After Saturday’s win against Molesey, The Rooks make their longest journey of the season to Guernsey without a number of key players. Chris Winterton, Jamie Brotherton and Frankie Chappell are not able to make the trip due to work commitments which gives Darren a few selection headaches. Lloyd Cotton was rested on Saturday to ensure he would be fit for the game, whilst Jonte Smith returned from injury to the bench and could be in contention for his first start in a few weeks. Nathan Stroomberg will deputise for Winterton, making his first start for two years for the Rooks.
Guernsey’s season to date
Up until a week ago things looked bleak for The Green Lions as they hit the bottom of the league having lost eight games after their opening day win over East Grinstead Town. But in the last week they came from behind to beat Molesey in the last few minutes of their game 3-2 then recorded an excellent win on Saturday away at Faversham Town which lifted them up to 17th in the table.
When did we last meet
We hosted Guernsey in mid-August in our first home game of the season with the only goal coming from Alex Malins in first half injury time in a game that would be remembered for a controversial red card to James Hammond.
Our last visit to the Island was also incident-packed last November. The first half saw two soft
penalties awarded, one for each side although it was only the home team who
converted through McGrath. A few minutes later Brotherton was fouled apparently
in the area and from the resulting penalty, struck the bar. However, the Rooks were level soon after when
Duncan Culley bundled home from close range.
The second half was all Lewes though. Jack Dixon converted a penalty after Culley
was fouled, but Guernsey came back and equalised. However, Dixon’s superb strike from distance
restored the Rooks lead and then Stephen Okoh scored the goal of the season as he
ran the full length of the pitch before curling the ball home.
About The Footes Lane Stadium
The Footes Lane Stadium is Guernsey’s premier sporting facility and
effectively the island’s national stadium comprising a high quality, floodlit
playing surface surrounded by a 6 lane polyflex synthetic athletics track with
The Garenne Stand, a 720 seater covered stand with hospitality rooms, changing
rooms for four teams and match officials, separate medical room, media room and
toilets. At the South End of the ground
there is an open stand above the hard standing.
Including standing areas, the stadium has a 5,000 capacity.
The 13-acre facility was redeveloped in 2002 at a cost of £1.2m including the
construction of The Garenne Stand in readiness for the 2003 Island Games at
which, amongst other events, Footes Lane hosted the final of the football
tournament with 5,000 spectators, a number which was matched again two years
later for the centenary Muratti Vase final between Guernsey and Jersey in 2005.
The stadium is owned by the States of Guernsey and hired to Guernsey
FC by the States’ Culture & Leisure Department. It is also the home of
Guernsey RFC, which plays in the RFU’s National League Three London Division.
How to get to The Footes Lane Stadium
The vast majority of away fans will arrive on Guernsey via
air. Aurigny (www.aurigny.com) offer three Saturday morning
flights from London Gatwick at 08:30, 10:00 and 11:50, with returns back on
Sundays at 7am, 10:20, 14:50, 16:30 and 18:15. The ground is around three miles
north-east of the airport and is walkable although the bus network offers the
opportunity to see a bit of the Island. Bus 95 runs to St.Peter Port Town
Terminus for just £1. From there you can
get bus 51 to Footes Lane (again, another £1).
The ground is located centrally in the island, is easily accessible with
parking for several hundred cars in the immediate vicinity. Most trips will mean an overnight stop so a
hotel or B & B is needed. The
nearest to the ground is the St Pierre Park Hotel which is around 10 a minute walk
away. Alternatives are Le Friquet Country Hotel and Grisnoir Guest House which
are within half a mile of the ground.
Admission at The
Footes Lane Stadium
Admission is £10 for Adults, Concessions £6 and Under16s are £1 for the
seated areas but £6 to stand anywhere else in the ground. This season’s prices have not been confirmed
Fancy a beer?
There are numerous excellent bars in St Peter Port as you can imagine. The Forester Arms on St George Esplanade has
the prime location to watch the world go by on and off shore whilst The Swan on
St Julian’s Avenue is often touted as the best on the island both for food and
drink whilst The Last Post on Rue des Buttes is a popular haunt. There are good bars and pubs all over the
island, not just St Peter Port and it’s hard to go wrong wherever you choose.