5 - 0
Isuzu UK FA Vase
Crowborough Athletic FC
Sunday September 26, 2021, 3:00 pm
Isuzu UK FA Vase
The Bulls met Crowborough from North-East Sussex in one of 182 matches in this round. Success in which would leave the victors with 8 more rounds to negotiate after today if they were to lift the trophy.
Situated 4 miles from the Kent border Crowborough joined the Sussex League in 1974 and reached the top division for three years in the mid 1990’s. However, they were back in the third division before a “benefactor” came along which saw them win Division 3 in 2004, Division 2 the following season and Division 1 in 2008. This saw them reach the Isthmian League South but the benefactor withdrew, most of the players left and they finished bottom and so returned to the Sussex League. Geographical re-organisation by the F.A. saw them re-located to the Southern Counties East League in 2015 which sees them predominantly competing against teams from Kent.
During their heavily sponsored years their Alderbrooke Close ground was developed and they reached the Third Qualifying Round F.A. Cup in 2008-9 before going out to Harlow Town in a replay. They also had F.A. Vase success, reaching the last 16 in 2007-8. They emulated that in 2016-17 and fell a round earlier the following season.
The Bulls had Euan Van der Vliet back in goal after his shoulder dislocation and Lorne Bickley replaced Fraser Barlow in attack. Barlow was away representing St. Clement in the last four of the Hampshire County Golf seven a side club competition.
On another warm afternoon, with the thermometer at 22C, Crowborough kicked off attacking the Robin Hood end. Sol Solomon nearly scored early on direct from a corner on the left but Martin Grant just managed to claw it away from the top right corner.
A right wing run by Jonny Le Quesne contributed to the opening goal. He fed Lorne Bickley, left of centre, but his shot was blocked. The ball rebounded to Kamen Nafkha who invited Bickley to try again. He adjusted his body weight well to pivot on the ball and get in a shot which went in off the base of the left post.
Five minutes later Rhys Bartlett ghosted between two defenders to create an opportunity that Van der Vliet was out quickly to smother. Good work by Nafkha gave Solomon a chance which Grant parried before Jake Prince was played in. Grant forced him wide and got back to save his shot from a narrow angle, with Grant’s momentum almost carrying him in to his own net.
Solomon set up Bickley who put the chance over the bar before the roles were reversed for the second goal, with Nafkha involved again. Solomon scoring from ten yards. It was from a similar distance two minutes later that Solomon scored his second, lifting the ball over Grant after Bickley and Le Quesne had set him up.
Ten minutes in to the second half Ruben Mendes-Pestana almost scored a Beckhamesque lob from forty yards. The ball went a fraction over the bar but many in the crowd thought it had gone in as it deceptively rolled down the back of the net, albeit on the wrong side of it.
Van der Vliet and then Giles make a good double block to prevent Crowborough pulling one back only for a poor clearance to present Bartlett with a potential gift. He seemed as surprised as anyone and put his twenty-yard return shot wide right.
A succession of substitutions included Luca Margaroli replacing Joe Kilshaw and Kieran Lester coming on for Bickley. It only took Lester four minutes to add his name to the scorers when Margaroli’s through pass put him clear and his shot went in off the underside of Grant’s body.
More substitutions followed this fourth goal including a senior debut for tall central defender Sammy Sutcliffe. Crowborough substitute Tom Pearson, set up by Elliot Duncan, wasted a face-saving chance when putting the ball over the bar and Jack Prince reciprocated shortly afterwards, leaning back when taking his shot. Sutcliffe then climbed well to “score” with a header, seven minutes after coming on, only to have it disallowed for pushing.
The Bulls did get a fifth though in added time when Prince broke through. Grant rushed out and flattened Prince and his own defender, Josh Fermor, in doing so. Prince’s lob was partially blocked but fell conveniently for Solomon to walk in and complete his hat- trick.
Victory put the Bulls in to the last 233 teams. These include 23 exempted to the second round by virtue of reaching the last 32 last season. 385 other clubs have already been eliminated.
Jersey Bulls 5 (Lorne Bickley 18, Sol Solomon (3) 38, 40 & 90+1, Kieran Lester 79); Crowborough Athletic 0
Programme £2, 28 pages, full colour
Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Jonny Le Quesne, Jay Giles, James Queree (c), Luke Campbell, Kamen Nafkha, Jake Prince, Joe Kilshaw, Lorne Bickley, Ruben Mendes-Pestana, Sol Solomon
Substitutes – Jack Griffin (not used), Luca Margaroli (for Kilshaw 68), Kieran Lester (for Bickley 79), Sammy Sutcliffe (for Nafkha 81), Jonny Willows (GK not used) only five substitutes
Red/White/White; GK – All Yellow
Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach), Jason Carpenter (GK Coach), Richard Hebert (Assistant GK Coach), Jim Robertson (Physio.)
Crowborough Athletic – Martin Grant, Harry Osborne, Jack Funnell, Tom Boddy (c), Joe Tyrie, Josh Fermor, Dominic Welsh, Ali Mouajal, Kieran Scantlebury, Jacob Lambert, Rhys Bartlett
Substitutes – Harrison Mayhew (not used), Ollie Styles (not used), Tom Pearson (for Osborne 70), Elliot Duncan (for Scantlebury 80), Alex Emery (for Mouajal 62), Reece Anderson (not used), Cameron Hall (GK not used)
Sean Muggeridge (Manager), Alan Murray (Coach), Rob Kain (GK Coach), Jamie Smith (Kitman), Kyle Anson (Squad Member)
Navy Blue and Sky Blue Stripes/Navy Blue/Sky Blue; GK Green/Black/Green
Referee – Peter Dingle (Haywards Heath) Took up refereeing after retiring as a player in Lincolnshire and quickly progressed through the lower levels after moving to Sussex. Referees in the Southern Combination League and takes lines in the Isthmian League.
Assistants – Ian Homewood (Horsham) An experienced official who officiates in the Southern Combination League & Lewis Gordon (also Horsham) although relocating to Sussex three years ago from Wallington, near Croydon, he still referees in the Suburban League and was in the middle for the Bulls U23 match at Horley Town on Wednesday.
Cautions – none
Corners – Jersey Bulls (3) 7, Crowborough Athletic (4) 4
Player of the Match Award (sponsors) – Jonny Le Quesne (JB)
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