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Combined Counties Division One
Monday August 26, 2019, 12:30 pm
Combined Counties Division One
Westside 0 Jersey Bulls 1
Luke Campbell’s 21st minute strike was enough to secure the Bulls their second win in less than 24 hours in the Combined Counties League Division 1 to return to the top of the table.
Gary Freeman shuffled his pack and left a lot of talent in Jersey, however there was plenty of quality that met at Jersey Airport at 0600 to travel to Chalky Lane. Freeman made 6 changes which saw a full debut for Ruben Mendes in centre midfield. Sean Lambert and Jack Griffin came into the defence whilst there was four changes in midfield with Zeljko Martinovic, Adam Trotter and Fraser Barlow coming alongside Mendes.
The match was always going to be tough for the Bulls have only finished defeating Fleet Spurs less than 20 hours earlier. It got tougher with a soaring temperature which had Chessington registering 33 degrees with very little breeze.
It was the Bulls who dominated early possession but with little clear cut openings. Daryl Wilson got a shot away in the 7th minute but failed to test the keeper. Wilson, 7 minutes later got the Bulls first corner which Westside defended well. Minutes later, the league’s top scorer, Karl Hinds and Fraser Barlow both had further shots which didn’t test the Westside number 1.
The Jersey pressure was continuing and in the 21st minute, Barlow smashed a left foot drive towards the roof of the net only for the Westside keeper to produce an excellent save. This was only to delay the inevitable, a Jay Giles corner wasn’t dealt with properly and the ball fell kindly to Campbell who fired a right foot shot from an acute angle into the back of the net. GOAL to the Bulls!
The game was bitty for the next 10-15 mins which also included a water break for the players. A sensible decision by referee Mark Edwards.
It was Mendes in the 34th minute who had the next chance but his shot was saved again by their keeper. Martinovic won our third and final corner of the half minutes later but referee Edwards saw a foul on a defender so it was wasted.
Westside by the 40th minute hadn’t registered a shot on target however they looked dangerous and threatening with some excellent through balls. These were dealt with expertly by Dan Birrell. Birrell’s goal wasn’t tested by the only two Westside shots of the half which came in the last 5 minutes so the Bulls went in 1-0 up.
The second half tempo was raised in the first minute when Mendes was booked for a strong challenge on a Westside central midfielder. This ensured a lively next 15 minutes. Westside hit a free kick over the bar from 22 yards in the 47th minute, whilst further shots went begging in the 50th and 52nd for the hosts. The Bulls knew they were in the game and had to dig in.
The visitors had a couple of chances both in the 56th minute with Wilson and Barlow going close and having their efforts saved by the Westside keeper. Minutes later, their number 1 was at it again from Barlow with an excellent relax save.
Freeman sent on fresh(ish)legs in the 60th minute. Mendes (who had been booked) and Wilson were withdrawn for James Queree and Johnny Le Quesne. Sean Lambert moved from right back to centre mid and he joined Le Quesne in the centre to give us that extra legs. Adam Trotter who was having another solid match moved forward into the advanced midfield role with Hinds going through the middle.
The game went scrappy again and included a second water break mid way through the half but it was the hosts were had their best chance in the 73rd minute. It looked like Birrell got down low to his right to force the ball onto the outside of the post, however, the referee gave a goal kick. So credit to Dan and no shot on target registered there!
Shortly after the Bulls thought they had conceded a penalty, it looked like referee Edwards had pointed to the spot. However it was given as a free kick outside the box and was blazed over by the Westside holding midfielder.
The Bulls boss, Freeman made his final change of the day when Harry Caldwell came on for Martinovic and his pace was always going to cause problems against tired legs in the heat. It was Trotter that had the next opportunity but to be fair it wasn’t good enough to trouble their keeper.
One of the moves of the match came in the 83rd minute. Le Quesne was played through and went around the keeper. He had slightly overran the ball so played it to Cardwell who was on a slight angle to smashed the ball onto the outside of the post. These are the kind of moments that can spur a losing side on but thankfully it was the Bulls who continued with the momentum. Barlow shot over in the 84th minute before Westside did the same a minute later.
In the 86th minute, Le Quesne threaded through a excellently timed run to Hinds who was one on one with the keeper. Sadly Hinds took a heavier touch than he would have liked but still got the shot away but only to be thwarted by the man of the match in the Westside goal.
Minutes later, James Queree was blasted over from a tight angle. We were entering stoppage time and the Bulls won their only corner of the half after good work by Trotter. Trotter weaved further magic to setup Barlow who headed over from six yards.
That was it though, the referee blew the whistle and Jersey won their 5 match out of 5 without conceding a goal. There was little mention of our back four in the report from a defensive point of view. However, Lambert, Jack Griffin, Campbell and Giles were all solid in the air, tackle and won many individual duals as did Queree when he came on.
Congratulations to all the players who were involved across the two days in less than 24 hours and a huge well done to the manager, Gary Freeman. He rotated the squad well and kept the winning run up. It’s been a great August, roll on the next match on 7th September at home v Bagshot.
Westside v Jersey Bulls
0 Goals 1
6 Shots 18
0 On Target 8
1 Corners 1
1 Yellows 1
0 Reds 0
Dan Birrell, Sean Lambert, Jack Griffin, Luke Campbell, Jay Giles, Ruben Mendes (Jonny Le Quesne 60), Adam Trotter, Fraser Barlow, Karl Hinds, Zeljko Martinovic (Harry Cardwell 74), Daryl Wilson (James Queree 60