Sunday, 10 March 2013

Sealand come from behind to topple Alderney in maiden win

N.F.-Board side Sealand saw off Island Games Association members Alderney 2-1 in a thrilling friendly held in Godalming. The islanders took a first-half lead through Ross Benfield only to be pegged back just before the interval by Paul Wood. Ryan Moore struck the winner with 19 minutes remaining to secure the Sealanders first-ever international win, as well as to move himself to the top of the teams record scoring charts.

Record holder...Moore (red) got the winner.
After a late change of venue the two sides took to the rain-soaked pitch with attacking intent. The visitors had the first clear cut chance and in the 14th minute captain Andy Lawrence was unlucky to see his effort go wide of Tom McIntosh’s left-hand post after good link up play with Joshua McCulloch. Sealand were shading possession when, in the 33rd minute, Alderney took the lead. Ross Benfield floated in a free kick from the right channel and the ball evaded everyone, flying over McIntosh and into the net. The Channel Islanders were galvanised by the goal but their rhythm was disrupted right on the stroke of half time. Left-back Paul Wood got forward and his weak effort looked simple for Chris Chadney, but the ball wriggled underneath the goalkeepers’ body and crossed the line for 1-1.

Burst...Ralf Little (no.7) races onto a lay-off.
Both sides continued to attack in the second half with Alan Forsyth firing over for the N.F.-Board side before substitute Chay Press headed into the side netting. At the other end McIntosh was called into action making a smart save to turn away Lawrence’s effort in the 68th minute. Midfielder Dan Thorogood shot over from distance as the micronation had more of the ball, Neil Forsyth skewing a volley moments later. The goal eventually game in the 71st minute when Wood hung a cross into the box which Press nodded on, and Ryan Moore was on hand at the far post to tuck home his second goal for Sealand. A goal down Alderney had no choice to press which left them exposed at the back, Phil Evorano and Robert Codner missing good chances. With 5 minutes remaining Ashley Foster’s free-kick flew inches wide of substitute 'keeper Will Dukes' goal but the N.F.-Board side were able to hold the ball up at the other end and hang on for the win. A full gallery of photos kindly provided by Henry Ascoli is available here.

Sealand are scheduled to meet the Chagos Islands in London on Wednesday night as they look to stretch their unbeaten record to 3 games. Alderney will be pleased with the game as preparation for their big match next Saturday in the Muratti semi-final against Jersey. Both games will be covered by us on Twitter.

Match information –

Score: Sealand 2 - 1 Alderney

Goals: Sealand – Paul Wood 44’ Ryan Moore 71’. Alderney – Ross Benfield 33’.

Sealand XI: McIntosh [Dukes 84’]; A. Forsyth [Addington 75’], Akinwunmi [Press 67’], N Forsyth, Wood; Little, Codner, Thorogood, Moore; Evorano [Stubbs 84’], Darboe.

Alderney XI: Chadney; McCormick [Foster 46’], Adamson [Stretton 55’], Benfield, Aldcroft; Phelan [Macfarlane 60’], Concanen, Johns [Vizard 76’], Malloy; Lawrence [Bohen 76’], McCulloch.

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