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Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Colliers Wood United FC
Saturday March 26, 2022, 2:15 pm
Jubilee Field, Crawley
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Jersey, playing their second “home” match on the road, hosted Colliers Wood United at Three Bridges in the eastern suburbs of Crawley. This was the clubs’ third meeting of the season. Colliers Wood had won the first when Jersey fielded their U23s for the Premier Cup tie in late November, which Jersey “equalised” when narrowly winning the league game at the same venue two weeks later.
A flight to Gatwick would have been easier but sponsorship from British Airways meant a trip to Heathrow. Baggage delays there and then motorway hold ups meant that the start was put back to 2.15.
Colliers Wood, formed as Vandyke in 1874, are the second oldest senior club in Surrey. They joined the Combined Counties Division 1 in 2003 and were immediately promoted to the Premier Division. They finished fourth in their second season at the higher level but have generally finished in the bottom half since then. They are similarly placed this season, lying 15th with a record of 10-5-18 36-55.
Already missing the injured Sol Solomon and Luke Campbell, two more injuries were sustained at Knaphill on Tuesday. Jay Giles is probably out for the remainder of the season and Ruben Mendes-Pestana is also hors de combat.
Two of those unavailable in midweek were able replacements, with Frank Tobin coming in for Giles and Karl Hinds for Mendes-Pestana. The only other change was Francis Lekimamati, a second half substitute on Tuesday, making his full debut in place of Jake Prince. Sammy Sutcliffe, having also played for the U23s at Hillingdon Borough on Wednesday, was playing his third match in five days.
Prince was on the bench, as were Tuesday’s Kieran Lester and Jack Lumsden, plus the returning Kamen Nafkha with Kevan Nelson named as emergency cover.
Jubilee Field was resplendent in the strong Spring sunshine but there was a strong breeze blowing from the entrance end. Colliers Wood elected, on winning the toss, to swap ends and kick in to the wind. Therefore, Jersey kicked off attacking the cricket ground end.
The injury tally was added to early on when Fraser Barlow injured an ankle as he stretched to block a cross. He could not continue and Prince was on after only quarter of an hour.
Just before the half hour a Lekimamati thirty-yard free kick needed a sprawling save from McKenzie Foley, an opponent met earlier in the season when he was in the Sutton Common Rovers goal, and a few minutes later a neat one-two between Adam Trotter and Hinds gave the former space in the box but he ballooned his shot high and wide.
Trotter then set Bickley free on the left and his shot was deflected in to the side netting for a corner. Lekimamati delivered a curling inswinger from it for Bickley to finish off at the far post with a stooping header. Before the break Prince forced another save from Foley, diving to his left.
Early in the second half Jersey were the architects of their own downfall. Tobin was indecisive in deciding whether to play a loose ball back to Euan Van der Vliet or clear it. Tobin had his “pocket picked” by Ali Fofanah who then got himself in a tangle and went over James Queree’s leg. Rather too easily the Jersey captain thought, and protested the penalty award. Sebastien Obei-Obengo sent Van der Vliet the wrong way with a firm shot to the bottom left corner for the equaliser.
Obei-Obengo tried a spectacular volley seven minutes later but comfortably cleared the bar. On the hour Bickley held off two defenders as he advanced in to the left side of the box, but under pressure lifted his shot over both Foley and the bar.
After 77 minutes Lekimamati also broke down the left but a defender blocked his shot on the line. Two minutes later Jersey’s best chance of winning the match fell to Bickley. His attempted lob from the left was parried by Foley but fell to Prince on the right. His powerful shot shuddered against the right post and was cleared.
A draw was therefore the outcome which means Jersey have only won one of their last seven games and now drop to fifth.
Jersey Bulls 1 (Lorne Bickley 31), Colliers Wood United 1 (Sebastien Osei-Obengo penalty 52)
Attendance – 63
Programme – Nothing produced
Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Jonny Le Quesne, Frank Tobin, James Queree (c), Sammy Sutcliffe, Joe Kilshaw, Fraser Barlow, Adam Trotter, Lorne Bickley, Karl Hinds, Francis Lekimamati
Substitutes – Jake Prince (for Barlow 16), Kamen Nafkha (for Kilshaw 81), Kieran Lester (for Hinds also 81), Jack Lumsden (not used), Kevan Nelson (not used)
Red/White/White; GK All Yellow
Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach)
Colliers Wood United – McKenzie Foley, Callum Wilson, Harry Murphy, Alfie Huckle, Charlie Mart (c), Daniel De Cruz, Romarni Blankson, Jake Hill, Sebastien Osei-Obengo, Alex Nunes, Ali Fofanah
Substitutes – Sid Dack (not used), Oliver Thompson (for Scott 83), Frankie Scott (for Osei-Obengo 73), Ben Roberts (sub GK, not used), only four substitutes
All Blue (“Light” Black stripes to front of shirts); GK All Purple
Jamie De Cruz (Manager), Daniel Amoriti (Coach), Charles Acres (GK Coach), Jason Takyi (Physio.)
Referee – Joe Wright (Ash) 7th season officiating, 4th at Combined Counties level
Assistants – Adam Absolon (Purley) on the dug out side, 3rd season with the Combined Counties, and Garry Collins (Chertsey) on the clubhouse side, qualified in 1999 and was on the line for the second home match of our opening season in August 2020.
Cautions – Joe Kilshaw (JB) 63, Jonny Le Quesne (JB) 66, Francis Lekimamati (JB) 88, Callum Wilson (CWU) 90+4, Ali Fofanah (CWU) 90+6
Corners – Jersey Bulls (4) 4, Colliers Wood United (2) 4
Player of the Match Award (on line voting) – Francis Lekimamati