Celebration vs Guernsey

Under-16s make winning start

Sussex 2-0 Guernsey

Sussex were made to work for victory before Gary Mansell’s side finally saw off the spirited Channel Islanders in their opening South East Counties Youth Championship fixture. 

In their opening game of the Group B campaign, Sussex may have expected a landslide victory against opponents who had been twice been heavily beaten - 8-0 and 5-0 respectively - and already out of contention. 

However, despite a dominant showing, the hosts were held goalless at the break and only made the result certain in the dying minutes through Benn Ward’s close-range finish four minutes from time. 

Sussex manager, Mansell, admitted there was room for improvement and said: “I’m pleased with the win but it wasn’t in the way we wanted. 

“We had loads of possession and plenty of chances and we should have done more, the scoreline didn’t reflect our dominance. They made it difficult for us by defending deep in numbers and their keeper had a very good game. 

"I’d like us to be a little more clinical, we’re looking to kick on and retain our title. It’s a good start and a clean sheet in our first game together as a group.”

Guernsey goalkeeper Luke Elmy was the difference between respectability and a rout, as he was called into action from the off. Billy Clark caught the eye for Sussex and his mazy run found Kyle O’Brien. Elmy beat away his effort and then sprung to his feet to keep out Alfie Hall on the rebound. He saved from Clark, and continued to keep Sussex at bay with another stop from a lobbed Ward effort. 

Alfie Peacock rattled the bar before namesake Hall followed up his own shot with a headed finish, only to see the goal chalked out for offside. 

Guernsey somehow survived with parity intact until the break but it seemed only a matter of time before the south coast side made their pressure tell. 

Sure enough, the breakthrough was not long in coming as Sussex took the lead six minutes after the interval. A Hayden Beaconsfield in-swinger was met by Sussex skipper Freddie Carter and he planted his header beyond the heroic Elmy.

Clark and substitute Herbie Rogers both went close with efforts across goal and the latter then should have done better but fired off target when well placed.

On 76 minutes with Guernsey still defending in numbers, Mansell’s side finally put the game beyond doubt. A deep ball to the back post was flicked on by Rogers and fell to Ward who did the rest from all of a yard to seal the three points.

Sussex v Guernsey
Sussex vs. Guernsey (Under-16s) - 23-11-19
Highlights from our Under-16s vs. Guernsey FA in the South East Counties Youth Championship fixture, powered by Your Instant Replay.

(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)
(Video highlights are available above and on YouTube - courtesy of Your Instant Replay)

Stats: (Sussex – Guernsey)
Shots: 22-1; Shots-on-Target: 12-0; Corners: 4-0; Offsides: 12-2; Fouls: 3-4; Yellows: 0-0; Reds: 0-0. 

Sussex: Anderson, Williams, O’Brien, Carter, Lower, Mitchell, Ward, Beaconsfield, Hall, Peacock,  Clark. Subs: Lauteri, Nash, Andrews, Rogers, Fuller

Guernsey: Elmy, Foulds, Montgomery, McNeela, Solway (c), Vance, Walker, Taylor, Evans, Murphy, Schreimaier. Subs: Cauvin, Marquis, Weysom. 

Match Report by Jamie Spoor

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