Erith Town FC Reserves
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Mike Bidmead Suburban League Challenge Cup
Jersey Bulls U23s
Wednesday December 1, 2021, 7:00 pm
Mike Bidmead Suburban League Challenge Cup
The Bulls’ under 23s travelled to the south bank of the River Thames in Kent for their match in the last sixteen of the Suburban Cup against Erith Town Reserves. Their first team is currently fourth in the Southern Counties East Premier Division but like Jersey they field a young side in this competition.
Founded as Woolwich Town in 1959 they changed to their current name in 1997 and played in the Kent League, which was renamed the Southern Counties East League in 2013.
Jersey made four changes to the side that defeated Chatham Town in the previous round. Luke Duncan came in for his U23 debut, in place of Robbie Scott. However, he had already played for the first team at Tadley Calleva in the Combined Counties Cup. Sammy Sutcliffe replaced the suspended Jack Lumsden in central defence. Josh Daniels made his Bulls’ debut, replacing captain Joe Kilshaw who was at Goodison Park watching Everton v Liverpool. Sol Solomon took over the armband. Finally, Rai Dos Santos came in for Kushal Frankson who reverted to being a substitute, although he did not have long to wait to make an appearance.
A chilly evening with occasional very “nippy” gusts of wind greeted the teams as Jersey kicked off attacking the Thanet Road end, to the South of the ground.
After only three minutes a Solomon free kick hit a post with Erith responding shortly afterwards with a shot that Duncan parried and a follow up that was somehow put wide.
Erith took the lead when Joe Chalker lofted a cross in from the left to the far post. It seemed to catch the defence flat footed and Alfie Eldridge was there to stab home a low volley to the bottom right corner of the net. Five minutes later ‘keeper Ali Ozcelik preserved their lead with the first of many good saves he made over the evening.
Chalker almost doubled Erith’s lead on the half hour with a cross shot that just missed the far post. Within a couple of minutes Jersey were level. A long throw from Luke Appleton was flicked on and Solomon generated enough power with his snap header to prevent Ozcelik keeping it out despite getting his hands to the ball. As half time approached Ozcelik kept matters level by saving from Prince.
At the start of the second half it was another Solomon free kick that led to Jersey taking the lead. The initial shot was blocked but the rebound was returned to the danger area where Frankson did well to dig the ball out from under his feet and score.
Prince drew another save from Ozcelik on the hour and Solomon shot just wide before Prince gave Jersey a two-goal cushion. Rai Dos Santos, twenty yards out, back heeled the ball across the box and Prince was there, in space, to shoot in to the bottom left corner.
Robert Martins-Figueira, the only player to have now played every minute of the three U23 fixtures, scored the fourth goal. 16 year old substitute, Harry Scott, saw a gap and threaded a pass through to Martins-Figueira who still had “work” to do. He beat Ozcelik to the ball and chipped the diving keeper to seal Jersey’s victory.
In the quarter-final they will travel to the winners of Oxford City and Metropolitan Police. They meet in their third round match next Tuesday, 7th December.
Erith Town Reserves 1 (Alfie Eldridge 12); Jersey Bulls U23 4 (Sol Solomon 32, Kushal Frankson 48, Jake Prince 66, Robert Martins-Figueira 84)
Attendance – 30
Programme – None
Erith Town Reserves – Ali Ozcelik, Frankie Burgess, Ronnie McClean, Harry Lawrence, Hassan Acar, Isaac Jones(c), Jude Jeffrey, Emmanuel Oduguwa, Alfie Eldridge, Jonas Petkevicius, Joe Chalker
Substitutes – David Gokou-Siakouri (for Burgess 46), Jay Baker (for Chalker 83), Sacha Gibson (not used), Samuel Oyekola (not used), Lennie Barnes (for Petkevicius 46), Charlie Purssey GK (not used)
Red & Black Stripes/Black/Black; GK Yellow
Metin Godze (Manager), Baris Senturk (Assistant), Taiwo Pereira (Physio.)
Jersey Bulls U23s – Luke Duncan, Luke Appleton, James Carr, Jay Dos Santos, Sammy Sutcliffe, Josh Daniels, Rai Dos Santos, Robert Martins-Figueira, Jake Prince, Toby Ritzema, Sol Solomon(c)
Substitutes – Josh Coutanche (not used), Max Rivers (not used), Kushal Frankson (for Ritzema 6), Harry Scott (for Frankson 80), John “J.J.” Lloyd (for Appleton 86)
Blue/Blue/White; GK All Green
Paul Renton (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant)
Referee – Mark Edwards (Sutton)
Assistants – Mark Bullock (Dartford) & Steven Page (Staplehurst, Tonbridge)
Cautions – Sutcliffe (JB) 35, Carr (JB) 61
Corners – Erith Town Reserves (0) 1, Jersey Bulls U23s (2) 3
Player of the Match Award (commentator) – Sol Solomon (JB)
Saturday 27th November 2021 (4.30p.m.) (Postponed)
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Jersey Bulls v Molesey
Having beaten the team next to bottom, Banstead Athletic last week, Jersey were due to meet Molesey, now in that same position, this week. The reason being that Molesey leapfrogged Banstead by virtue of their second win of the season last Saturday. This was possibly due to them signing five new players in an attempt to avoid relegation.
Their only previous win, however, was an outstanding one. It was against front runners Beckenham Town, who are otherwise unbeaten in the league this season.
Molesey were relegated from the Isthmian League in 2008 but they won the Combined Counties Premier in 2015 to regain that level, only to be relegated again in 2019. In 2019-20 they were lying sixth when the season was curtailed but were thankful 2020-21 was abandoned as they were then in bottom place with a 1-1-13 record.
Molesey is situated south of the River Thames, just a mile or so from Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace so Jersey were hoping to give them the chop!
The Bulls’ squad of 20 for the match was last week’s starting team, the three substitutes, two players returning from suspension and four other squad members –
Starting XI at Banstead – Euan Van der Vliet, Jonny Le Quesne, Jay Giles, James Queree (c), Luke Campbell, Kamen Nafkha, Fraser Barlow, Adam Trotter, Lorne Bickley, Karl Hinds, Sol Solomon
Substitutes – Jack Griffin, Joe Kilshaw, Kieran Lester
Returning from suspension – Ruben Mendes-Pestana, Calvin Weir
Squad members – Robbie Scott GK, Luca Margaroli, Daryl Wilson, Jake Prince
Referee – Daniel Bishop (Ash, near Farnborough)
Assistants – Neil Giannoni and Harry Walker, two Jersey officials, after covering local games earlier in the afternoon were due to be the assistants
However, Storm “Arwen” blew in on Friday evening and Jersey, although not as badly affected as some, still had Force 7 winds with gusts of 60m.p.h. Molesey were at Heathrow awaiting their noon flight when the news came through that all flights to Jersey were cancelled due to the high winds. Therefore, the match had to be postponed. It was probably a blessing in disguise as trying to play good football in those conditions would have been extremely difficult.
The fixture re-arrangement is that the reverse meeting due at Molesey on 2nd April is now to be played at Springfield. Jersey will now travel to Molesey on Tuesday 11th January.