Jersey Bulls U23s
2 - 4
Esoteric Recordings Division One Challenge Cup Quarter-Final
Thursday April 28, 2022, 7:45 pm
Esoteric Recordings Division One Challenge Cup Quarter-Final
Sandhurst Town were last met in October 2019, when the first team beat them 4-1 at Springfield. The return match in January was postponed and before the new date set for late April “lockdown” was in place, so Jersey have yet to visit Bottom Meadow. Sandhurst are known as the “Fizzers” as the Royal Military Academy is based in the town and a “fizzer” is army slang for being put on a disciplinary charge.
Sandhurst first joined the Combined Counties League in 1990 and were generally a lower mid table team with a best of fifth in both 2004 and 2005. They remained there until 2016 when they moved to the Hellenic League. After two seasons they were back and finished sixth. They were lying sixth again in the first abandoned season and had they won their games in hand would have been third. Last season was a poor one with twelve points, the same as Jersey, but from eleven games, which saw them in fifteenth place.
This season they finished 8th, just outside the play-off places, with a record of 21-6-13 87-54. Being in Step 6 they were too low to enter the F.A. Cup and in the F.A. Vase fell at the first hurdle at home to Longlevens of Gloucester, who play in the Hellenic League Premier Division. In the Division 1 Cup they have been drawn away to three Under 23 teams in succession. Having seen off Camberley Town and Redhill they now met Jersey.
On an evening of 12C but with a chill easterly wind blowing the “Fizzers” kicked off attacking the Robin Hood end and lived up to their nickname as they put an end to the young Jersey side’s run in this Division 1 Cup quarter-final. An early goal from Jake Prince proved to be a false dawn as Sandhurst cracked in four in reply before substitute Leandro Vieira reduced the arrears with a “worldie” late in stoppage time.
Jersey, missing a dozen players because of their call up to the Island’s Under 21 side for the match v Guernsey on Saturday, performed creditably and it would have been interesting to see how the full might available would have coped with the nifty Sandhurst front line.
Sandhurst finished eighth in Division 1, just outside the play-off places, and were a very different proposition to the teams dispatched in earlier rounds, London Samurai Rovers and Hillingdon Borough, who were both at the other end of the table.
Jersey started auspiciously when after only three minutes, player of the match Luca Margaroli, won the ball in midfield and fed Jake Prince. Prince held off a defender and, learning from previous missed chances, lifted the ball over the onrushing Ben Lewens in the Sandhurst goal to give Jersey the lead.
Sandhurst were soon showing their mettle and Luke Duncan was called upon to save a twenty-five yard snap shot from defender Jude Steinborn. Max Rivers forced a corner at the other end before Sandhurst equalised from a corner of their own. Steinborn hit it to the middle of the six-yard box where the impressive Josh Millo attacked it with a powerful header to give Duncan no chance with what looked like a training ground set piece routine.
Millo then attempted to test Duncan again but just failed to curl the ball enough to put it inside the right post. Robert Martins-Figueira almost seized on a short pass back by a Sandhurst defender before the visitors took the lead. Jersey were the cause of their own undoing. Harry Curtis tried to dribble out of defence only for Jose Sani to put in a foot, with the loose ball running to Joao Jardim. Jardim took the ball on ten yards before beating Duncan from the edge of the box with a shot to the bottom left corner.
Jersey were rescued twice within the 36th minute by Toni Cardoso’s flag. Firstly, Millo’s cross shot was deflected home by the offside Jardim and then Millo himself chest trapped a ball forward before lobbing Duncan only to find himself offside too.
In first half added time Millo went on another run. Forced wider than he might have liked by the defence he still managed to put a shot in on the top right corner which Duncan spectacularly caught to keep the interval deficit at a single goal.
Just before the hour Max Rivers seized on a Sandhurst defender’s error and as he was being closed down toe poked his shot just wide of the right post. On another run five minutes later, he was clattered by a defender as he went down the left wing and he had to be substituted by Kushal Frankson. Shortly afterwards Jersey lost another player to injury as Francis Lekimamati pulled up, having tugged a hamstring, and he was replaced by Max Rivers brother, Olly.
With ten minutes to go Jersey lost the ball in midfield and Sani took the ball around Josh Daniels before hitting the bar from the edge of the box with Martins-Figueira clearing up the rebound before any Sandhurst player could capitalise.
Three minutes later Millo cut in from the corner flag beating two defenders before being brought down by Olly Rivers inside the penalty box. Captain Joe Kilshaw must have thought it a “soft” decision as his comments to referee Richard Dyer only earnt him ten minutes in the sin bin. Sam Mead stepped up for the penalty and although Duncan went the right way the shot was too well placed and went just inside the right post to put Sandhurst 3-1 up.
Sani scored the goal his tireless efforts deserved with three minutes to go. Picking up the ball in midfield he left three defenders in his wake as he cut in and from just inside the box found the top left corner.
As play entered a lengthy stoppage time of over seven minutes Jersey introduced Luke Appleton and Leandro Vieira for John “J.J.” Lloyd and Prince respectively. It turned out to be an eventful few minutes for Vieira. He was soon cautioned for an over robust tackle on midfielder Jack Penton with Penton almost exacting swift revenge as he brought out a diving save from Duncan. Duncan’s long clearance found Vieira and from thirty yards out his pot shot found the top left corner past Lewens, who was stuck on his six-yard line. Sandhurst are now away again in the semi-final, probably against League champions, London Lions, who will be looking to complete the League and Cup double.
Jersey Bulls 2 (Jake Prince 3, Leandro Vieira 90+4), Sandhurst Town 4 (Josh Millo 17, Joao Jardim 28, Sam Mead pen 84, Jose Sani 87)
Attendance – 91
Programme – None
Jersey Bulls U23 – Luke Duncan, John Lloyd, Josh Coutanche, Joe Kilshaw (c), Josh Daniels, Harry Curtis, Francis Lekimamati, Robert Martins-Figueira, Jake Prince, Luca Margaroli, Max Rivers
Substitutes – Olly Rivers (for Lekimamati 70), Kushal Frankson (for M. Rivers 66),
Luke Appleton (for Lloyd 90+1), Leandro Vieira (for Prince 90+1), only four substitutes
Red/White/White; GK All Green
Paul Renton (Manager), Gary Freeman (Assistant), Kevan Nelson (Physio.)
Sandhurst Town – Ben Lewens, Jude Steinborn, Callum Wright, Aaron West (c), Toby Haworth, Jack Penton, Josh Millo, Dylan Roetcisoender Joao Jardim, Sam Mead, Jose Sani
Substitutes – Callum Wright (for Steinborn 73), Sam Day (for Jardim 62), Mason Slade (for Rietcisoender 88), only three substitutes
All Yellow; GK All Light Blue
Matt Cronan (Manager), Gareth Price (Assistant), Dave McHugh (Coach), Paul McKenner (Coach), Paul Jacklin (Physio.)
Referee – Richard Dyer (Jersey) Also in the middle for the Suburban League Cup 2nd Round match v Chatham Town Reserves in October and stepped in at short notice for the league game v Guildford City in November when the U.K. appointees could not get here. He was also due to be on the line for the league game v Balham that was called off when Balham’s flight was cancelled.
Assistants – Mikey Pih (Jersey) on the dug-out side. Also on the line, as a late replacement, for the F.A. Cup tie v V.C.D. Athletic in September. Toni Cardoso (Jersey) on the grandstand side. Also on the line for the Suburban League Cup 2nd Round match v Chatham Town Reserves in October when Dyer was again the referee.
Cautions – Luca Margaroli (JB) 48, Harry Curtis (JB) 77, Jose Sani (ST) 78, Josh Coutanche (JB) 79
Sin Bin – Joe Kilshaw (JB) 84
Corners – Jersey Bulls U23 (2) 2, Sandhurst Town (4) 6
Player of the Match Award (commentators) – Luca Margaroli