15th May 2021 Alderney Nomads v Northerners AC
Kindly sponsored by The Campania Inn
Match report – Priaulx league
Alderney Nomads 0 Northerners AC 3
Alderney made a few changes for the last home game of the season against Northerners (North) on Saturday 15 May, but it didn’t end their losing streak which now extends to eleven games. The reason for their pointless run of form is clear to see – a complete lack of firepower in attack. Once again, the Nomads barely threatened their opponent’s goal and when they did near the end in their only real chance of the match Jack Williams shot straight at North’ keeper from close range, spurning an opportunity to equalise.
The match took place in sunny but windy conditions, which made control difficult and hampered the flow of the match. Nomads were without their coach and talisman Josh Concanen, who was forced on to the substitutes bench by a troublesome ankle injury. His brother Steve (Con) Concanen stepped up to the fill the gap, although carrying a neck injury himself. North featured prolific goal scorer Sam Murray and included several youth players in their ranks.
Play was scrappy in the first half. Alderney competed strongly with the wind in their favour but North always looked the sharper of the two sides going forward. North had the ball in the net early on, but the whistle had sounded earlier in the move for offside. Con and Ross Benfield marshalled North’s dangerous strikers well and neither side had any clear-cut chances. In the 35th minute a midfield clash resulted in Nomads’ Jermaine Parry needing treatment, but he was able to carry on. The best action of the half involved a cracking long-range effort from North’s Luke Morlet following a corner, with his shot whistling just wide of Alderney goalkeeper James Taylor (JT)’s left hand post. Half-time arrived with the game goalless with North failing to find a way through Alderney’s stubborn defence, and neither side able to muster a shot of note on target.
Half-Time Alderney 0 Northerners 0
Alderney started the second half more brightly and a header from Con dropped over North’s bar following a throw-in. North game close in the 55th minute when Con cleared a shot off the Nomads’ line for a corner. Another escape for Alderney a couple of minutes later when Sam Murray hit a post with a header, and the ball was scrambled away. As North picked up the tempo Jermaine picked up a booking just after the hour mark for a deliberate handball. North wasted a couple of corners with poor deliveries, but in the 65th minute a long ball glanced off Ross’s shoulder and fell into the path of the advancing Murray, who held off Con to rifle past JT in the Alderney goal. 1-0 North. Ross then blocked a shot as Alderney tried to regroup. Alderney made a series of substitutions. Jack Williams replaced Owen Carre before the goal, then Dean Carre took over from Mikey Crowley, fitting in at left wingback, with Liam Connor moving over to the right. Josh Concanen for Liam Connor was the final change. Nomads tried to press forward but North still looked the more likely to score, with Ross and Con in particular holding firm. A highlight for Alderney resident and loyal Nomads’ supporter Johnny (“Mad Dog”) Barker was the appearance of his grandson Dylan Barker in the last five minutes as a substitute for North. The match ended with high drama. Jack Williams’s chance of glory came and went with a few minutes left when his close-range shot was well saved by North’s keeper Josh Addison. The opportunity came from a Con header following a rare Nomads corner. Alderney paid dearly for this miss when Murray burst through the middle for North; his shot was well saved by JT in the Nomads goal, but the ball ran loose to substitute Owen Wallbridge, who tucked it away. 2-0 North. Worse was to follow for a dejected Nomads when Murray beat Con in the air to a cross and tucked his header neatly in the corner past JT. 3-0 North. The full-time whistle went shortly after with the final score Alderney 0 – Northerners 3.
The day got worse for Alderney after the game when news came through that Rangers had won 2-1 at Vale Rec placing the Nomads firmly at the bottom of the Priaulx League table for the first time this campaign, and likely to stay there with a daunting trip to title challengers St Martins in Guernsey next Saturday the last game of the season. A season frankly that can’t end quickly enough for a demoralised, understrength and outgunned Nomads side.
Con deservedly won the man of match award from James Walker, representing match sponsors The Campania Inn, for a sterling performance, for a rugged performance in defence and posing a threat in the air from set pieces.
The attendance at Mount Hale was 71 with two dogs, a considerable drop from recent matches and probably reflecting the disappointment on Alderney at the way the season has turned out.
A thank you from the club to the management at Le Cocq’s Stores who donated cases of water on match day, a gesture very much appreciated.
Team: JT, Andy Adamson, Steve Concanen, Ross Benfield (c), John Adamson, Liam Connor, Jermaine Parry, Ciaran Stretton, Dante Walker, Owen Carre, Mikey Crowley. Subs: Josh Concanen, Dean Carre, Mikey Crowley & Jack Williams