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Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Horley Town FC
Monday April 18, 2022, 2:00 pm
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
The sun was still shining 48 hours on from the Redhill game but despite that it was seven degrees colder for this Easter Monday afternoon match at a mere 13C. At least that was better than the thunder and lightning that threatened the reverse match at Horley in late September when Jersey won 5-0.
Horley, just across the county boundary from Gatwick, first joined the Combined Counties League in 1984. They remained there until 1996 when they finished bottom and they re-joined the Surrey County League. Horley returned to the Combined Counties Premier Division in 2003, only to be relegated three years later because their ground “The New Defence” was not up to the required ground grading standard.
They bounced straight back after finishing second in Division 1 and for the next decade or so were a lower middle Premier Division side. In 2015 their fortunes took an upturn and they have been an upper middle team since then. The last two of them were in the Sussex dominated Southern Combination League after they were moved under the F.A. restructure. There they were lying third and then fourth in the two abandoned seasons before being returned to the Combined Counties for this season.
Early in the season they were lying as high as fourth in the league but after meeting the “big hitters” of the league in the early autumn they sank to seventh where they have remained ever since, clear of the pack but not threatening the front runners. Their record is now 17-6-13 61-59. They fell at the first hurdle in the F.A. Cup but won through two rounds of the F.A. Vase before losing on “penalties” to Abbey Rangers of the Combined Counties Premier North Division.
The match was preceded by the presentation of the Jersey Bulls U.K. Supporters Group Player of the Season and their award went to …..(drum roll) Luke Campbell.
Jersey made three changes to Saturday’s starting line-up. Harry Curtis made his first start of the season, replacing the unavailable Ben Le Rougetel, and he put in a solid and reliable performance. Joe Kilshaw returned to midfield in place of the still recovering from ‘flu, Kamen Nafkha, and Kieran Lester made one of his relatively rare starts up front instead of Francis Lekimamati.
Nafkha and Lekimamati were on the bench, along with Jake Prince, Darryl Mvalo and James Carr. The latter, back from University, made his first appearance since mid-October.
Horley did not have much to play for Horley but Jersey still harboured the outside chance of finishing third if they won their two remaining matches and Raynes Park Vale slipped up. There was a chance of that as they were hosting potential champions Beckenham Town today but Raynes Park Vale prevailed.
Jersey kicked off attacking the Town End and within three minutes Lester had brought a good save from George Hyde who managed to dive low to his left to push it around the post. Horley’s Mario Qurassaca should have done better two minutes later, but from ten yards shot weakly straight at Euan Van der Vliet.
Horley skipper James McElligott was not so benevolent when presented with a similar opportunity shortly afterwards and from near the penalty spot he shot in to the bottom left corner.
The game was only seven minutes old when Horley took the lead as James McElligott was played through one on one, keeping his cool to slot the ball into the bottom left corner.
Ethan Ford put a shot wide from the edge of the box before Jonny Le Quesne’s header from a Jack Cannon cross went just over. Jersey’s defence was still looking
shaky at times whilst Lorne Bickley and Le Quesne both missed the left post at the other end.
Jersey equalised in the 38th minute when Lorne Bickley picked up a deflected Adam Trotter shot to thread the ball between the defenders on the line. Trotter put Bickley through for an even better chance three minutes later but his lob over Hyde was just too heavy and cleared the top right corner of the goal.
Horley had two good chances to take the lead seven minutes into the second half when Ford put through Qurassaca who again shot weakly at Van der Vliet and McElligott did the same with the rebound.
Prince was introduced for Robert Martins-Figueira and shortly afterwards a lob forward to Prince saw his shot parried only as far as Le Quesne who scuffed it home to give Jersey the lead. This only lasted three minutes when Quarassaca redeemed himself with the goal of the match. From about thirty yards out, his shot flew into the top right-hand corner via the underside of the bar.
The last twenty minutes started with Lekimamati clearing a shot off the line before
Chad Goulter had his effort saved by Van Der Vliet. Curtis made a good cross to the far post where Mvalo headed the ball down so sharply from a few yards out that it bounced down but then leapt over the bar.
In added time Trotter, frustrated by a decision, threw the ball down in disgust to earn a sin binning for his show of dissent. This left Jersey a man short for the remainder of the match. There was still more drama to come.
Prince again attempted to worm his way through the Horley defence and as the ball spun up Ryan Smith came across and with his upper arm hooked the ball away from the danger area. Referee Bimi Sherifi did well to notice the incident, pointed to the spot and was surrounded by protesting Horley players.
Sammy Sutcliffe grabbed the ball and confidently dispatched the ball in to the bottom right corner sending Hyde the wrong way. The final whistle then went indicating that had the penalty been parried a follow-up might not have been allowed.
Jersey Bulls 3 (Lorne Bickley 38, Jonny Le Quesne 64, Sammy Sutcliffe pen 90+5), Horley Town 2 (James McElligott 7, Mario Quarassaca 67)
Attendance – 551
Programme – £2, 24pp (joint issue with Redhill last Saturday)
Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Harry Curtis, Jack Cannon, James Queree (c), Sammy Sutcliffe, Joe Kilshaw, Jonny Le Quesne, Adam Trotter, Lorne Bickley, Kieran Lester, Robert Martins-Figueira
Substitutes – Jake Prince (for Martins-Figueira 57), Kamen Nafkha (for Kilshaw 63), James Carr (for Cannon 81), Darryl Mvalo (for Bickley 74), Francis Lekimamati (for Lester 63)
Red/White/White; GK All Yellow
Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach), Paul Renton (Coach), Jim Robertson (Physio.)
Horley Town – George Hyde, Matt Rapson, Kevin Moreno-Gomez, Ryan Smith, Jack Poplett, Andy Hall, James McElligott (c), Chad Goulter, Mario Qurassaca, Ethan Ford, Ethon Archer
Substitutes – Josh Rapson (for Smith 71), Jimmy Williams (for McElligott 81), Cordell White (for Qurassaca 81), Jamie Skipper (for Ford 81), only four substitutes
White/Claret/Light Blue; GK Orange/Black/Orange
Matt Chapman (Manager), Spencer Mitchell (Physio.)
Referee – Bimi Sherifi (Shepherd’s Bush) Born in Kosovo and re-located to London aged two. Qualified in 2016, initially with the Amateur Football Association and now in his third season with the Combined Counties League.
Assistants – Andy Norman (Jersey) on the dug-out side, Mark Le Cornu (Jersey) on the grandstand side). Two of Jersey’s most experienced officials, both having won the Referee of the Year award on numerous occasions. Both have also refereed the Muratti Vase Semi-Final and run the line for the Muratti Vase final twice, the highest honours available to local officials.
Cautions – Kieran Lester (JB) 29
Sin Bin – Adam Trotter (JB) 90+1
Corners – Jersey Bulls (3) 5, Horley Town (2) 5
Player of the Match Award (commentators) – Jonny Le Quesne
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