Abbey Rangers F.C.

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Combined Counties League Premier Division South

Jersey Bulls

Tuesday August 30, 2022, 7:45 pm

Addlestone Moor

Combined Counties League Premier Division South

Match Report

New opponents were met for the second time in four days as Jersey visited Chertsey based Abbey Rangers who have been transferred from the North section.

Abbey Rangers were established as an U16 boys club in 1976, named after the nearby Benedictine Abbey, the initial burial place of Henry VI.

Having firstly played locally, they joined the Surrey and Hampshire Border League, which they won in 2005 and were runners-up in 2006. They transferred to the Guildford and Woking Alliance and were champions at their first attempt, earning promotion to the Premier Division where they finished runners-up.

This gained them promotion to the Surrey Intermediate League, which they also won, bringing them promotion to the Premier Division in which they finished second in 2011. Another transfer of allegiance saw them join the Surrey Elite League where they remained for four seasons until a fourth-place finish resulted in promotion to  Combined Counties Division 1.

Third place in their first season saw yet another promotion. Two seasons of consolidation in the Premier Division followed before finishing third in 2019. After the two abandoned seasons they were placed in the Northern section last season where they ended up fourth before being moved to the South section this year.

They first played in the F.A. Vase in 2015-16 reaching the third round (last 64) in both 2017 and last season when they lost out on “penalties” to Athletic Newham. In the latter run they disposed of Fareham Town, Jersey’s conquerors, 5-3 at Fareham. However, their best season was 2019 when six victories took them to the last 16.

The following season saw their best F.A. Cup run when four wins saw them match Jersey’s achievement of last year in reaching the Third Qualifying Round.

This season they seem to be finding the South section tougher than the North. After losing 0-3 at home in the F.A. Cup to Hanworth Villa, last season’s undefeated North section champions, they have beaten Frimley Green and Guildford City but lost to Badshot Lea, Horley Town and Knaphill, to sit in eleventh place.

Jersey had Kamen Nafkha, Adam Trotter and Jake Prince unavailable so Joe Kilshaw and Fraser Barlow, substitutes on Saturday, started, with Jonny Le Quesne, returning from a hamstring injury, on the bench. He was joined there by teenagers Sammy Sutcliffe, John “J.J.” Lloyd, Darryl Mvalo and substitute ‘keeper Richard Hebert.

Abbey Rangers named an unchanged starting line-up after their success in their last match when they won 2-1 at Guildford City.

On a mild (18C) evening, which featured a very brief shower, skipper James Queree opted to swap ends so Abbey Rangers kicked off attacking the clubhouse end to the South of the ground on a well-maintained pitch with the breeze behind them.

A very early throw in on the left led to the hosts taking the lead after only twenty-five seconds. Luke Robertson and two defenders got in a tangle with the ball breaking to top scorer Charlie Postance. From ten yards out he stabbed the ball past Pierce Roche’s right hand with unavailing offside appeals towards linesman Nigel Hickes.

This early fillip spurred on the local side as they looked to increase their lead. Michael Coppinger missed an opportunity to do so when his free kick from the edge of the area was put over the bar. As Jersey gradually settled, Francis Lekimamati was well tackled by the diminutive “terrier” George Chandler before Jersey equalised from a free-kick of their own. Sol Solomon on the left swung it in to the near post area where Harry Curtis powerfully glanced it inside the far post.

Jersey started to take over the midfield, enabling them to move forward more often. Lekimamati was blocked by ‘keeper Sam Freeman’s feet but Freeman then dropped a cross from Ruben Mendes at Solomon’s feet though his snapshot was cleared off the line by skipper Jack Watts. Freeman then redeemed himself by tipping over a Lorne Bickley shot.

After half an hour, Postance broke clear only to be hauled back by Hickes’ flag. Abbey Rangers followed this up with another pinball scenario in the Jersey box but this time the ball did not break as kindly as it had in their opening gambit.

Jersey looked to be in the ascendancy as the interval arrived though they had yet to assert themselves sufficiently to subdue the hosts occasional counter attacks.

After the break Freeman pushed a Jay Giles shot around the post before Roche saved at the foot of his left post from Robertson. Solomon was then brought down in the box by Chandler with the penalty appeal waved away by referee Pat Nixon.

Two minutes later justice was done when Fraser Barlow’s toe poked the ball between two defenders and into the path of Bickley running down the right channel. Bickley held off Elliott Firth and placed the ball beyond Freeman’s dive, just inside the right post to give Jersey the lead.

Bickley’s evening changed, when frustrated by the already carded Chandler’s repeated attentions, he protested too vehemently to referee Nixon. Ten minutes in the sin bin resulted with Jersey spending most of that time running down the clock as they protected their lead.

Within a couple of minutes of his return Bickley scored again. Le Quesne lobbed the ball forward with what appeared to be back spin on it. Freeman rushed out but Bickley got a touch on it to leave Freeman stranded with Bickley left to roll it home.

This goal ended the game as a contest. Solomon passed inside to Le Quesne but his lob cleared the bar. The remaining minutes saw little significant action with the win keeping Jersey just behind the leading group as the early table takes shape.

Abbey Rangers 1 (Charlie Postance 25 secs) Jersey Bulls 3 (Harry Curtis 15, Lorne Bickley (2) 58 & 79)

Attendance – 91 (supplied by Abbey Rangers) (head count 180)

Programme – 28pp A5

Abbey Rangers (squad numbers) – 1. Sam Freeman, 2. Tommy O’Neill, 6. George Chandler, 7. Elliott Firth, 9. Charlie Postance, 10. Daryl Cooper-Smith, 11. Luke Robertson, 12. Michael Coppinger, 14. Mekhail McLaughlin, 15. Jack Watts (c), 18. Jake Rowley

Substitutes – 4 Pat Kirby (for Watts 70), 5 Owen Davies (not used), 8 Ben Kersley (for Rowley 70), 16 Jake Hammond (for Cooper-Smith 46), 20. Oliver Woolgar (not used)

Wide Black & White Stripes (White Back)/Black/Black; GK Bright Green

Micky Woolgar & Paul Johnson (Joint Managers), Alex Lumley (Coach), Natacha Haman (Physio.)

Jersey Bulls – Pierce Roche, Frank Tobin (wore 21), Jay Giles, James Querée (c), Harry Curtis, Joe Kilshaw, Fraser Barlow, Ruben Mendes, Lorne Bickley (wore 16), Sol Solomon, Francis Lekimamati

Substitutes – 1. Richard Hebert (GK) (not used), 2. John “J.J.” Lloyd (for Tobin 88), 9. Jonny Le Quesne (for Lekimamati 59), 12. Sammy Sutcliffe (for Mendes 70), 23 Darryl Mvalo (for Barlow 82)

Red/White/Red: GK Yellow

Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Richard Hebert (GK Coach)

Abbey Rangers (4-4-2 R to L) 1; 2-18-15-14; 7-12-6-10; 11-9
Jersey Bulls (4-1-4-1 R to L) 1; 21-4-5-3; 6; 7-8-10-11; 16

Referee – Pat Nixon (Guildford)

Assistants – Nigel Hickes (Ruislip) on the dug-out side. Simon Cudner (Edgware) on the far side.

Cautions – Chandler (AR) 22, Cooper-Smith (AR) 33, Tobin (JB) 45, McLaughlin (AR) 85, Curtis (JB) 87

Sin Bin – Bickley (JB) 66

Corners – Abbey Rangers (3) 3; Jersey Bulls (3) 5

Player of the Match Award – Lorne Bickley (JB)


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