4 - 1
Ascot United FC
Saturday July 9, 2022, 3:00 pm
Ascot United, a club that Jersey had built strong links with over the past few seasons, were the opponents for the second pre-season friendly. Jersey had arranged to use their ground to play some of their 2019-20 fixtures before that season was curtailed, and last season Jersey met Balham there as Springfield was being re-developed.
Ascot have made rapid strides over the past twenty years, moving up through the Reading and Hellenic leagues before changing to the Combined Counties League in 2019. In October 2019 they opened their new 3G pitch and when that season was halted early they were nine points clear at the top of the table, although other teams had games in hand. The shortened season of 2020-21 saw them in sixth place, finishing in the same place again last season.
A gloriously sunny afternoon of 23C with a gentle cross field breeze awaited them but their flight was delayed and they only reached Springfield at 2p.m. so the start of the match was pushed back fifteen minutes in order to give them a sufficient warm up period.
Jersey’s squad of 18 showed numerous changes to last weeks’. Fraser Barlow, Josh Daniels, Jay Giles, Ben Le Rougetel, Francis Lekimamati, Kamen Nafkha, Jake Prince and Sol Solomon, who all appeared against Stevenage, were absent. In their places were Harry Cardwell, James Carr, Miguel Carvalho, Jonny Le Quesne, Jack Lumsden, Toby Ritzema and Robbie Scott. Cardwell had last played in 2018-19 whilst Carvalho, Jersey’s U18 player of the year last season, was making his debut.
Ascot won the toss and opted for a change of ends so Jersey kicked off attacking the Robin Hood end.
After a quiet opening quarter of an hour Cardwell had a shooting opportunity just inside the box but his shot lacked the power and direction to trouble former Portsmouth ‘keeper Jamie Ashdown.
Within seconds another promising raid down the left was halted with a petty foul on Carr. Ruben Mendes reacted quickest and sent the free-kick forward to Kieren Stephens who pulled the ball back for Lorne Bickley to pick his spot before Ascot had time to re-organise their defence.
Jersey doubled their lead when a misplaced Ascot clearance was picked up by Le Quesne. His pass forward was deflected to Cardwell who also had the time and space to leave Ashdown with little chance.
A drinks’ break ensued and it turned out that was the last of Cardwell as he was replaced by debutant Miguel Carvalho.
A trio of substitutions were made by both sides at the interval and Jersey continued where they had left off as Carvalho put in a cross from the right which saw a Stephens’ shot deflected for a corner.
Referee Richard Dyer finally decided that the continual niggly fouls could no longer be overlooked, friendly or not, and cautioned Ascot’s Sean McCormack before Stephens just missed the top left angle from ten yards out.
Just before the hour Carvalho put Mendes through down the left channel. From the edge of the box he tried to dink substitute ‘keeper, Sam Gray, but dragged his attempt wide of the left post.
Mendes mended matters two minutes later when he put in Bickley. The striker got his shot away just as Ascot captain Louis Bouwers slid in to tackle, but he was too late and Bickley’s cross shot nestled in the bottom left corner of the net to put the Bulls three up. Cue another drinks break.
The drinks obviously failed to cool the fractious relationship between Bickley and Bouwers and when their “handbags” on the edge of the box was brought to the attention of the referee by linesman Luke Nerac they were both cautioned.
Marcus Mealing reacted quicker than any of the defenders to a short clearance by Euan Van der Vliet but from twenty yards he put his shot wide right when the ‘keeper would have had little chance if it had been on target.
Two minutes later the Jersey defence was caught out again when Lumsden was bundled over by Mealing on the right. Ascot swept the ball across to the left and it was chipped back to the far post where McCormack, a couple of yards out, headed it on to the inside of the right post. Unfortunately for Jersey it fell straight to Brendan Matthews, a yard out, to lift in to the roof of the net from point blank range.
The three goal margin was soon restored when John “J.J.” Lloyd played in a long forward cross field pass to Adam Trotter on the right fifteen yards out. Trotter headed it back in to the centre where Ritzema was not fazed by the onrushing Gray and his stooping header beat both Gray and then a defender rushing back to try and clear the ball off the line.
The sapping heat took its toll and the match was played out with little further action.
Jersey Bulls 4 (Lorne Bickley (2) 16 & 61, Harry Cardwell 23, Toby Ritzema 77); Ascot United 1 (Brendan Matthews 75)
Attendance – 214
Programme – gratis 16pp (on line only)
Jersey Bulls – Robbie Scott, James Queree (c), James Carr, Sammy Sutcliffe, Frank Tobin, Joe Kilshaw, Harry Cardwell, Jonny Le Quesne, Lorne Bickley (wore 16), Ruben Mendes, Kieren Stephens
Substitutes – 1. Euan Van der Vliet (wore 21) (for Scott 46), 12 Darryl Mvalo (for Stephens 62), 14. Toby Ritzema (for Mendes 62), 15. Miguel Carvalho (for Cardwell 26), 17. John Lloyd (for Sutcliffe 67), 21. Adam Trotter (for Kilshaw 46), 23. Jack Lumsden (for Carr 46). Kilshaw returned for Bickley 72
Red/White/White; GK All Yellow; Sub GK All Green
Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach), Debbie Thompson (Physio.)
Ascot United – Jamie Ashdown, George Lock, Keaton August (wore 17), Harry Ticker, Louis Bouwers (c), Chris Ellis (vc) (wore 19), Sean McCormack, Rory Merrick, Marcus Mealing, Harry Laflin, Brendan Matthews
Substitutes – 12. Toby Thompson (for August 62), 13. (wore 1) Sam Gray (for Ashdown 46), 14. Usman Lulastani (for Mealing 46), 15. Dan Price (for Matthews 76), 16. Duarte Surpanu (for Lock 46). Lock returned for Merrick 62, Mealing returned for Ellis 62, Ellis returned for Bouwers 76, Merrick returned for Laflin 76
White/Royal Blue/Royal Blue; GK Green/Black/Black; Sub GK Grey/Black/Black
Jamie Tomkins (Manager), Steve Quelch (Coach), Stuart Britton (Fitness), Alex Sykes (GK Coach), Chad Smith (Physio.)
Jersey (4-3-3 R to L) 1; 5-2-4-3; 8-6-10; 7-16-11
Ascot (5-3-2 R to L) 1; 2-19-5-4-7; 10-11-8; 9-17
Referee – Richard Dyer (Jersey)
Assistants – Luke Nerac (Jersey) on the dug-out side and Andy Norman (Jersey) on the grandstand side.
Drinks breaks – 23 and 61 minutes
Cautions – Sean McCormack (AU) 48, Lorne Bickley (JB) & Louis Bouwers (AU) 66
Corners – Jersey Bulls (0) 2, Stevenage (1) 4
Player of the Match Award – Lorne Bickley