Raynes Park Vale FC
1 - 1
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Saturday October 30, 2021, 2:00 pm
Prince George's Playing Fields
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Another difficult away match for Jersey as they travelled to Raynes Park Vale, two miles south of Wimbledon. Their opponents have been in the Combined Counties League since they were formed in 1995, by a merger of Raynes Park and Malden Vale. Raynes Park Vale finished 5th in the Premier Division in the last completed season of 2018-19 but were in the bottom half for the two ensuing curtailed seasons.
This season they are again one of the contenders, currently lying fifth, one position ahead of the Bulls. In the F.A. Cup they went out 2-3 at home to V.C.D. Athletic who Jersey disposed of in the next round, but they are still in the F.A. Vase. They have been drawn at home in all four rounds and in three weeks will meet Blackfield and Langley of the Wessex League Premier Division. That is the same division in which Fareham Town play, Jersey’s Vase conquerers.
In the league they were the early leaders, winning their opening four games with a goal count of 15-1. They then met “the big three” of Beckenham Town, Badshot Lea and Walton & Hersham in successive weeks. No goals and no points. They then brought in five new players and have since had two wins and two draws. One of those being the first points taken off Badshot Lea. A late goal in the return match gave Raynes Park Vale a 3-3 draw.
Heavy overnight rain put this match in jeopardy but the wide open spaces that surround the pitch helped the drying process and it passed 10.30 and 12.00 inspections. Nevertheless, it was still very soft when the match commenced.
Jersey made three starting changes to the match at Fareham last week. Calvin Weir and Ruben Mendes-Pestana, on the bench last week, swapping roles with Jack Griffin and Kieran Lester. In addition Kamen Nafkha returned, replacing Jake Prince, and on the bench Jay Giles replaced Daryl Wilson. In other news, Assistant Manager, Kevan Nelson, missed his first Bulls’ match as it was his wife’s birthday. A fine none the less!
Raynes Park Vale were unchanged from last week’s Vase victory over Redhill and it was they who kicked off downhill towards the tree-lined Grand Drive End.
As might be expected in a match between two of the top six teams, little was given away and it became a muddy midfield battle. Midway through the half, Sol Solomon was thwarted by the Raynes Park Vale ‘keeper, Billy Bishop. Shortly afterwards Euan Van der Vliet rescued Jersey when he saved from top scorer Jordan Gallagher who was through for a one on one.
Near the half hour, Fraser Barlow created a chance for Adam Trotter that was volleyed narrowly over. In the last five minutes of the half Gallagher almost scored an own goal but Raynes Park Vale’s Josh Ano broke to the other end and put the ball across the face of the goal, though no one was there to finish it off.
Jersey came out strongly in the second half, forcing a couple of early corners but it was Van der Vliet who first saw serious action when he had to block a Brad Sweeney shot. However, the next minute saw him blot his copybook. A free kick he took wide left outside his own box went straight to Gallagher forty-five yards out. Gallagher returned it with interest, quickly sending a lofted shot in to the unguarded net.
Five minutes later Sweeney, under pressure from Luke Campbell, shot over and with twenty minutes remaining Trotter’s attempt was blocked. During all this, the card count had been mounting against Raynes Park Vale.
In the last few minutes Jersey equalised in both goals and cards. Ruben Mendes-Pestana received a straight red for stamping on an opponent which was reported by the assistant referee on the dug outs side. The consequent suspension for this will rule him out of the next three matches.
However, shortly after being reduced to ten men Barlow broke away, passed to Solomon, who rounded Bishop to score. A point gained considering the circumstances.
Raynes Park Vale (0) 1 (Jordan Gallagher 49), Jersey Bulls (0) 1 (Sol Solomon 88)
Attendance – 128
Programme – 16 pages, £2
Raynes Park Vale – 1. Billy Bishop, 19. Archie Harland-Goddard, 6. Reece Hannigan, 3. Ben Harrison (c), 13. Callum Hope, 4. Seanan McKillop, 2. Eoin Fraser, 11. Neset Can-Bellikli, 10. Jordan Gallagher, 17. Brad Sweeney, 14. Josh Ano
Substitutes – 5. Nathan Lewis (not used), 20. Jordan Stepney (not used), 15. Louis Cockle (not used), 8. Louie Downey (for Can-Bellikli 77), 9. Callum Davies (for Ano 71),
Josh Gallagher (Manager), Anthony Panyai (Assistant), Daniel Canning (GK Coach/Physio.), Chris Williams (Conditioning)
All Blue (Yellow trim); GK Turquoise
Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Jonny Le Quesne, Calvin Weir, James Queree (c), Luke Campbell, Joe Kilshaw, Kamen Nafkha, Adam Trotter, Fraser Barlow, Ruben Mendes-Pestana, Sol Solomon
Substitutes – Jack Griffin (not used), Kieran Lester (for Nafkha 62), Jay Giles (not used), only three substitutes
Red/White/White; GK Green
Gary Freeman (Manager), Dan Seviour (Coach), Jason Carpenter (GK Coach), Jim Robertson (Physio.)
Referee – Michele Gallo (West Byfleet)
Assistants – George Dobbie (Putney) & Andrew Liddicott (Godalming)
Cautions – Fraser (RPV) 24, Hannigan (RPV) 63, McKillop (RPV 74), Trotter (JB) 90+4, Lester (JB) 90+6
Dismissal – Ruben Mendes-Pestana (JB) 85
Corners – Raynes Park Vale (3) 6; Jersey Bulls (2) 5
Player of the Match Award (commentator) – Fraser Barlow (JB)