Jersey Bulls

2 - 3

Combined Counties League Premier Division South

Banstead Athletic FC

Saturday March 19, 2022, 3:00 pm

Adams Park, Wycombe

Combined Counties League Premier Division South

Match Report

Jersey were notionally at home but with the Springfield facilities being renovated they needed to find an alternative venue. Ian Horswell, the Bulls C.E.O., made use of his extensive contacts and remarkably managed to secure the use of Adams Park, the home of Wycombe Wanderers.

Banstead have been in the Combined Counties League since being relegated from the Isthmian League in 2006. They then slipped down to Division 1 in 2012 but won that title in 2017 since when they have been a mid-table team in the Premier Division. However, this season has been a struggle for them.

They sat 19th of the 20 teams and hoping that under the F.A. re-structure, only one side, rather than two, will be relegated. Their current record is 3-6-19 31-72. Banstead also went out of the F.A. Cup and the F.A. Vase in the opening rounds of both. They had, however, held Redhill and Horley to draws and crucially won their relegation clash at Molesey.

Jersey made five changes, one positional, from their starting line-up against Walton & Hersham on Tuesday. Sol Solomon was out injured, so Jonny Le Quesne moved forward with Frank Tobin, unavailable on Tuesday, taking on Le Quesne’s defensive role.

Lorne Bickley was a late withdrawal and therefore Kieran Lester spearheaded the attack. Adam Trotter and Karl Hinds, substitutes at Walton, swapped roles with Joe Kilshaw and Ruben Mendes-Pestana, with Jake Prince alongside the latter two on the bench.

The pitch was very good and the ground conditions slick, with the watering system having been utilised. This sent the Jersey players, relaxing in the palatial dug outs pre-match, scurrying off, as the cross wind gave them an unannounced shower.

Jersey kicked off attacking the terraced Valley End. Trotter showed early intent with a twenty-five yard shot palmed away for a corner by Devon Gordon in the Banstead goal. However, it was Trotter’s intended short midfield pass to Kamen Nafkha that was intercepted by Scott Walker after quarter of an hour. Walker advanced and from twenty yards astutely chipped Euan Van der Vliet to give Banstead a surprise lead.
Jersey pushed for a quick equaliser. Lester had a header easily saved, Hinds put a thirty-yard lob on to the roof of the net and then shot straight at Gordon. Fraser Barlow had a shot parried by Gordon and the follow up was deflected for a corner. Le Quesne also had a twenty-yard shot saved with the rebound blocked by a defender. This left Banstead still leading at the break as the voluble Banstead manager, Carl Taylor, advanced on the match officials to question an earlier decision of theirs.

Early in the second half, Washington Omenyi had a rare Banstead opportunity but he shot straight at Van der Vliet. Just before the hour Jersey eventually obtained the equaliser. Hinds got to the left byline and his cross to the far post was well finished by a Lester volley. However, before the re-start Luke Campbell limped off and was replaced by Prince. Within two minutes Prince was through for a one on one with Gordon but his low attempt hit the ‘keeper’s legs and went away for a corner.

Banstead regained the lead in a fortuitous manner. A long ball forward was reached on the left byline by Emmanuel Akitou. He crossed as Le Quesne slid in to tackle him and the ball hit his upraised arm. It was hardly an “unnatural position” for his arm to be in but a penalty was awarded nevertheless. Walker took it and placed it high to the right sending Van der Vliet the wrong way.

With a quarter of an hour remaining Nafkha was sent on for Kilshaw and two minutes later Mendes-Pestana replaced Hinds. Gordon received lengthy treatment for a right thigh injury but carried on despite obviously still suffering. With three minutes of normal time left Prince latched on to a Giles header forward and “equalised” only to be pulled up by Richard Blackwood’s flag.

Giles had a header saved before Gordon decided he could not continue after two added minutes had been played. He was replaced by Richard Holden and Jersey continued to pour forward in search of an equaliser. Tobin and James Queree both had shots cleared off the line but from the latter Le Quesne returned the half-cleared ball with interest. From the edge of the penalty box he rifled in an equaliser in to the top right corner in the 96th minute.

The siege continued as a winner was sought. However, another desperate clearance found Connor Cullen. He quickly turned to get goal side of the lone defender, Tobin, and bear down on Van der Vliet. Sidestepping the stopper he tucked away the unlikely match winner.
Play continued into the tenth added minute when Taylor was dismissed from the Banstead dug out for one remark too many for the match officials liking. A few seconds later his team’s improbable victory was confirmed from a match which saw them only have four shots on target, but score from three of them.

Jersey Bulls 2 (Kieran Lester 58, Jonny Le Quesne 90+6), Banstead Athletic 3 (Scott Walker (2, 1 pen) 15 & 67 pen, Connor Cullen 90+7)
Attendance – 182

Programme – £2, 28 pages

Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Frank Tobin, Jay Giles, James Queree (c), Luke Campbell, Kamen Nafkha, Fraser Barlow, Adam Trotter, Kieran Lester, Karl Hinds, Jonny Le Quesne
Substitutes – Jake Prince (for Campbell 59), Joe Kilshaw (for Nafkha 75), Ruben Mendes-Pestana (for Hinds 77), only three substitutes

Red/White/White; GK Yellow

Gary Freeman (Manager), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach), Jim Robertson (Physio.)

Banstead Athletic – Devon Gordon, Steve Newman (c), Ben Drake, Emmanuel Akitou, Nathaniel Oseni, Washington Omenyi, David Awomola, Rueben Cullen, Connor Cullen, Scott Walker, Fabio Nunes
Substitutes – Liam Holden (for Gordon 90+2), Alex Stingelin (for Omenyi 69), Will Crozier (for Awomola 77), Boe Fowler (not used), Lorcan Francis (not used)

Carl Taylor (Manager), Brad Graham (Assistant), John Chinnery (Physio.)

All Yellow; GK Light Green/Black/Black, Sub GK Light Green/Yellow/Yellow

Referee – Robert Alderton (Ashford, Middlesex) – his first Jersey match, in his fourth season

Assistants – James Bird (Wycombe) On the dug out side. Qualified in 1989 and has officiated in the Hellenic League until this season when the geographical re-structuring brought him in to Combined Counties territory. Visited Springfield for the Knaphill match on 18th December. Richard Blackwood (also Wycombe) on the double decker stand side. In his third season, like Bird, previously with the Hellenic League until this season.

Cautions – None

Dismissal – Carl Taylor (Banstead Athletic manager) 90+9

Corners – Jersey Bulls (8) 18; Banstead Athletic (1) 4

Player of the Match Award (on line voting) – Fraser Barlow 13, Kieran Lester 9, James Queree 6, Karl Hinds 6


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