a possible play-off spot in many minds, and the travelling squad suggests we could be in for a good contest:-

Tardif, Mahon (L), de la Mare, Mackay, Cochrane, Dodd, Winch (J), Steel, Black, Dyer, Loaring, Heaume, Rihoy, McGrath, Allen.

If you're travelling by train you need a ticket to Wivelsfield, not Burgess Hill (or ryde for that matter). The Llama Express will be trundling out of Victoria at 10.16, we expect to pick up GFC's only celebrity fan the Diggler on the way so feel free to bring your calendar along for the dirty one to leave his mark (then flog it on ebay).

Click here for your essential travel info.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Disappointing to have a second postponement in a few days but good on South Park for consulting with the league, arranging a pitch inspection by the match referee last night, enabling him to make a decision based on what he saw and the forecast for the coming 24 hours. Think it's fair to say he made the right decision as well, been bloomin' freezing in central London all day, never mind the surrounding counties.

Somewhat surprisingly three matches beat the weather in the Isthmian South tonight, although East Grinstead and Redhill are probably wishing they hadn't. Results as follows:-

East Grinstead 0 Whyteleafe 6 ; Horsham 2 Tooting & Mitcham 2 ; Redhill 1 Ramsgate 3.

Meanwhile we departed Ormering Towers for a mooch around Euston, the hightlight being Buxton Brewery's Rednik Stout at the Euston Tap. Very moreish....

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Monday, 2 February 2015

Tomorrow, hopefully, we'll see a game of football at South Park. Their match on Saturday was postponed due to a frozen pitch and temperatures don't seem to have changed much since then. We're hearing mixed messages about pitch conditions so keep your eyes and ears peeled to social media and so on before you set off tomorrow.

Form wise they've lost their last 4, we've won our last 5 so the form book is with us. It's a Tuesday evening though so Tony Vance won't have a full squad to choose from and Strawbridge, Dyer, Mahon (L) and Dodd are unable to travel. One Eff and Cockers are available and Knock-Off Nigel Hutton returns after 3 months or so on the injury list.

The squad is, on paper, stronger than the typical mid-week travelling group we've seen this season. Three changes in a defence that was settling in nicely make for a challenge however. Here's the squad:-

Tardif, de la Mare, Cochrane, Mackay, Winch (J), Steel, le Prevost (E), Loaring, Black, Hutton, Rihoy, Heaume, McGrath, Allen.

These are the other scheduled Isthmian South matches tomorrow: Corinthian Casuals v Burgess Hill, Horsham v Tooting & Mitcham, Redhill v Ramsgate.

So fingers crossed for the weather in Surrey, although with reports of 'snow' in St Andrew's this evening the lads may not even make it off the ground.......

Bugger, the match was called off shortly after the above wass published due to the pitch still being frozen!

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

The mind boggles as to the level of communication between clubs and leagues in the lead upto a match being postponed. Yesterday saw an early pitch inspection, helpfully conducted after the plane had landed at Gatwick, which resulted in the m,atch being called off due to snow on the pitch.

The snow in question seemed to be of the Tate & Lyle variety (other brands of snow are available) and, bearing in mind there were several hours to kick off, there was no further dusting expected and the opposition was only a few miles up the road (having spent a few grand in getting there) the decision to postpone seemed a little hasty.

Intrepid explorer Craig McLoughlin visitied the ground later in the morning, still well ahead of the scheduled kick-off time, when the dusting had all but disappeared. Craig reported that he'd inserted a 6 inch peg into the ground and there was no evidence of a frozen pitch. OK, it was probably just a 3 inch peg but the result would have been the same.

The conspiracy theory espoused by some that this was a convenient way to get to to play our midweek team is clearly not one that we can endorse (!)...... Leagues do need to establish some ground rules regarding to pitch inspections though, along the lines of them being conducted at a time agreed by both teams at the very least.

It may well be that the timing of yesterday's pitch inspection was mutually agreed, in which case it's our own stupid fault. It was probably that Three Bridges arranged an early pitch inspection without being aware of GFC's travel arrangements. In which case the little bit of communication required to ensure mutual agreement would have saved the club a not insignificant amount of money. Then again, maybe the conspiracy theorists were right.

It's not the first time we've had a match postponed due to the weather when the team had already made it to the UK after all. Remember Egham a couple of seasons ago when a pitch inspection was held when GFC were on the way from the airport to the ground in the coach. The pitch, which was apparently fine on Friday and had nothing more than a spit on it overnight, was declared unfit, despite it looking fine to us and the home team (so they were keen to tell us). Anyway Egham got to play our midweek side, won the match and eventually the league title.

No doubt the conspiracy theorists will be keeping an eye on the weather in Reigate over the next few days (in the knowledge that South Park's pitch was frozen again on Saturday.

Not us at Ormering Towers though.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Ooh Aah!

Injuries , the Under 21 Muratti and possibly some urgent shopping meant that the squad of 15 selected for the trip to Herne Bay included ...