London Samurai Rovers FC
0 - 4
Esoteric Recordings Division One Challenge Cup
Jersey Bulls U23s
Tuesday January 25, 2022
Esoteric Recordings Division One Challenge Cup
The Combined Counties League have, this season, opened up their Division 1 League Cup, sponsored by Esoteric Recordings, to the Under 23 teams from Premier Division clubs. Six clubs, all from the Southern section, took this opportunity to enter, giving a total entry of twenty-seven. Therefore, this match was one of eleven in the first round.
London Samurai United were formed in 2017, as a club for the Japanese community in London, and joined the Middlesex County League Division One, playing at Twyford Avenue Sports Ground in Acton. The following year they merged with Japan London Rovers. The new combined club, now known as London Samurai Rovers, moved up to the Premier Division, where they stayed until 2021.
They then applied and were accepted to the Combined Counties League. However, they needed a ground that was compliant with their improved standing, so they are now ground sharing at Rectory Meadow, Hanworth Villa’s ground. Hanworth Villa are currently sitting top of Premier Division North with an unbeaten record. Jersey defeated them two seasons ago in the Combined Counties Cup.
London Samurai Rovers are still finding their feet at their new level. They have a record of 7-4-15 41-67 and currently sit 14th, of 21 clubs in Division One. However, as they have played more matches than any other club in the division they may be overtaken by some of the clubs currently below them.
Jersey U23s made four starting changes from their last match at Erith Town. Robbie Scott was in goal in place of Luke Duncan, John “J.J.” Lloyd and Josh Coutanche, both on the bench at Erith, were in the back four and Joe Kilshaw returned in midfield and captained the team. Patrick O’Toole, looking to make his debut, and Leandro Vieira were the substitutes, along with Kushal Frankson.
Jersey had a strong attacking front three with Rai Dos Santos, Jake Prince and Sol Solomon all featuring. On a chilly evening Jersey kicked off attacking the Park end whilst the traffic on the busy A316 whistled by behind Scott’s goal.
Dos Santos had an early shot pushed away by Hubert Szczech in the Samurai goal followed by, on the quarter hour, Samurai having what turned out to be their only significant chance of the evening. Scott went down at the feet of an attacker and the subsequent loose ball was sent towards the top left corner before it was headed clear.
Jersey went ahead when they pounced on some naive defending. Marius Guei casually played the ball across the back four only to see Dos Santos nip in between the defenders twenty yards out and advance to give Szczech little chance. A minute later Dos Santos had a good chance to score again but snatched at the opportunity and sent the ball well over the bar.
A Jersey penalty appeal was waved away by the experienced referee, Jarnail Singh, before Dos Santos did add a second. A Solomon free kick wide on the left was put into the six-yard box where an attacking glancing header saw the lead doubled.
Ten minutes later it was three. James Carr broke down the left side and his pass inside was fed across, first by Solomon and then by Prince, to the waiting Dos Santos right of centre. His shot beat Szczech but Stone Muzinga, on the line, did well to block it, only for the loose ball to be tapped home by Prince.
Territorially dominant Jersey almost added a fourth in the sixty-fourth minute. A corner on the right was met at the far post by Sammy Sutcliffe whose strong header cannoned down off the bar and was cleared.
O’Toole came on for his debut and with ten minutes to go Samurai put a shot just wide of the left post from twenty yards that Scott looked to have covered. Substitute Vieira wrapped up proceedings just before the close with his first Bulls’ goal. A cleared ball was swiftly returned to the Samurai area. Szczech should have gathered it but presumably took his eye off the ball as Vieira followed in. The ‘keeper only managed to drop it at Vieira’s feet and he slotted home from a narrow angle.
The draw for the last sixteen is now awaited to see who Jersey have to meet next.
London Samurai Rovers 0, Jersey Bulls U23 4 (Rai Dos Santos (2) 20 & 28, Jake Prince 38, Leandro Vieira 89)
Attendance – 30
Programme – £1.50, 20pp
London Samurai Rovers – Hubert Szczech, Marius Guei, Prosper Ezewuzie (c), Stone Muzinga, Richard Ajayi, Konyisola Odusanya, Bryan Li, Edwin Osejindu, Jakub Welna, Joshua Moerdyk, Richard Charles
Substitutes – Joe Iguchi (for Guei 46), Yann Jansen (for Welna 88), Mugtba Bereima (for Odusanya 65), Nikola Vujevic (for Osejindu 65), Ionatan Sofronovici (for Li 46),
Kit – Red/Black/Black; GK Light Green/Black tracksuit bottoms
Staff – Masakatsu Shibasaki (Manager), Fraser Gilmartin (Assistant), Csaba Moll (Coach)
Jersey Bulls U23 – Robbie Scott, John Lloyd, Josh Coutanche, Joe Kilshaw (c), Sammy Sutcliffe, Josh Daniels, Rai Dos Santos, Robert Martins-Figueira, Jake Prince, Sol Solomon, James Carr
Substitutes – Kushal Frankson (for Carr 58), Patrick O’Toole (for Solomon 72), Leandro Vieira (for Prince 84), only three substitutes
Kit – Blue/Blue/White; GK Yellow
Staff – Paul Renton (Manager), Gary Freeman (Assistant), Kevan Nelson (Coach)
Referee – Jarnail Singh (Iver, Bucks) his Football League experience showed once again in that he did not resort to brandishing cards to sort out any clashes. He refereed the Muratti Vase final in May 2010 as well as the Bulls’ matches at Cove in January 2020 and at Cobham earlier this season.
Assistants – Aiden Farrelly (Hanworth) was due to visit Jersey for the match against Guildford City in November but did not make it through airport arrivals in time, but was on the line for our visit to Molesey recently. Phil Paice (Woking) who is also due to be on the line for our visits to both Sheerwater and Camberley next month.
Cautions – None for either side
Corners – London Samurai Rovers (0) 2; Jersey Bulls U23 (5) 9
Player of the Match Award (by committee) – Rai Dos Santos