Fixtures

Fleet Town FC

0 - 3

Combined Counties League Premier Division South

Jersey Bulls

Saturday December 11, 2021, 3:00 pm

Calthorpe Park

Combined Counties League Premier Division South

Match Report

Fleet, situated in North Hampshire, is right on the border of the Wessex and Combined Counties Leagues’ territories. Fleet Spurs, whom Jersey have met for the past two seasons, are situated just over a mile north-east of Fleet Town.

This season Spurs, after four seasons in the Combined Counties, have returned to the Wessex. However, at a level higher, today’s opponents, Town have moved in the opposite direction.

For the past twenty seasons Fleet Town have usually featured in the Isthmian or Southern Leagues but after eight seasons struggling against relegation from the Southern League they finally succumbed to the drop in 2019. Since then they spent two mid table seasons in the Wessex League Premier Division.

This season looks to be another one of struggle. They won through two rounds of the F.A. Cup but went out of the F.A. Vase in the first qualifying round. In the league they lie 18th, immediately above the relegation places, with a 4-1-12 26-40 record.
Jersey made just one change to the squad that travelled to Colliers Wood United in midweek, with Kamen Nafkha returning for Kieran Lester. However, there were four changes to the starting line up as the Bulls again rotated their squad.
Jonny Le Quesne returned on the right of defence which meant James Queree resumed his more normal central role, at the expense of Jack Griffin. Nafkha’s return gave Adam Trotter a “rest” from midfield duties. Karl Hinds also featured in midfield at the expense of Ruben Mendes-Pestana, whilst Sol Solomon displaced Lester.
A damp 8C greeted the teams with Jersey winning the toss and electing to change ends. Therefore, Fleet kicked off attacking the Calthorpe Park end to the west. Conditions deteriorated over the course of the match as the drizzle became rain.
Jersey spurned a couple of early chances before opening the scoring. Lorne Bickley shot over before Solomon made a familiar jinking run only to put his reverse shot just wide of the right post from close in.

Fraser Barlow broke the deadlock. Joe Kilshaw spread the ball from midfield out to Jonny Le Quesne, overlapping on the right. His low ball in to the six yard box was met at the right post by Barlow to give the ‘keeper little chance.
Bickley again shot over before Barlow scored again for his fourth goal in three games. Solomon laid the ball back to Jay Giles on the left and his low cross found its way through the defence and once again Barlow was on hand to finish off the move.
After the interval Barlow missed out on a hat trick when he found the side netting and Bickley put a header just over when at full stretch.
A third “goal” was denied by Nicholas Arbuckle’s flag and he was consulted by the referee after the next incident. Solomon broke free down the left, cut in and looked on course to score. However, his penultimate touch was heavy, giving the ‘keeper a chance to reach the ball first. Solomon, in attempting to retrieve the situation, slid in but was deemed guilty of “dangerous play”.

With a quarter of an hour remaining Shemar Pettet had another 25 yard attempt on the Bulls’ goal. The first had been straight at Euan Van der Vliet but this time the ‘keeper had to parry low to his left and Fleet failed to capitalise on the loose ball before Luke Campbell cleared the danger.
Bickley eventually scored the goal he had threatened all afternoon. James Queree cleared down the right side and Barlow, on the half way line, just managed to touch it on with his head. The ball fell to Bickley 35 yards out but he beat one defender and held off another before shooting in to the bottom left corner from a dozen yards.
In the remaining few minutes Jersey should have added to their total. Hinds shot weakly, Ruben Mendes-Pestana was thwarted by the ‘keeper’s legs and Barlow missed a further chance of a hat trick in added time.
Nevertheless, Jersey had done enough, coupled with results elsewhere to move themselves up to second, albeit only three points ahead of seventh.

Fleet Town 0, Jersey Bulls 3 (Fraser Barlow (2) 18 & 36, Lorne Bickley 84)
Attendance – 190

Programme – 16 pages, £1

Fleet Town – Lee Allen, Shemar Pettet, Dylan Riley, Sam Williams, Stuart Derry(c), Tom Wensley, Rowan Sharratt, Ben Maunders, Elliott Amadieu, Billy Oram, James Beauchamp
Substitutes – Ellis McLean (for Maunders 63), Roux Hardcastle sub GK (not used), Kieran Kelly (for Riley 78), Fareed Hakem-Habeeb (for Beauchamp 82), Yassa Arafat (for Sharratt 78)

Light Blue with Navy Blue shoulders/Navy Blue/Navy Blue; GK All Green

David Kelly (Manager), Tommy Taylor (Assistant), Haig Franklin (Coach), Chris Neate (Physio.)

Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Jonny Le Quesne, Jay Giles, James Queree (c), Luke Campbell, Kamen Nafkha, Fraser Barlow, Joe Kilshaw, Lorne Bickley, Karl Hinds, Sol Solomon
Substitutes – Adam Trotter (not used), Ruben Mendes-Pestana (for Kilshaw 73), Jack Griffin (for Hinds 89)

Red/White/White; GK Yellow

Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach)

Referee – Fabien Le Houezec (Wallington) referee of the Bulls opening Combined Counties match v Ash United in 2019 and on the line for the first match at Sutton Common Rovers this season in the F.A. Cup

Assistants – Nicholas Arbuckle (Woking) previously at Springfield for the match against Farnham Town two seasons ago, and Barrie Funnell (Camberley) also on the line for the match at the other Fleet, Spurs, in February 2020 as well as the Christmas 2019 game at Farnham when his son, Matthew was on the other line.

Cautions – Billy Oram (FT) 25, Jay Giles (JB) 41, Sam Williams (FT) 55, James Beauchamp (FT) 66, Sol Solomon (JB) 71, Luke Campbell (JB) 72, Lorne Bickley (JB) 88

Corners – Fleet Town (0) 2; Jersey Bulls (0) 3

Player of the Match Award (commentator) – Fraser Barlow (JB)