Guernsey 4 Swans 1

Sunday 3 April 2016.                                     Ryman League, Division One South.

Guernsey 4   Walton & Hersham 1.

Swans failed to capitalise on a good opening quarter of the game during which they went close several times to taking the lead. After conceding a goal with under ten minutes left of the first-half they were still well in the match, but a second Guernsey goal straight after the resumption effectively put an end to their chances.

Three players could not make the early morning trip to the Channel Islands, including both full-backs who have started matches recently, Theo Newton and Veejay Miller, so more changes had to be made to the line-up.

Swans started brightly, and inside the first five minutes Gareth Chendlik did well out by the right corner flag, and Mark Corbett just failed to turn in his low cross to the near-post. Seb Castello immediately got in on the left and his shot was blocked at the near-post. New signing Liam McManus then turned in the left of the box to get in a shot, and when the ball came out to Prince M’Bengui his shot was blocked. Michael Salako then just failed to get his head to the ball at the far-post when Castello got the ball over from the left. With just under ten minutes played Connor Channon sent over a fine cross from the right and Guernsey right-back Miles Pengelley just denied Chendlik a header at the far-post as he put the ball behind for a corner.

The home side had their first chance when Dylan Casey was booked for a foul and conceded a free-kick. Ryan-Zico Black was found in the left of the box, but he shot across goal and wide.

With twelve minutes played Swans were again unlucky when Channon again crossed from the right for Chendlik to volley a shot into the ground at the far-post, and the ball was headed off the goal-line.

The home side replied with Dave Rihoy playing Robbie Legg into space on the right, but his cross went over. Legg was again found on the right with a cross from the left, and this time he cut inside across the edge of the box before getting in a shot that Swans’ goalkeeper Liam Beach beat down on his line. With just under twenty minutes played Beach had to make a good block when Guernsey stole in on the left.

But Swans continued to put together some promising attacks, and when Chendlik did well on the left before getting in a cross, the ball was partially cleared and M’Bengui shot over from the edge of the box.

Legg was proving lively for the home side, and when he got past Lea Van Sullivan on the left Gary MacDonald just got in to deny him. A clever back-heel on the right by Black got Rihoy in for Guernsey, but Casey was able to block the ball for a corner.

Just past the half hour MacDonald sent a long header forward, and Chendlik nodded the ball down for Corbett to have a shot from 25 yards deflected to win Swans a corner on the right.

Some clever play by Guernsey’s Rihoy inside the box on the right set up a chance for Marc McGrath, but his low shot went well wide.

Channon got the ball into the box from the right for M’Bengui to win Swans a corner, but the home side immediately broke to take the lead after 37 minutes. Casey was left to try to stop the run of Tom Martin, but the ball was slipped past him and the advancing Beach to roll into the net.

Swans had a good final five minutes of the half as they pressed to equalise before the break. Chendlik did well to keep the ball in play on the left, and he cut in before crossing to the far-post, but couldn’t pick out Salako. Salako then did well to win the ball and his run took him into the left of the box, but he ran out of space and the ball went behind. As the half entered stoppage-time M’Bengui played the ball in low from the right and Chendlik won a corner as he was denied at the near-post. Chendlik’s header at the far-post went over from Castello’s kick.

Swans’ play in the first-half had given them optimism they could still get something from the game, but their hopes were dashed inside the first two minutes of the second-half. They had just won but not capitalised on a free-kick when they were again caught on the break as Legg was sent clear on the left, and there was no-one to cut out his cross as McGrath scored with a first-time shot from in front of goal.

Swans tried to hit back and Chendlik got Channon to the byline on the right, but he twice failed to get the ball across. Chendlik then forced a corner on the right, but again the kick came to nothing.

Ten minutes into the second-half a long ball got Guernsey’s McGrath clear into the left of the box, but Beach stuck out his left-hand to keep the shot out. Black struck a long-range free-kick wide of the left-post for Guernsey before Salako almost got through at the other end, but home keeper Chris Tardif was out to fall on the ball.

With 57 minutes played Swans had their best chance to get on the scoresheet as Chendlik broke on the right. He crossed low to the far-post to pick out the unmarked Corbett, but he put a first-time, left-foot volley across goal and wide.

The ball took a deflection through to Beach after Guernsey had played a short corner on the right, before Swans were again left frustrated with twenty minutes remaining. McManus was sent clear before being fouled by Guille Fernandez, the Guernsey player being shown just a yellow card despite seeming to be the last defender. Corbett failed to find a teammate with the free-kick, and Guernsey again broke to win a corner on the right that led to a shot being deflected over. The second corner from the left taken by Black resulted in a header over at the far-post.

With just over a quarter of an hour remaining a third home goal killed off Swans’ chances. A ball down the right was not cut out, and when it was clipped over Jacob Fallaize was unmarked in front of goal to volley past Beach.

M’Bengui broke on the right for Swans, but his cross went over, and substitute Keanu Williams got in on the left to have a shot blocked at the near-post.

As the match entered the final five minutes Guernsey broke from a Swans’ corner and Fernandez got through, but Beach got well behind his shot. Then in the final minute of normal-time McGrath broke on the left, and when he crossed to the far-post Fallaize was unmarked to make it 4-0.

In stoppage-time Chendlik was found in the right of the box by a cross from the left to have a low shot deflected wide before Swans scored their first goal in five matches, although it was gifted to them. Keeper Tardif got in a mix-up with a defender and dropped the ball at the feet of Salako, who had the simple task of setting himself before scoring into the far-corner.

Swans’ Team: Liam Beach, Connor Channon, Sebastien Castello (Vince Smith 82’), Gary MacDonald, Lea Van Sullivan, Dylan Casey, Liam McManus (Keanu Williams 73’), Prince M’Bengui, Mark Corbett (Kambo Smith 80’), Gareth Chendlik, Michael Salako. Subs. not used: Cristiano Goncalves Neto, Borja Loeches Teixeira. Scorer: Salako (90+3’). Cautions: Casey, foul (11’), Sullivan, foul (33’).      

Guernsey Team: Tardif, Pengelley, Dodd, Le Prevost, Strawbridge, Fernandez, Rihoy (Fallaize 67’), Black, McGrath, Legg (Loaring 63’), Martin (Smeed 71’). Sub. not used: Riley. Scorers: Martin (37’), McGrath (47’), Fallaize (74’ & 89’). Cautions: Rihoy, foul (59’), Fernandez, foul (70’).