Balham FC

2 - 4

Combined Counties League Premier Division South

Jersey Bulls

Wednesday March 15, 2023, 7:30 pm

Mayfield Stadium

Combined Counties League Premier Division South

Match Report

This fixture was originally due to have been on played Wednesday 14th December but was postponed when the ground was frozen by the cold snap that week.

Balham, after a poor start, ended up eighth last season. This season they again started slowly but now lie 11thwith a 10-9-8 40-40 record. Since late October they have not lost in the league, with 8 wins and 6 draws, including a win at Knaphill and drawing at home with Raynes Park Vale.

Lorne Bickley, having had his appeal against his dismissal at Horley last Tuesday, dismissed on Monday, was serving the first of his consequential three match suspension. Fraser Barlow was promoted from the bench to take his place up front. Kamen Nafkha and Robert Martins-Figueira came in to the team as starters with Adam Trotter, Luke Watson and Sammy Henia-Kamau rotated to the bench. Francis Lekimamati, like Barlow, was elevated from the bench, and Leandro Vieira replaced the injured Miguel Carvalho as a substitute.

On a damp but mild evening (10C) Jersey kicked off defending the Cemetery end.
The pitch, which had been played on the night before by A.F.C. Croydon Athletic and table toppers Raynes Park Vale, became greasier as the match progressed.

Jersey came away with a surprisingly straightforward victory to end the host’s long unbeaten run. Playing a high pressing game they restricted Balham’s opportunities and were much quicker on the attack, shrugging off the absence of their top scorer, Bickley. The margin could have been greater as other good chances were spurned and a couple of relatively soft goals conceded.

Barlow headed in a Giles corner at the near post from a couple of yards out for the 100th first team goal of the season. Martins-Figueira seized on a wayward back pass by Kojo Kyei but allowed ‘keeper Haydn Read to recover but redeemed himself a minute later when his clever flick was anticipated by Lekimamati to volley home.

The feisty Tom Read reduced the lead shortly after the break when he turned James Queree and shot in off the underside of the advancing Euan Van der Vliet. Jersey restored their two-goal cushion when a Giles free kick from the half way line was left by Kyei and Tomasz Wocial for one another and Lekimamati nipped in to lift the ball into the top left corner.

Kyei was then unfortunate to be dismissed when a long ball forward by Le Quesne bobbled on to his arm as he turned to clear when pursued by Vieira. From the free kick on the edge of the box Lekimimati became the 8th scorer of a Bulls hat-trick.

Vieira had a “goal” chalked off for offside and Read reduced the deficit with a penalty after a Balham corner when a Louis Farquharson shot deflected off the blocking Luke Watson on to Adam Trotter’s arm.
Balham 2 (Tom Read 50 & pen 81), Jersey Bulls 4 (Fraser Barlow 14, Francis Lekimamati 27, 60 & 62)

Attendance – 35

Programme – 16pp, online only

Balham – Haydn Read, Edward McCrea, Tomasz Wocial, Dan David (c), Mark Palmer, Kojo Kyei, Sam Pagano, Jack Haire (wore 18), Ray Moore, James Anderson, Tom Read

Substitutes – 12. James Adebayo (for Moore 57), 14. Andre Cruz-Rosa (not used), 15. Alec Fiddes (for Pagano 57), 16. Gabriel Baion (not used), 17. Louis Farquharson (for Anderson 76)

All Maroon; GK All Dark Yellow

Ebrahim Seedat (Manager), Emil Kot (Coach), Dare Jean-Pierre (Coach), Seneye Morrell (Physio.)

Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Frank Tobin (wore 12), Jay Giles, James Queree (c), Luke Campbell, Kamen Nafkha, Francis Lekimamati, Joe Kilshaw, Fraser Barlow, Jonny Le Quesne, Robert Martins-Figueira

Substitutes – 14. Adam Trotter (for Nafkha 64), 15. Luke Watson (for Lekimamati 76), 16. Leandro Vieira (for Barlow 49), 17. Sammy Henia-Kamau (for Martins-Figueira 69), 18. Sammy Sutcliffe (not used)

White/Black/Black; GK All Yellow

Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach)

Balham (4-1-4-1 R to L) 1; 2-5-6-3; 4; 7-18-10-11; 9

Jersey Bulls (4-1-4-1 R to L) 1; 12-4-5-3; 6; 7-8-10-11; 9

Referee – Joshua Howard (Croydon)

Assistants – Joe Alborough (Teddington) on the dug outs side, previously seen at Cobham this season, and Philipp Chaykin (Richmond) on the grandstand side

Dismissal – Kojo Kyei (B) 61

Cautions – Luke Campbell (JB) 17, Kamen Nafkha (JB) 30, Tom Read (B) 30, Edward McCrea (B) 59

Corners – Balham (2) 4; Jersey Bulls (1) 3

Player of the Match Award – Francis Lekimamati (as he was in the reverse match too)


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