Molesey 2-4 Guernsey
Molesey failed to build on the momentum of Saturday’s morale-boosting win over Chipstead with a disappointing defeat to fellow strugglers Guernsey.
Report by Andrew Finch
It was without doubt a result that was harsh on the Moles, who dominated possession and had the better and more regular goal-scoring opportunities.
However, they were wasteful in attack and a bit soft in defence, conceding four goals for the fifth time in the past seven matches.
In contrast, the visitors were clinical in front of goal and solid and organised defensively, and in on-loan Bournemouth goalkeeper Will Dennis had the game’s outstanding player.
Dennis pulled off a series of fine stops and his distribution was unerringly accurate to help the Green Lions to their first midweek away win in just shy of 1,000 days.
Dre Grobler came into the side in place of the suspended Josh Andrew in the only change to the team who beat Chipstead, and the Moles were soon on the front foot, with both Ashley Lodge and Ronald Sobowale having sights of goal in the early stages.
Dennis pulled off his first fine save off the evening by keeping out Olu Akinsanya’s fierce effort at his near post, and soon after denied Sobowale when clean through.
The busy keeper then tipped Grobler’s looping header over the crossbar.
The usually deadly Ross Chalke then put in a contender for miss of the season by heading Akinsanya’s cross wide from no more than one yard out.
To sum up Molesey’s luck, just moments after Akinsanya had an effort deflect agonisingly wide, Guernsey’s Craig Young cut inside and saw his deflected effort fly past Liam Allen into the far corner to give the visitors the lead.
It was very much against the run of play, but the Moles were soon back on level terms.
Having wriggled free at the byline the ref adjudged that Sobowale had been tugged back by Simon Geall and pointed to the spot. It was soft at best, and the visitors were justifiably furious, however the ref would even things up before the night was out.
What wasn’t in doubt was that the Moles deserved to be on level terms at the absolute minimum, and Antonio Simeone smashed home the resulting penalty.
The flurry of goals continued, and the visitors restored their lead within moments of the re-start with the pick of the evening’s goals with Ross Allen hitting an instinctive looping volley over Allen from the edge of the box.
It nearly got even worse for the Moles, but Allen made an outstanding point-blank stop from Charlton Gauvain to keep it at 2-1.
Early in the second half Akinsanya ensured that Chalke’s earlier miss would come no higher than second in miss of the season by spooning an effort over a completely empty net from ten yards after Lodge had put the ball on a plate for him, although his blushes were spared by a linesman’s flag.
Sobowale then got the better of Dennis and pulled the ball across goal from a tight angle towards Akinsanya, who again looked like he had a tap in but Geall seemed to want the ball more and was able to make a goal saving clearance.
Guernsey’s fourth clear cut chance of the game resulted in their third goal, Gauvain playing a terrific through ball to Keanu Marsh to fire past Allen.
It was nearly game over soon after, with Young unlucky to see his rasping drive come back off the post.
Still it was the Moles asking most of the questions, with Sobowale heading weakly at Dennis, and then Simeone planting a free header wastefully wide from six yards.
There were more than ten minutes left on the clock when they reduced the arrears. Craig Lewington’s free kick from deep appeared to be bundled across his own line by a visiting defender, believed to be Frank Tobin. With the identity of the scorer unclear Sobowale will no doubt try to claim it, despite being subbed off a few minutes earlier.
The smart money suggested there were still more goals in this, and Lewington placed a free kick just over the bar as the Moles went hunting for an equaliser.
And the smart money was proved right, with the game being put out of the Moles’ reach with three minutes remaining when Ato Okai and Young appeared to be grappling each other just inside the box and the ref harshly pointed to the spot.
Allen kept up his Messi-like scoring record for the Green Lions by converting the penalty for his 236th goal for the club in his 225th appearance.
Molesey continued to pour forward but they knew the game was up, as they fell to their 8th defeat in ten games – a run that started in Guernsey at the end of September.
The need to be more solid and clinical is clear, and they’ll hope to take that message to Herne Bay on the weekend.