Metropolitan Police FC Reserves
3 - 3
Mike Bidmead Suburban League Challenge Cup
Jersey Bulls U23s
Wednesday February 16, 2022
Mike Bidmead Suburban League Challenge Cup
Jersey Bulls win 5-3 on penalties
The U23s travelled to Imber Court in Thames Ditton for their fourth match in this cup competition. The spacious grounds host numerous sports on a large site situated between Hampton Court Palace and Sandown Park Racecourse in South-West London. It was a blustery evening with the wind blowing in from the cricket pitch end. The pitch held up well after a soaking the previous day which had jeopardised the fixture at one point.
The opposition, after a bye, had disposed of two other U23 sides, Tunbridge Wells and Oxford City, both away from home, in the earlier rounds. The Metropolitan Police first team play at Step 3, two above that of Jersey, in the Southern League Premier Division South and only lost out in the play-offs in the last completed season. Their reserves play in the thirteen team Suburban League Premier Division and currently sit in third place with a 9-3-6 43-39 record.
Jersey kicked off into the wind attacking the cricket pitch end and after only seven minutes had a good claim for a penalty turned down. Seb Green, the Police captain, brought down Carr on the edge of the box as he burst through the middle. Green escaped with only a caution despite it being a “last man” situation.
Just before the half hour James Carr beat the onrushing Police ‘keeper, Luke Roberts, to a loose ball on the edge of the box but just steered his shot wide. However, two minutes later Jersey took the lead when a clearance by Luke Duncan was headed on by Carr to Prince, who advanced and rounded Roberts.
The lead lasted only five minutes as a Police free kick wide on the right was intercepted by Josh Coutanche at full stretch ten yards out and facing his own goal. Coutanche only managed to steer the ball into the bottom right corner to provide the Police with a fortunate equaliser.
Robert Martins-Figueira had a shot blocked away for a corner before the Police took the lead, against the run of play, two minutes before the interval. The speedy Darnell Baxter-Alleyne advanced to the right byline and his cross was headed on by striker Jasper Mather to the far post where defender Archie Parks nodded home from close range.
Early in the second half Prince had a shot deflected for a corner by Laurence Ernest before Sol Solomon equalised. Toby Ritzema fed him thirty yards out in the right channel and he went on a trademark run before beating Roberts with a low cross shot.
Within a minute of the equaliser Rai Dos Santos latched on to a loose ball across the Police defence. His twenty-yard shot beat Roberts but also the right post. Solomon was just wide with a free kick after the hour before the Police made the first substitution of the night with Shkyler Burrowes replacing Joshua Keeya midway through the half.
This change seemed to enliven the Police front line and with twenty minutes to go they gained their only corner of the match when Mather forced a low save from Duncan at the foot of his left post.
Jersey replaced one Dos Santos by another with a quarter of an hour remaining but it was the Police substitute, Burrowes, who regained them the lead. A twenty-five yard free kick was only pushed back out, rather than caught, by Duncan and Burrowes latched on to the loose ball to score from ten yards.
As the clock ticked to full time Burrowes looked to have sealed a Police victory when he tapped home a low Archy Taylor cross at the far post, but linesman Train signalled that he was offside. This was missed by the match commentator who was still lamenting it being 4-2 when Prince equalised with a “worldy”.
A ball down the right was taken by Prince on his thigh and then volleyed across in to the left corner of the net for a spectacular leveller. A further three minutes of added time saw the teams go straight to a “shoot out”.
Captain Joe Kilshaw won the toss, elected for Jersey to go first, and led by example by scoring the first “penalty”. Mather levelled matters with a shot only just eluding Duncan. Sammy Sutcliffe restored the lead with a shot similar to Mather’s before Archie Taylor equalised when he sent Duncan the wrong way. Jay Dos Santos then did the same to Roberts before Brown blasted high down the middle, but way over the bar.
Prince kept the initiative with Jersey by sending Roberts the wrong way before Baxter-Alleyne did the same to Duncan to keep the Police in with a chance. This was snuffed out by Solomon, whose well hit shot was too much for Roberts and gave Jersey a 5-3 win on “penalties”. The cue for Solomon to be submerged by his jubilant team mates.
The semi-final draw sees Jersey host, if they agree to travel, as it is not compulsory, the winners of Sheerwater Reserves and Leatherhead U23s, who meet on Saturday.
Metropolitan Police Reserves 3 (Josh Coutanche own goal 34, Archie Parks 43, Shkyler Burrowes 82); Jersey Bulls U23 3 (Jake Prince (2) 29 & 90+1, Sol Solomon 56)
No extra time was played, straight to “penalties”
Jersey won 5-3 on penalties (taken at the clubhouse/stables end, Jersey went first)
JB – Kilshaw, Sutcliffe, J. Dos Santos, Prince, Solomon
MP – Mather, A. Taylor, Brown (over bar), Baxter-Alleyne (fifth not taken)
Programme 16pp, gratis
Metropolitan Police Reserves – Luke Roberts, Lewis Taylor, Archie Parks, Ollie Brown, Seb Green (c), Laurence Ernest, Archy Taylor, George Frith, Jasper Mather, Joshua Keeya, Darnell Baxter-Alleyne
Substitutes – Cassius Dunstan (not used), Bryan Reyes-Rodriguez (not used), Arnold Mam (for Frith 79), Shkyler Burrowes (for Keeya 68), Gabriel Baion (not used), Ellis Rowland (not used)
Paul Burnell (Manager), Dean Hurlow (Assistant), Tom Nyama (Coach), Meg Partington (Physio.)
Blue/Navy shirts, Navy shorts and socks; GK All Yellow
Jersey Bulls – Luke Duncan, Toby Ritzema, Josh Coutanche, Joe Kilshaw (c), Sammy Sutcliffe, Josh Daniels, Rai Dos Santos, Robert Martins-Figueira, Jake Prince, Sol Solomon, James Carr
Substitutes – Jack Lumsden (for Ritzema 88), Jay Dos Santos (for R. Dos Santos 74), Leandro Vieira (not used), Patrick O’Toole (for Martins-Figueira 88), only four substitutes
Paul Renton (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Richard Hebert (GK Coach)
Red/White/White; GK – All Green
Referee – Kevin Belcher (Horsham)
Assistants – Shaun Scott (Horley) (on the dug out side) and Graeme Train (Basingstoke) (on the television gantry side)
Cautions – Seb Green (MP) 8, George Frith (MP) 38, Ollie Brown (MP) 64
Corners – Metropolitan Police Reserves (0) 1, Jersey Bulls U23 (2) 3
Player of the Match (commentator) – Rai Dos Santos (JB)