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Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Tuesday October 12, 2021, 7:45 pm
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Jersey returned to familiar territory with Farnham Town’s ground being only three miles from Badshot Lea’s new one where they played last Tuesday. They also opposed a team in claret and blue for the third time in four matches. At least this time the Bulls had a chance for a pre-match visit to the Farnham changing rooms, as when they last met delays meant they changed on the bus, ran down the narrow alley to the ground and kicked off after only a very short warm up.
Farnham were lying second to the Bulls in that first curtailed season and were top in the much shorter one that followed. So, like Jersey they were “promoted” much later on. This season they had started slowly with only two points from their first four league matches but were now lying tenth having won their last four. Joshua Ogunseye was their “danger man” having already notched ten goals, including eight in his last six league and cup outings.
Jersey made four changes to their starting line-up including James Carr, who travelled down from Liverpool, with Sol Solomon. Luke Campbell, Adam Trotter and Lorne Bickley, all on the bench on Saturday, came in too. They replaced Calvin Weir, Kamen Nafkha, Kieran Lester and Rai Dos Santos. Lester was a substitute along with Fraser Barlow, back from holiday, and Sammy Sutcliffe.
A steady drizzle started forty-five minutes before the start and persisted throughout. There were spells of much heavier rain too which all made for a very slick surface on the well grassed pitch.
Farnham kicked off, attacking the Town End as Jersey started well. Solomon and Joe Kilshaw put in early attempts before another, after ten minutes, was cleared off the line by Tom Smith, with Richard Ossai beaten.
Lorne Bickley put a shot across the face of goal and Jonny Le Quesne had one blocked after he had been set up by Solomon. Farnham were getting frustrated and Isy Nzelo, Smith and Kayode Conteh, the latter sent off on Saturday, should all have been cautioned before the young referee changed his policy from finger wagging to the written word. Conteh was duly the first in the “book” midway through the half.
Jersey’s early superiority eventually gained its reward when Carr made an excellent run in to the box before laying the ball off to Solomon, who needed no second asking to score his sixteenth of the season, despite Ossai getting a hand to the ball. Seven minutes later a Solomon free kick was heading to the top corner but Ossai managed to palm it way for a Jersey corner.
Another Solomon free kick in added time had a dramatic outcome. It was deflected towards the bottom corner but was blocked by Conteh on his hands and knees. In the ensuing melee Conteh received a knee in the head from his own ‘keeper which laid Conteh out.
Upon realising the seriousness of the situation the referee did not bother with the few remaining seconds of the half whilst Conteh’s condition was assessed on the pitch and an ambulance called. This duly arrived and the paramedics gave the go ahead for Conteh to be moved. He was helped to his feet and, obviously still groggy, helped to the changing room. Remarkably he soon emerged to watch the second half from the sidelines.
Therefore, after a short warm up, the second half commenced following a forty-four minute interval. Ogunseye again led the Farnham raids as the home team now had far more possession. However, it was a Solomon free kick and a powerful Bickley shot, tipped over by Ossai, that came nearest to a goal.
Solomon’s second calmed Jersey supporter’s nerves with twenty minutes remaining. Fed by Bickley for a one on one with Ossai he dummied right before going left and smashing his shot in to the roof of the net.
Barlow was brought on for Prince, who had been chasing up front all night, and Solomon almost claimed a hat trick when a mishit volley of his ended up with top spin on it and dropped on to the crossbar. Bickley cut in from the right again and fired a cross shot wide before Farnham gained some consolation for their second half efforts.
A Tom Smith free kick from the left sideline seemed to go straight through the waiting pack and ended up in the far bottom corner with all the Jersey defenders looking at one another wondering how it had reached there. Including added time, this left Jersey needing to see out the remaining seven minutes.
This was achieved by Jersey in a well contested match reflected in the numerous cautions once the referee decided to take a firmer line. Five of the seven going against Jersey, whereas five all would have been a fairer reflection in the caution count had the referee taken action earlier in the match.
Farnham Town 1 (Tom Smith 87); Jersey Bulls 2 (Sol Solomon (2) 30 & 70)
Attendance – 253
Programme – £1, 24pp colour
Farnham Town – Richard Ossai, Isy Nzelo, Tom Smith, Ashley Lloyd (c), Kayode Conteh, Cavan Atkinson, Joshua Ogunseye, Kye Nash, George Pilbeam, Nathaniel Williams, Nhoj Witter
Substitutes – Steven Lee (not used), William May (for Williams 78), Jack Mitchell (for Nash 84), Munashe Mwatsuya (for Conteh 46), Jacob McDonald (not used)
Claret (white sleeves)/Sky Blue/Sky Blue; GK Orange/Orange/Black
Colin Milland (Manager), Andy Sharratt (Assistant), Gary Atree (Coach), Mark Burton (GK Coach), Nathan Kim-Sing (Physio.)
Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, James Queree (c), James Carr, Jack Griffin, Luke Campbell, Joe Kilshaw, Jake Prince, Adam Trotter, Lorne Bickley, Jonny Le Quesne, Sol Solomon
Substitutes – Fraser Barlow (for Prince 74), Kieran Lester (for Solomon 89), Sammy Sutcliffe (not used), only three substitutes
Blue/Blue/White; GK All Yellow.
Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Richard Hebert (GK Coach)
Referee – Jake Atkinson (Reading) formerly with the Hellenic League
Assistants – Gavin Collins (Aldershot) & Dan Skilton (Guildford) the same pair as last week at Badshot Lea
Cautions – Conteh (FT) 26, Trotter (JB) 47, Queree (JB) 52, Carr (JB) 65, Campbell (JB) 68, Mitchell (FT) 88, Le Quesne (JB) 90+1
Corners – Farnham Town (2) 3; Jersey Bulls (6) 7
Player of the Match Award (commentator) – Jack Griffin (JB)