Fixture congestion ain’t fun

26 04 2013

The next time you hear people moaning about players playing too many games in a short space of time spare a thought for Guernsey FC, even if they have signed Matt Le Tissier;

“Matt Le Tissier makes Guernsey FC debut in defeat

Former England forward Matt Le Tissier made his Guernsey FC debut in their 4-2 defeat by Colliers Wood United.

The 44-year-old came on for the last 10 minutes as Guernsey played the 11th of 16 games scheduled for April as they battle through a fixture pile-up.

“In all honesty, while it might be exciting for the fans, it’s not a good sign for us,” Guernsey assistant boss Colin Fallaize told BBC Guernsey.

“It means we were struggling to get a squad together.”

Le Tissier is an honorary president of the club and made 541 appearances for Southampton, winning eight caps for England.

He was registered by Guernsey earlier this season, despite not having played a professional game since 2002.

Fallaize added: “Matt’s as good as gold and travelled down to help us out with squad numbers, but, as Matt would also say himself, it’s not a good sign that he’s there as it means we’re in trouble numbers-wise.

Guernsey face three games in as many days between Friday 26 and Sunday 28 April as they try and get through a backlog of games caused by the combination of the club’s run to the semi-final of the FA Vase and wet weather which meant their Footes Lane ground was unplayable for much of December, January and February.

Matt Loaring hit the crossbar early on for Guernsey before Alex Le Prevost gave them a 19th-minute lead.

Colliers Wood equalised after 37 minutes before Loaring put the Green Lions back in front 60 seconds later.

But the home side levelled two minutes before half-time and went ahead 11 minutes after the break.

They completed their win with a 72nd-minute goal which means second-placed Guernsey remain 18 points off Combined Counties Premier Division leaders Egham Town with five games in hand.

“At the moment, we’re a little bit below par and mentally and physically weary and other teams are up for it,” Fallaize said.

“It was the first time in a long time that we’ve lost back-to-back games and we’ve got to find a way to pull ourselves out of it.”

But Fallaize says something must be done to prevent fixture pile-ups.

Guernsey will play 20 league games between the start of April and 6 May, including four in a row over the Bank Holiday weekend.

“It’s ridiculous, but that’s the nature of the beast. That’s the way it’s fallen on our plate and we have to deal with it,” he added.

“I think it’s a ridiculous situation and any organisation that runs football should have a look at it.”

 Here’s the fixture list in full

April

 

 

 

01 Mo 13:00 League Away Windsor
05 Fri 19:45 League Away South Park
06 Sat 19:45 League Home Cove
07 Su 13:30 League Home Camberley Town
09 Tue 19:45 League Away Farnham Town
12 Fri 19:45 League Home Horley Town
14 Sun 13:30 League Home Raynes Park Vale
16 Tue 19:30 League Away Hanworth Villa
18 Thu 19:45 League Away Badshot Lea
20 Sat 19:45 League Home Hanworth Villa
21 Su 13:30 League Home Chess. & Hook Utd
24 We 19:30 League Away Colliers Wood United
26 Fri 19:45 League Home Ash United
27 Sat 17:30 League Home Molesey
28 Su 13:30 League Home Sandhurst Town
30 Tue 19:45 League Away Bedfont Sports
May

 

 

 

03 Fri 19:45 League Home Dorking
04 Sat 15:00 League Home Hartley Wintney
05 Su 13:30 League Home Epsom & Ewell
06 Mo 13:00 League Home Farnham Town

Not only do they seem to be playing every other day for just over a month there are four weekends where they have to play matches on consecutive days, two erstwhile unbelievable weekends when they have to play three matches and one really unbelievable weekend when they have to play four matches. I’ve never seen anything like this, even after this Sunday Guernsey still have 5 league matches left. 

I can imagine the tired limbs and the minds cursing the Combined Counties League. This league obviously wants to finish its matches on the May bank holiday weekend but in the light of Guernsey’s pitch problems and cup success you wonder how they can be so inflexible. It’s not like the Combined Counties League don’t have the power to allow the season run for a couple more weeks is it?

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