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Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Saturday February 5, 2022, 4:00 pm
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
The Bulls entertained Cobham having won 3-1 at their Leg o’ Mutton ground in mid- August. Cobham played in the Surrey Senior League since at least 1964 before that league became the nucleus for the inception of the Combined Counties League in 1978. They have been ever present since with a best finish of second in 1999, a season that also saw them reach the third round of the F.A. Vase.
Relegated from the Premier Division in 2009 Cobham returned in 2018 after finishing runners-up in Division One. They were mid table in both abandoned seasons but reached the last sixteen of the F.A. Vase last season. 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 held Sevenoaks Town of the Isthmian Division 1 South-East to a 1-1 draw in the F.A. Cup before going down 1-3 in the replay. In the Vase they were exempt to the second round after their exploits of last season but were put out immediately 0-3 by Egham Town of the Combined Counties Premier North Division. In the league they sat ninth with a record of 8-8-7 38-32, with their best results, against the half a dozen title contenders, being draws with both Badshot Lea and Redhill.
Jersey made two starting changes with captain James Queree returning for Jack Griffin in central defence and Ruben Mendes-Pestana moving up from the bench to take the absent Kamen Nafkha’s place in midfield. Lorne Bickley was back from holiday to be a substitute where he was joined by Jonny Le Quesne and Jake Prince, the former making his 50th appearance when he came on.
On a dry crisp day with temperature notionally at 11C but reduced to single figures by the chilly breeze Cobham kicked off attacking the Robin Hood end. The visitors sat deep and invited Jersey to break them down. After quarter of an hour Karl Hinds looked set to do that but Lee Norman in the Cobham goal managed to deflect his shot over. From the resultant corner Fraser Barlow stormed in but could not put his header on target. Cobham retaliated with a forty-yard lob from Ryan Marklew that had Euan Van der Vliet back pedalling. Hinds soon had another opportunity but put it over the bar as did Sol Solomon ten minutes before half-time.
The interval arrived goalless and Jersey looked as though they needed to get behind the Cobham defence rather than try to play through them. Barlow put a curling left footer from the edge of the box just over as Bickley and Prince were being warmed up to come on. Before they did so Barlow had scored. A lobbed ball forward was well read by Ben Senior who chested it down but lost his footing before being able to clear it. Solomon and Barlow harried him and the latter managed to stab home from a couple of yards. Cobham looked to the assistant referee but to no avail.
The new front two came on immediately after the goal to replace Daryl Wilson and Karl Hinds, but had few opportunities to impress in the remaining half hour of a match that the highlights editor will have a shortage of material to work with.
Jersey Bulls 1 (Fraser Barlow 59); Cobham 0
Programme £2 24pp
Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Frank Tobin, Jay Giles, James Queree (c), Luke Campbell, Joe Kilshaw, Fraser Barlow, Ruben Mendes-Pestana, Daryl Wilson, Karl Hinds, Sol Solomon
Substitutes – Lorne Bickley (for Wilson 60), Jonny Le Quesne (for Barlow 85), Jake Prince (for Hinds 60), Sammy Sutcliffe (not used), Luke Duncan GK (not used)
Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach), Jim Robertson (Physio.)
Red/White/White; GK – All Yellow
Cobham – Lee Norman, Anthony Nazareth, Ben Senior, Craig Lewington, James King (c), Michael Dart, Joshua Andrew, Jack Sims, Reis Stanislaus, Ryan Marklew, Monty Everett
Substitutes – Ayran Kugathas (for Nazareth 80), Sammy Taylor (for Senior 89), Will Hellestoe (for Everett 58), Jacob De Sa (for Sims 89), Niall Stillwell (for Newington 42)
Sam Merison (Manager), Adrian Browne (Assistant), Tayo Ocadele (Coach), Dan Parker (Coach), Franco Abatecola (GK Coach)
Purple(Pink trim)/Purple(Pink trim)/Pink; GK All Grey
Referee – Stephen Williams (Slough) 12th year as an official, promoted to level 4 in October, previously with the Hellenic League until the geographical reorganisation this season.
Assistants – Eric Strange (West Byfleet) a Combined Counties stalwart of over 20 years and who was on the line at Springfield two years ago for the match against Godalming and the Camberley Town match at Springfield two months ago, and
Patrick Jolliffe (Lingfield) 5th year as an official and about to be promoted to level 4. Has always been with the Combined Counties League but could be re-assigned to the Southern Combination League next season.
Cautions – Ryan Marklew (C) 67, Sol Solomon (JB) 81, Jack Sims (C) 86
Corners – Jersey Bulls (3) 4; Cobham (3) 4
Player of the Match (commentator) – James Queree (JB)