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Isuzu UK FA Vase
Saturday October 22, 2022, 3:00 pm
Isuzu UK FA Vase
Bearsted, three miles east of Maidstone, was founded in 1895. They played in the lower levels of the Maidstone league until a surge of success in the 1970s propelled them through the divisions and onto a hat trick of Premiership tittles.
Moving up to the Kent League they continued to advance through the divisions and eventually won that title too. This success meant that their home ground on The Green in the village was no longer adequate and in 1998 they re-located two miles south to the Sports Club at Otham. Situated, rather appropriately for a club known as The Bears, on Honey Lane.
Switching to the Kent Invicta League in 2011 they won it in 2016 and joined the Southern Counties East League which had been created out of the Kent League in 2013. They have regularly finished in mid table of the Premier Division (Step 5, the same as Jersey) and are currently 11th, the same position they finished last season, with a record of 4-3-4 10-11.
In the F.A. Cup they lost in a replay to Spelthorne Sports of the Combined Counties North but in the F.A. Vase, after receiving a bye, they defeated Arundel of the Southern Combination Division 1.
Jersey’s squad saw four of the five substitutes from the Balham game replaced, with only Frank Tobin retained, but as a starter this time. Kamen Nafkha, Jonny Le Quesne and Lorne Bickley started with new registration Harrison Moon on the bench where he was joined by Ben Le Rougetel, Ruben Mendes and the young Sammys, Henia-Kamau and Sutcliffe. Fraser Barlow and Joe Kilshaw were still out injured.
On a mild (18C) but cloudy afternoon with fitful sunshine and occasional light drizzle Jersey kicked off attacking the Town End. The stock markets around the world were no doubt watching to see if the Bulls or the Bears would win the day! Just as the markets have been volatile recently so was this match which had far more to it than the previous two combined.
Bearsted showed their “wind up” intentions from the start as Ollie Freeman took out Adam Trotter off the ball as it was played back to ‘keeper Euan Van der Vliet from the kick-off. Bickley then had two chances in the opening three minutes. Tom Benham, in the Bearsted goal, easily saved the first and the second, from a Jake Prince pass, was put over the bar.
Jersey supporters had their hearts in their mouths when a Bearsted free kick from the grandstand side eluded Euan Van der Vliet. It was headed back across by Rob Lawrence to Freeman who was unable to capitalise before Campbell cleared.
It was only then that it was seen that linesman Justin Mitchell had spotted an infringement of some kind at some point and had his flag raised.
Another long-range free kick was to give Bearsted an unexpected lead. Phil Headley some thirty yards out, left of centre, shot towards the bottom left corner and time seemed to stand still. It was a very good free-kick, but not exceptional. It cleared the two-man wall and Van der Vliet was caught flat footed at the far post as the ball flew into the other corner. It was the first goal Van der Vliet had conceded in 496 minutes.
Jersey was back on level terms seven minutes later. Jonny Le Quesne dispossessed Omotunmise Akanni on the right sideline and lifted the ball over the defence for Bickley to run onto. Bickley held off Daniel Melvin and put in a toe-poked shot which hit Denham in the chest and rebounded back to him. Bickley unselfishly squared the ball to Prince on his left who was able to beat the two defenders on the line for the equaliser.
Bearsted defender Shae Echema was the first player cautioned, for a foul on Bickley, in a match that kept young referee Patrick Jolliffe on his toes. Echema was then the victim a few minutes later when Prince joined him in Jolliffe’s notebook for a reckless challenge on the defender.
Trotter put in a shot which did not unduly concern Benham before Echema went down after an aerial challenge with Prince. Echema holding his head as though an elbow had caught him, although no contact was obvious, and Prince left bemused.
From the resultant “uncontested” dropped ball Prince was initially reluctant to move far enough away and then, when the ball was dropped, let his enthusiasm get the better of him and caught Colby Wait as he cleared the ball.
Like Echema just previously Wait made the most of his “injury” and the Jersey faithful were convinced the Bearsted players just wanted to grab the attention of their petite physio!
However this run of transgressions in such a short period had tested Jolliffe’s patience and he produced another yellow card for Prince meaning that Jersey were reduced to ten men.
In added time Trotter put in another long range shot that Benham held diving to his right. Nafkha then played a superb diagonal pass to Le Quesne who broke down the left channel before checking back inside Headley which gave Benham the chance to smother the ball before Le Quesne could shoot.
Shortly afterwards, Stephen Hafner, Benstead’s assistant manager, must have said something out of turn from the side lines as he was also cautioned.
Before the half-time whistle could sound the Benstead physio was busy again strapping up Jordan Ababio’s left thigh. Despite her ministrations Ababio could not continue and Gafaar Karim replaced him for the few seconds remaining before the break which eventually arrived after six minutes stoppage time.
In the interval it transpired Benham had broken a finger and on the resumption he was replaced in the Bearsted goal by James Savage. Jersey also made an interval change with Ruben Mendes coming on for Lekimamati.
Despite being a player down Jersey regained the initiative three minutes from the restart. Mendes passed inside to Trotter near the centre spot who went on a charge down the Bearsted middle. He was aided by a fortunate rebound when he was tackled by Wait and put in a shot that Savage parried diving to his left. Unfortunately for him it rebounded to Bickley on the edge of the box and he managed to adjust his stride to trickle the ball into the to bottom right corner making it 2-1.
Freeman stuck an elbow into Van der Vliet’s ribs as he came for a cross, for another injury stoppage, before flashing a header high and wide five minutes later.
Le Rougetel was brought on for Nafkha in midfield and James Queree carded, for going through the back of Rob Lawrence, just before the hour. The injured Lawrence then had to be substituted by Elyon Marshall-Katung.
From the resultant diagonal 35 yard Headley free kick towards the vicinity of the penalty spot, skipper Daniel Melvin rose high to contest the ball with Van der Vliet. The loose ball fell to Wait and Jersey were relieved to see his left foot volley fly high and wide of their goal.
Bearsted were ruing another miss shortly afterwards. Karim played a good through ball for Freeman to run on to. Van der Vliet was out to quickly save with his feet just outside his area. The ball ran loose to Marshall-Katung but he side-footed his shot wide of the right post as Campbell covered the vacant net.
Jersey were immediately on the counter attack. A long ball by Le Quesne from the edge of his own box eluded the Bearsted defence. Bickley ran on to it and Savage retreated, but from 12 yards, Bickley’s diagonal shot smacked against the crossbar and eventually ran out for a throw near the left corner flag.
With just quarter of an hour remaining Moon was brought on for his Jersey debut, replacing Bickley.
Almost immediately Le Quesne was caught by Wait as the latter was clearing an attack. Le Quesne took exception to this and after regaining his feet clipped Wait around his left ear.
Wait went down and stayed there as though he had been knocked out. Referee Jolliffe consulted with linesman Barry Cox beside the dug outs before brandishing the red card to Le Quesne, leaving Jersey with just nine players.
A long crossfield ball from the right gave Karim the opportunity to wiggle into the left corner of the Jersey penalty box. Once there he went down appealing for a penalty as Trotter tackled him.
The penalty appeal was waved away but Jersey were equally adamant that a card should have been issued for Karim’s “simulation”. Referee Jolliffe adopted a pragmatic compromise of playing on.
Wait was added to the mounting card count when he stopped a Mendes break on the halfway line in front of the dug-outs with a cynical trip.
There was a mini melee as the frustrations of both sides came to the fore and Freeman was also cautioned for shoving Giles thinking he was wasting time.
However, Van der Vliet was cautioned for wasting time two minutes later when a spectator behind his goal squirrelled the ball away and it was only returned to the ‘keeper just as a replacement was kicked on for his use. Unfortunately, referee Jolliffe had not spotted the shenanigans behind Van der Vliet’s goal which delayed him regaining the ball.
With a minute left of “normal” time a long clearance by Van der Vliet was partially volleyed back by Wait under pressure from Moon. It reached Akanni who played it back towards Melvin on the edge of the box. But the side spin on the ball took it across Melvin as Trotter moved in to challenge. Trotter controlled the ball and chipped the exposed Savage, who had committed himself early.
This gave Jersey the cushion of a two-goal lead for they still had to survive over seven minutes of added time two men light.
Bearsted’s last throw of the dice came midway through added time from another free kick on the right. It was only partially cleared as far as Wait but his shot hit his own man, Marshall-Katung. The rebound fell to Wakefield whose shot was blocked by Le Rougetel and the rebound was scuffed by Jordan Tingley from twenty-five yards into Van der Vliet’s grateful arms.
Three minutes later referee Jolliffe was able to blow the final whistle on an intense and at times fractious match as Jersey moved into the last 128 of the F.A. Vase despite finishing the match with only nine players.
Harry Potter fans, and Alan Rickman in particular, would have been pleased to have seen Jersey’s successful defence against the “Dark Arts”.
Jersey Bulls 3 (Jake Prince 21, Lorne Bickley 48, Adam Trotter 89);
Bearsted 1 (Phil Headley 14)
Attendance – 557
Programme – 20 pages, £2
Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Frank Tobin (wore 12), Jay Giles, James Queree (c), Jay Giles, Luke Campbell, Kamen Nafkha, Francis Lekimamati, Adam Trotter, Lorne Bickley (wore 16), Jonny Le Quesne, Jake Prince
Substitutes – 2. Ben Le Rougetel (for Nafkha 57), 9. Harrison Moon (for Bickley 77), 14. Ruben Mendes (for Lekimamati 46), 19. Sammy Henia-Kamau (not used), 21. Sammy Sutcliffe (not used), 23. Richard Hebert (sub GK, not used), no 7th sub.
Red/White/White; GK All Green
Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach), Steve Martin (Physio.)
Bearsted – Tom Benham, Shae Echema, Jordan Tingley (wore 18), Phil Headley, Colby Wait, Daniel Melvin (c), Jordan Ababio, Joel Wakefield, Ollie Freeman, Rob Lawrence, Omotunmise Akanni
Substitutes – 12. Ryan Blake (not used), 14. Alfie Sanders (not used), 15. Eklyon-Marshall-Katung (for Lawrence 60), 16. Gafaar Karim (for Ababio 45+6), 19. Jonathon Rogers (not used), 20. James Savage (sub GK for Benham 46), no 7th sub
Stephen Hafner (Assistant Manager), Steve Bailey (Coach), Aaron Lorentson (Coach), Cameron Croucher (Coach), Eliza Wopling (Physio.)
All Yellow (with orange design in shirts); GK All Orange, Sub GK All Grey
Jersey Bulls (4-1-4-1 R to L) 1; 12-4-5-3; 6; 7-8-10-11; 16
Bearsted (4-1-4-1 R to L) 1; 2-5-6-18; 4; 7-10-8-11; 9
Referee – Patrick Jolliffe (Lingfield) 6th year as an official and promoted to level 4 at the end of last season. Had always been with the Combined Counties League but was re-assigned to the Southern Combination League this season. Was on the line for our matches at Horley just over a year ago and then at Springfield for the Cobham match in February.
Assistants – Barry Cox (Crawley) on the dug-out side. Has spent most of his 22 years officiating with the Southern Combination League. Justin Mitchell (Crawley) grandstand side. Qualified for 12 years, usually officiating on the Mid Sussex League. Both on their first Bulls match.
Cautions – Echema (B) 24, Prince (JB) 30, Prince (JB) again 45 and so dismissed, Hafner (B assistant manager) 45+5, Queree (JB) 59, Le Quesne (JB) 80 straight red card, Headley (B) 84, Van der Vliet (JB) 87, Freeman (B) 89
Dismissals – Prince (JB) 45, Le Quesne (JB) 80
Corners – Jersey Bulls (4) 4; Bearsted (0) 1
Player of the Match Award – Adam Trotter
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