3 - 0
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Saturday January 21, 2023, 3:15 pm
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
The Bulls returned to league action against Cobham who have just commenced a groundshare with Walton & Hersham as the excellent grass at their Leg o’ Mutton ground is being transformed into an artificial surface to enable greater usage.
Cobham played in the Surrey Senior League from at least 1964 until that league became the nucleus for the Combined Counties League at its inception in 1978. They have been ever present since then with a best finish of second in 1999, a season that also saw them reach the third round of the F.A. Vase.
Relegated from the Premier Division in 2009 Cobham returned in 2018 after finishing runners-up in Division One. They were mid table in both abandoned seasons.
Last season Cobham finished 14th and had been as high as ninth when they visited Springfield last February but their season, like Jersey’s, tailed away in the later stages, although without them ever being in danger of relegation.
This season they sit 8th in the division with a 10-2-10 30-36 record having played as any league games as any team after early exits in all the main cup competitions.
They have won their last four league games, the two most recent being to complete doubles over Alton and Horley Town.
Last season Cobham proved obstinate opponents in both games with Fraser Barlow scoring vital goals in each of them. At Cobham on a sunny mid-August afternoon Barlow opened the scoring only for the exotically named Prince Otto to equalise within minutes. A second half goal from Lorne Bickley just after the hour restored Jersey’s lead before a late clincher came from Ruben Mendes.
The return match in the first week of February at Springfield took place in much chillier conditions with a cold wind bringing the temperature down to single figures.
The match was decided by the only goal of the game scored by Barlow just before the hour mark.
This season Jersey visited Cobham in September and won with two set piece goals. The first a wonderful free-kick from Sol Solomon, which turned out to be his last in a Bulls shirt, and from a Solomon corner, Barlow volleyed home to keep up his record of a goal a game against Cobham.
Cobham’s had an 3-2 added time victory against Horley Town last week Their winner was scored by Derick Hayford, his second of the match, but their leading scorers this season are Ben Senior 9 and Ryan Marklew 7. Over half their squad was “new” since Jersey last met them four months ago. Josh Andrew, Lloyd Connelly, Jamie Di Guiseppe, Anthony Nazareth, Jack Sims and Andrew Westphal being starters along with Laolu Daranijo, Kyle Henry and Darnell McDonald amongst the substitutes.
Jersey, unusually, named an unchanged team from their F.A. Vase match against Romford last week. The only difference being that league only permits five named substitutes so the two to miss out on the bench were the substitute goalkeeper Pierce Roche and the unavailable Ben Le Rougetel.
On a still but chill (6C) sunny afternoon Jersey kicked-off attacking the Town End. Jersey started brightly and in the second minute Lorne Bickley seized on defensive indecision to drive forward down the right channel but covering defenders narrowed down his run and Andrew Westphal was able to block his shot for a corner.
Bickley set up Henia-Kamau in the eighth minute and his deflected shot earnt Bulls a second early corner. With it Francis Lekimamati found Luke Campbell eight yards out right of centre but his volley hit the underside of the bar and cannoned back out to be cleared. When play switched to the other end Josh Andrew played a probing diagonal ball between the defence towards Antonis Kozakis but Euan Van der Vliet was out quickly before he could reach it.
Two minutes later Bickley again advanced down the right and put in a long cross shot which tested Westphal again who pushed it away for a corner. Play then settled down to a midfield battle before Jonny Le Quesne picked up a knock and had to be replaced my Miguel Carvalho midway through the half.
Just after the half hour Andrew took out Trotter with a clumsy challenge and Jay Giles’ subsequent free-kick was knocked down by Bickley to Campbell. It sat up nicely but from fifteen yards his rising left footed shot cleared the bar.
In first half added time Cobham had their best opportunity of the match. A ball forward was flicked on by Ben Senior into the path of Andrew clear in the right channel. The stockily built and heavily bearded player took a rather heavy first touch which led to him snatching at his edge of the box shot as he was closed down by Giles. He dragged it well wide of the left post but it was a warning sign to the hosts as the interval arrived goalless.
Just before the hour Giles failed to chase down a throw out by Van der Vliet towards the “Bull Pen” / away dug out area. Andrew, keen to take a quick throw-in, shoved Giles in attempting to retrieve the ball from him, which drew adverse comment from the home spectators which in turn led to the away dug out also getting involved.
With just over twenty minutes left Joe Kilshaw and Luke Watson were introduced for Kamen Nafkha and Sammy Henia-Kamau.
Five minutes later Jersey gained the breakthrough they had been seeking. Luke Watson had a shot which was deflected for a corner. After Westphal’s delaying tactics Lekimamati eventually took it. Bickley six yards out at the near post helped it on with a stooping header and Campbell beat Connelly and Andrew to it at the far post to head home from a couple of yards.
Before the resumption Marklew, who had already been cautioned, was sent to the “sin bin” for ten minutes after having presumably said something out of turn to the referee about allowing the goal.
Shortly afterwards Bickley was replaced by Jake Prince and after only two minutes on the pitch scored the second. Kilshaw was clattered in midfield by Niall Stillwell who had come on for Cobham at the same time as Prince. However, he managed to release Trotter who dummied to shoot but instead passed to his left where Prince was now in space. Prince sensibly took his time and placed a cross shot into the bottom right corner before Cobham skipper James King could close him down.
The referee, Tom Lathey, having played the “advantage” then cautioned Stillwell before the restart to make him the fifth Cobham name in his notebook. There were to be more. From the kick-off Prince chased down the pass back but only managed to injure himself in the process and his brief, but telling, appearance ended with him being replaced by Sammy Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe, usually a central defender, played as a striker for the remainder of the match, 17 minutes in all as there were to be nine minutes of added time.
After Andrew bodychecked Carvalho in midfield Cobham played on despite appeals to put the ball out as Carvalho had stayed down. When a foul on Senior did eventually stop play a melee broke out. Trotter, displeased with Senior, was cautioned for adopting an aggressive attitude to him as was Di Giuseppe for grabbing at Trotter’s throat. Andrew who had then flattened Trotter was dismissed. Cobham therefore continued to have to play with ten as the melee occurred just as Marklew was about to return from the sin bin. The match officials did well to identify the main culprits in the carnage.
Midway through the nine added minutes Carvalho weaved his magic down the left and beating Stillwell crossed from the left byline on to the head of Lekimamati six yards out to make the result 3-0.
Jersey Bulls (0) 3 (Campbell 74, Prince 78, Lekimamati 90+5); Cobham (0) 0
Attendance – 577
Programme – 24pp, £2
Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Frank Tobin (wore 12), Jay Giles, James Queree (c), Luke Campbell, Kamen Nafkha, Francis Lekimamati, Adam Trotter, Lorne Bickley (wore 16), Jonny Le Quesne, Sammy Henia-Kamau
Substitutes – 14. Joe Kilshaw (for Henia-Kamau 69), 15. Luke Watson (for Nafkha 69), 17. Miguel Carvalho (for Le Quesne 23), 18. Jake Prince (for Bickley 76), 23. Sammy Sutcliffe (for Prince 82)
Red/White/Red; GK All Yellow
Gary Freeman (Manager), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach), Steve Martin (Physio.)
Cobham – Andrew Westphal, Anthony Nazareth, Jamie Di Guiseppe (vc), Jack Sims, James King (c), Lloyd Connelly, Josh Andrew, Ryan Marklew, Antonis Kozakis, Derick Hayford, Ben Senior
Substitutes – 12. Laolu Daranijo (for Kozakis 46), 14. Kyle Henry (for Nazareth 46), 15. Niall Stillwell (for Sims 76), 16. Darnell McDonald (for King 80), 17. Jacob De Sa (for Hayford 80)
Purple & Pink design / Purple / Pink; GK Black with bright Green flashes
Craig Lewington (Player/manager), Ross Chalke (Assistant), Adrian Browne (Coach), Paul Cross (Coach), Franco Agatecola (GK Coach), Manuel Bonifacio (Physio.)
Jersey Bulls (4-1-4-1 R to L) 1; 12-4-5-3; 6; 7-8-10-11; 16
Cobham (4-4-2 R to L) 1; 2-5-6-3; 7-8-4-11; 10-9
Referee – Tom (sic) H. Lathey (Slough) his first Jersey match. A 25 year old who has worked his way up through the Berkshire Leagues before a season with the Hellenic League and now in his second season with the Combined Counties League.
Assistants – Steven Conway (Harefield) On the dug-out side. A very experienced official now in his 29thseason, 18 of them on the National List when he occasionally acted as a fourth official for Football League matches as well as twice at Wembley for the Umbro Cup in 1995. The Umbro Cup was a quadrangular tournament where England hosted Brazil, Sweden and Japan and acted as a preparatory event for Euro 1996. Was on the line for the Farnham Town match at Springfield last season.
Shaheem Kamaldian (Wokingham) on the grandstand side. Also in his 29th season, the first five in Sri Lanka before re-locating to the U.K. in 1999. Originally from Kandy he started in the Sussex County League (now the Southern Combination League) before three years with the Hellenic League and now in his third season with the Combined Counties League. His first Jersey match.
Cautions – Nazareth (C) 17, Lekimamati (JB) 33, Marklew (C) 67, Henry (C) 72, Stillwell (C) 79, Di Guiseppe (C) 88, Trotter (JB) 88
Sin Bin – Marklew (C) 75
Dismissal – Andrew (C) 87
Corners – Jersey Bulls (4) 6; Cobham (2) 4
Player of the Match – Luke Campbell