South Park moved up to third place in the league level on points with Walton Casuals and a point behind Lewes & Whyteleafe following their 3-1 victory away to Guernsey.
It was the home side who created the first chance when a cross from the left flashed across the Park 6 yard box with Loaring just unable to reach the ball at the far post. Dean Lovegrove’s long diagonal ball found Mazzone but he was unable to get his shot off before being closed down. Stanton in the Guernsey goal made the first of many saves when he pushed away a shot from Joe Jackson and then saved the follow up effort from Jack Mazzone. Merchant under pressure cleared a left wing cross to deny the home side. Young fired a free kick from 20 yards past the right-hand post for Guernsey. Lavery cutting in from the left beat two defenders however his shot was deflected behind for a corner. A Guernsey counter attack in which they cleverly switched play twice caught Park short at the back and Callum Thomas in the Park goal rushed off his line with an excellent double save firstly to block Loaring’s shot and then the Park Stopper was up quickly to save Tobin’s follow-up effort. Park lost the ball on halfway as Guernsey broke clear however Dylan Merchant was on hand to clear the danger for Park. Stanton turned a 25 yard shot from Mazzone round the post with an excellent fingertip save. Park broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute when Kieran Lavery realising Mazzone was in an offside position got on the end of his own ball over the defence and from the bye line centred where Chris Smith stabbed home at the near post. Two minutes later Smith near grabbed his second as his shot from 25 yards was pushed onto the post by the Guernsey keeper. Lovegrove’s long range effort was headed over the bar by a relieved Tobin. Moody had a shot blocked Gallagher’s shot was pushed away by Stanton. Dodds long range effort for Guernsey was deflected for a corner from which Park counter attacked through Pullin who burst clear from the edge of his own area. The Park centre half raced upfield and his shot from the edge off the box agonisingly rolled the wrong side of the far post.
Guernsey levelled the scores in the 49th minute a misplaced kick from Thomas went straight to Rihoy thirty yards from goal. The Green Lions forward moved forward and shot past Thomas from the edge of the box to give the home supporters hope that Guernsey would be able to end their six game losing streak. Callum Thomas came out to the edge of his box to deny Loaring and Rihoy shot wide from a right wing cross. Tobin struck a long range effort wide of the upright. Park regained the lead in the 60th minute when Luke Elliott chested down a right wing corner and fired home from close range for his first goal of the season. Guernsey’s appeals for handball were waved away by the referee. Two minutes later Guernsey were reduced to ten men when Black was deservedly sent off for high reckless challenge on Lavery. Stanton turned a Lavery free kick round the post. Ayling’s chip over the back line found Jackson who shot wide. Smith latched on to Lavery’s through ball but Stanton blocked. Elliott headed a Lovegrove cross from the right wide at the far post. Park made it 3-1 in the 80th minute when a neat one two between Smith and Lavery allowed Smith to fire into the roof of the net from 15 yards for his seventh goal of the season. Lovegrove shot wide from distance and Lavery was once again denied by Stanton.
Park are without a midweek game this week. Their next game is at home to Hythe Town on Saturday. Next Tuesday Park are away at Corinthian-Casuals.
South Park FC: Callum Thomas, Dean Lovegrove, Luke Elliott, Adam Pullin, Dylan Merchant, Josh Gallagher, Jack Mazzone, Dan Moody, Kieran Lavery, Chris Smith, Joe Jackson Subs: Nathan Ayling, James McElligott, Izzy Adebayo, Jack Gill, Jack Stafford
Speaking after the match, South Park FC Manager Malcolm Porter had this to say, “We knew that this match would be another really tough challenge, with it being well publicised that the Guernsey squad getting back to full strength and that they would also be supremely motivated to not set a new record for consecutive defeats – Guernsey started the match brighter than us and had more possession in the 1st Half and although we did create the better opportunities, we were probably slightly fortunate to be ahead at the break.” He continued, “Second Half we were much better and even after gifting them their goal just after half time, the players had the mental strength and quality to be able to dig deep and continue to put Guernsey under more pressure and score two more goals as well as create a number of other good opportunities.”