TEN MAN TOWN DENIED BY GUERNSEY KEEPER
TWO late saves at the death denied ten-man Town a deserved share of the spoils.
A point was the least Town deserved in this encounter. But they couldn't find a way past a resolute Guernsey defence.
Guernsey open the scoring in the 12th minute. Craig Young from midfield picks out Thomas De La Mare on the right flank. De La Mare's neat cut back finds Young now just outside the area who works it on to his left and hits an exquisite curling strike into the top left corner beyond Simon Overland's outstretched arm. Unstoppable. (0-1).
The Lilywhites respond to the setback and carve out some very presentable chances.
Simon Overland kicks long, Mark Lovell stoops and flicks a backwards header into the run of Liam King who takes it on before firing an angled strike across goal but just wide of the right hand post.
Izzy Adebayo dispossesses a Guernsey defender, brings it to the edge of the area and shoots, but narrowly wide of the same right hand post.
Sam Bewick sends in a firm centre from the right. Jamie Dodds in the Guernsey defence dives to head the ball clear, only to bring a fine save from his own keeper diving left to turn it round the post for a corner.
A poor clearance from Callum Stanton in the Guernsey goal is picked up by Ernest Okah. Okah drives for the area and along the byline. Stanton makes a good recovery and snuffs out the danger.
King's deep, inswinging corner from the left finds Matt Bourne unmarked at the back stick. Bourne shapes and picks his spot. The home support are in the initial throes of celebration only for the cheers to be suppressed as the last as the ball smacks against the fence behind the goal.
A long Overland clearance upfield and Lovell is manhandled to the ground. Free-kick. King's effort comes back off the wall and George Monger spray the ball left to Okah. Okah delivers a pinpoint cross for Bewick arriving at the back stick only to direct his header just wide of that right hand post.
That goal at the training ground end needs moving six inches towards the dugouts - with that in place Town would have had four, maybe five by now!
Town are playing some decent stuff. Two dangerous forays deep into Guernsey territory fizzle out when the final ball into the area doesn't quite fall for a man in white. A third move threatens the same fate, but comes out to Chris Barnard who fires from 35 yards, only for Stanton to force the rising shot over his bar.
With Town thus far unable to make their dominance of the chances statistics count, a pivotal moment of the game occurs on 40. In the Town half Bourne and Young challenge for a bouncing ball, both with feet off the ground. Bourne wins the ball, the Guernsey man is on the floor. The referee brandishes a straight red in Bourne's direction. The word that perhaps best describes the reaction from the stands to the decision is bewilderment. It seemed a harsh, harsh call. Town down to 10 men after 40 minutes.
The resultant free-kick is dragged wide of the right hand post by Frank Tobin.
0-1 at H-T
Guernsey make their man advantage count early. The ball is played through to Paris Pereira who finds himself free in the right hand side of the area. Perieira grabs the opportunity and slots an inch perfect strike past Overland and into the left hand bottom corner. (0-2).
As in the first half, Town respond with chances.
Monger spreads the ball wide for Okah hugging the left touchline. Okah's cross is met by Ryan Cheek's header which flashes past the right hand post.
Okah's run at the heart of the Guernsey defence is brought to an end when he is tripped. Okah takes the kick but blasts it way over the bar.
Monger from the centre, spreads wide for Lovell. Lovell sets up Bewick who hits from 25 yards. The strike is headed wide for a corner by a defender.
A King corner from the left is met by Lovell's header which flashes past the right hand post.
With 10 to go, Town continue the siege on the Guernsey goal.
Monger's delivery into the area is forced over the bar by Stanton.
Griffiths clips a ball into the area, and under pressure the Guernsey keeper manages only to scoop the ball into his own net. (1-2). Guernsey claim for a foul as the keeper stays on the floor.
Town and the crowd sense an equaliser.
Monger's fine ball from midfield finds Okah, the delivery is met by Lovell's downward header which bounces agonisingly wide of the left hand post.
With time running out for Town, Monger finds Okah, Okah's delivery is not cleared by the Guernsey defence and Bewick hits a fierce left foot half-volley which cannons off a defender. The Guernsey keeper adjusts well to make a fine save turning it away for a corner.
A final chance. Dan Carrington's ball into the area, it's awkward for Lovell, but he adjusts to send an overhead kick goalwards. But it's safely plucked out of the air by the Guernsey stopper.
1-2 at F-T.