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Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Saturday August 14, 2021, 1:30 pm
Leg O'Mutton Field
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
For the third of the three ‘ham’s matches (Becken, Hors and now Cob) the Bulls made three changes. Two were enforced, with captain James Queree and Adam Trotter being unavailable. They were replaced by Jack Griffin and Joe Kilshaw respectively. The third change saw Fraser Barlow and Ruben Mendes-Pestana swapping over their roles from last week. James Carr and Luca Margaroli continued on the bench alongside Mendes-Pestana and Jake Prince, the latter returning from isolation. With Queree absent, Luke Campbell took over the captain’s armband.
Cobham finished 15th in the curtailed season last year with a record of 3-3-8 17-31, but reached the last 16 of the F.A. Vase. In this they were helped by two walkovers – in the first round over the Bulls and in the fourth, Stowmarket Town. However, in the matches they did play, they beat Risborough Rangers whom two seasons ago were, like the Bulls, unbeaten in league matches. This season they opened their league campaign at A.F.C. Croydon Athletic with a 1-1 draw, which they repeated in their Extra Preliminary Round F.A. Cup tie when they hosted Sevenoaks Town. Sevenoaks were one of the few Level 8 / Step 4 teams in this round as they play in the Isthmian Division 1 South-East, and they duly asserted their superior status with a 3-1 win in the replay.
With the Leg o’ Mutton pitch looking in excellent condition, the Bulls kicked off attacking the left end when looking from the main stand. This end has no cover unlike the small “shed” at the other end, but the sparse crowd had no need of this on a warm and sunny afternoon.
Cobham were well organised with a couple of speedy strikers, but they did not look likely to cause the Bulls defence many problems. This, of course, being dependent on those defenders keeping their concentration at this higher level of play.
The Bulls had the majority of the early possession and forced three corners in the first quarter of the match. Bickley put a header just past the far post and a Kieran Lester cross hit Jonny Le Quesne in the face, with this unintentional attempt being cleared off the line by a defender.
Lee Norman, the Cobham goalkeeper, had not been stretched, but was then beaten by a low Fraser Barlow shot from twenty yards. Perhaps Norman saw it late as the ball went through a bunch of defenders in front of him. The ‘keeper went down too slowly and the ball squirmed in, Barlow therefore adding to his numerous Bulls “firsts” as he had now scored the club’s first goal at this level.
Just before this opening goal, Monty Everett, one of the Cobham front runners, had limped off to be replaced by Prince Otto. A grand forename, rather than a regal title. The Bulls kept their Prince in the dug out for now. The Cobham one though struck soon after coming on with an unexpected equaliser.
Skipper Campbell was a little slow in making a routine clearance and Otto nipped in to dispossess him and finish well past Euan Van der Vliet to bring matters level by the interval.
Campbell atoned after the break when Will Hellestoe’s shot was goal bound and he was on hand to sweep up behind his ‘keeper. Jay Giles shortly pulled up with a groin problem, which saw him replaced by Carr. Two more regulation changes soon followed as Mendes-Pestana and Margaroli came on for Kilshaw and Lester.
This had the desired effect as the Bulls managed to up their tempo and regained the lead when Le Quesne’s accurate cross was met with a “bullet” header from Lorne Bickley in to the roof of the net. This helped settle the Bulls and with twenty minutes remaining, Jake Prince came on for Barlow.
The Bulls saw out the match relatively comfortably but it was not until two minutes from time that the substitutes Margaroli and Prince combined to set up Mendes-Pestana with a straightforward back post header to seal Bulls’ first points at this level.
Meanwhile at Horsham, the Y.M.C.A. team went down 1-4 to Newhaven, the same score that the Bulls were leading them, until the Horsham ‘keeper was dismissed.
Next week the Bulls travel to Fort Road, Newhaven, home of “The Dockers”, on the Sussex coast in the Preliminary Round of the F.A. Cup. Let us hope it is not only a “new” haven but a “safe” haven for the Bulls.
Cobham 1 (Prince Otto 37); Jersey Bulls 3 (Fraser Barlow 34, Lorne Bickley 63, Ruben Mendes-Pestana 88)
Programme (on line only) 21 pages full colour
Cobham – Lee Norman, Ryan David, Tommy Williams, Craig Lewington, Michael Dart (c), Dre Grobler, Will Hellestoe, Niall Stilwell, Monty Everett, Jack Simms, Ben Senior
Substitutes – Prince Otto (for Everett 31), Zac Le Stavri (for Stilwell 64), Martin Weighill (for Otto 82), James King (not used), Ryan De Battista (not used)
Sam Merison (Manager), James Cameron (Assistant), Adrian Browne (Head Coach), Paul Cross (Coach), Jack Rossi (Coach), Dawn Adams (Physio.)
Red & Black Stripes front, all Red back/Black/Black; GK – Pink/Mauve/Red
Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Jonny Le Quesne, Jay Giles, Jack Griffin, Luke Campbell (c), Kamen Nafkha, Kieran Lester, Joe Kilshaw, Lorne Bickley, Fraser Barlow, Sol Solomon
Substitutes – James Carr (for Giles 54), Ruben Mendes-Pestana (for Lester 61), Luca Margaroli (for Kilshaw 61), Jake Prince (for Barlow 71)
Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach)
Blue/Blue/White; GK – All Yellow
Referee – Jarnail Singh (Iver, Bucks) now aged 59, his Football League experience showed in that he did not resort to brandishing cards to sort out any clashes. He
refereed the Muratti Vase final in May 2010 as well as the Bulls’ match at Cove in January 2020.
Assistants – Robert Redman (Lambeth) travelled over to Springfield for the match against Sandhurst Town in October 2019 and was also on the line at Kensington & Ealing Borough the previous month. Jason Lidbetter (Leatherhead) lined for Bulls’ matches on three occasions in 2019-20. He was at both British Airways and Tooting Bec before travelling to Jersey for the Chessington and Hook United match.
Cautions – none
Corners – Cobham (0) 2; Jersey Bulls (4) 6
Player of the Match Award (commentator, unofficial) – Fraser Barlow (Jersey Bulls)