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Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Saturday October 9, 2021, 5:00 pm
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Jersey returned to Springfield for a league game for the first time in nineteen months. The last occasion had seen a 2-0 win v British Airways for, what was thought at the time, to be a promotion clincher. After two curtailed seasons, at least this fixture v Sheerwater, a suburb of Woking, was at the higher level originally hoped for.
Sheerwater won Division 1 of the Combined Counties league the season before the Bulls joined and have been a lower mid table team in the division above for the past two seasons. They arrived in Jersey lying sixth this season with a 5-1-4 16-17 record. Sheerwater had fallen at the first hurdle in the F.A. Cup, at home to Erith Town, but have beaten two north Bristol sides, Roman St. George and Tytherington Rocks, in the F.A. Vase and now meet fellow Combined Counties side, Rayners Lane, in a fortnight.
Having played at their Recreation Ground until 2018 Sheerwater have spent the last three seasons sharing at National League neighbours Woking. During that period their new 3G Eastwood Centre ground, part of a multi leisure facility, was being built in the grounds of Bishop David Brown School. The school is notable for being the alma mater of Paul Weller and other members of The Jam. The new ground was opened earlier this season with a friendly against Woking. It houses 600 and has averaged a tenth of that for its fixtures so far. Today Sheerwater played in front of more than their ground holds, although well down on the record Chertsey attendance for the F.A. Cup tie last week.
A balmy afternoon, by October standards, saw Jersey make five starting changes to the side that defeated league leaders Badshot Lea on Tuesday. Calvin Weir, Jack Griffin, Kamen Nafkha, Jake Prince and Rai Dos Santos coming in for Jay Giles, Luke Campbell, Adam Trotter, Lorne Bickley and Luca Margaroli respectively. Giles was out with an injury and Campbell was nursing a knock both received on Tuesday. Campbell, Trotter and Bickley all featured on the bench along with youngsters Sammy Sutcliffe and Robbie Scott.
The re-arranged Jersey side, attacking the Town End, took an early lead when Sol Solomon’s seized on a loose ball and from the edge of the area hit a first-time cross shot in the bottom left corner. Midway through the half Sheerwater’s Jacob Brockon shot through a crowd of players which Euan Van der Vliet did well to see and hold above his head.
After half an hour James Queree rose highest at the far post and headed across the face of goal but no one was present to finish off. A minute later Solomon fed Nafkha, looking for his first Bulls goal, but his shot was palmed away for another unproductive corner. Jersey kept up the pressure with Dos Santos feeding Prince for a shot that was just deflected past the left post before Dos Santos himself explored the same territory with his own shot. In added time he had another chance when put through but took too long allowing Alfie Mickley and his defenders to save the day.
Jersey had had the best of the half but with only a single goal lead it did not look enough, especially as Sheerwater’s Leon Dadey had regularly led dangerous raids down the left flank.
Soon after the interval Shane Cheesman played Anthony Ogbanufe into a shooting position but fortunately for Jersey he shot straight at Van der Vliet. Just before the hour Sheerwater‘s skipper, Shane Costello, looked well placed to score from eight yards out but somehow Griffin made a saving tackle that on its own was probably enough to earn him his subsequent player of the match award.
Jersey seemed becalmed and needed to get behind the Sheerwater defence to create opportunities so Bickley was introduced for Kieran Lester. He soon knocked the ball down to give Jake Prince an opportunity but it would not “sit” and the subsequent volley had to be snatched at and so cleared the bar easily.
With eleven minutes left Solomon lined up a promising fee kick twenty yards out, he curled it around the wall, but not quite enough for the result he wanted, as it grazed the left post with Mickley well beaten.
This sparked a Jersey resurgence with Prince reaching the right byline and squaring the ball to Bickley at the near post. He was thwarted but the loose ball ran to Solomon a dozen yards out who did not hesitate hitting a screamer in to the top right corner.
Two minutes later the front trio combined again for Bickley to score. Both he and Solomon then brought good saves out of Mickley before Solomon set Prince free to score the fourth. A glorious final ten minutes that gave the final score a rather flattering complexion. The result raised the Bulls just one place to 12th but keeps them in contention with the top three if they can win their many games in hand.
Jersey Bulls 2 (Sol Solomon (2) 6 & 81, Lorne Bickley 83, Jake Prince 89)
Attendance – 682
Programme – £2, 28pp colour
Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Jonny Le Quesne, Calvin Weir, James Queree (c), Jack Griffin, Kamen Nafkha, Kieran Lester, Joe Kilshaw, Jake Prince, Rai Dos Santos, Sol Solomon
Substitutes – Lorne Bickley (for Lester 65), Luke Campbell (not used), Adam Trotter (not used), Sammy Sutcliffe (not used), Robbie Scott (Sub GK not used)
Red/White/White; GK All Yellow.
Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach), Jason Carpenter (Assistant GK), Jim Robertson (Physio.)
Sheerwater – Alfie Mickley, Shane Cheeseman, Billy Nutbeam, Matthew Kellett-Smith, Jamie Pearce, Jacob Breckon, Rikki Leitch, Nathan Pooley, Anthony Ogbanufe, Scott Costello (c), Leon Dadey
Substitutes – Oliver McAleese (for Dadey 80), Tom Hegarty (for Costello 76), Luke Taylor (for Ogbanufe 84), Neil Roissetter (Player/Manager, not used), Richard Shelley (Sub GK, not used)
Royal Blue (White)/Royal Blue/Royal Blue; GK All Green
Neil Roissetter (Player/Manager), Sam Cave (Coach), Sean Wallace (Assistant), Jamie McGarrity (Physio.), Ashley Hutchinson (Squad Member)
Referee – Dele Sotimirin (Brixton) Level 4 Combined Counties Referee who was also in charge of the opening match of the season at Beckenham Town
Assistants – Gareth Walker (Jersey) & Conor Shirley (Jersey)
Cautions – Breckon (S) 53, Solomon (JB) 58
Corners – Jersey Bulls (5) 11, Sheerwater (2) 5
Player of the Match Award (sponsors) – Jack Griffin (JB)