October review Priaulx League by John Gorman

By 7th November 2018 No Comments

Not the start to the month that we wanted at Alderney as our game at St Martins on the opening Saturday, in which a win would have taken us top of the League, was postponed because of the dreaded weather and travel problems. In our absence so to speak, Rovers, with wins over Belgrave Wanderers and Manzur in the week, took over top spot and Northerners moved in to third place with victory at Rangers meaning we dropped to fourth but with games in hand. Still no wins or points for Belgrave Wanderers. On the final weekend of September Northerners travelled to Jersey and defeated Trinity to reach the last four of the Wheway Cup in which the other three quarter finalists are Jersey based. A Guernsey League side has yet to win the competition – Northerners and Sylvans have been beaten finalists – so we await the semi-finals with interest and wish our colleagues well.
Week two of October and another exceptionally good week for Alderney with two more wins in our second double header of the season and a return to second place in the League table. With Rovers and St. Martins winning in midweek against Northerners and Belgrave Wanderers respectively, points were needed and were obtained in two more first class performances after a somewhat worrying start. This had nothing to do with events on the pitch but was caused by the weather on Friday possibly preventing travel. In the end it abated and the trip went ahead albeit with a delayed kick off to Friday’s game. This was against Vale Recreation at Corbett Field and the Blues made the best possible start with a goal from Ross Benfield within three minutes of the whistle. Marian Strait quickly added a second, his third goal in as many games, and all looked well but a rather soft penalty put the hosts back in to the game and only one goal behind at the half time break. As in the first half Alderney claimed an early goal, this time through Jermaine Parry, and a fourth from Ciaran Stretton with an assist from Andrew Adamson in stoppage time put the icing on the cake for the evening. On to St Peters the next day and Sylvans where we found ourselves behind at half time despite dominating proceedings throughout the forty five minutes. Josh Concanen bought the scores level before skipper Ross Benfield followed up his early goal on Friday with a stoppage time header that gave us all three points and capped another superb weekend. On the same afternoon Rovers defeated Rangers four nil to retain top spot with Alderney, still unbeaten, five points behind with two games in hand. St. Martins are third and at the bottom Belgrave Wanderers are still seeking their first point.
We had a rest day on the 20th October but other League matches played then and throughout the preceding week meant we dropped to third place in the table, five points behind Rovers and St Martins with two games in hand. Rovers defeated Rangers four nil in midweek whilst St Martins played twice with wins at Manzur and at home to Northerners. Manzur also deserve mention for a six two win at Sylvans and Belgrave Wanderers secured their first points of the season with a three two win at Vale Recreation. The final Saturday of the month was quiet as regards fixtures with just Alderney’s League visit to Belgrave Wanderers and two Jeremie Cup quarter finals. One of these was called off because of transport problems but Rovers kept the Guernsey League flag flying in the other tie with a three two victory over Jersey side St Peters. Meanwhile Alderney made their second visit of the campaign to the Track to face a Belgrave Wanderers side no doubt buoyed by their first win of the season in midweek. Alderney had won the earlier encounter by three goals to nil and in a rather untidy game completed the double, secured three more points and maintained their unbeaten record. A penalty coolly converted by Ross Benfield opened the scoring and Alderney went two up when a Ciaran Stretton shot cannoned down off the bar and over the line. Despite having Steve Concanen sent off rather harshly for what was no more than a technical offence the Alderney defence kept a clean sheet until deep in to stoppage time when Bels halved the deficit but from their point of view it was too little too late.
So as the clocks change with the advent of winter Alderney lie in third position in the League, two points adrift of Rovers and St Martins but with a game in hand. Another highly successful month and credit and congratulations to all involved.


by John Gorman