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Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Saturday September 23, 2023, 1:00 pm
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Jersey made their first visit to Bottom Meadow, although they had hosted Sandhurst twice at Springfield. In October 2019 Jersey won 4-1 before the return was postponed in January and the season was abandoned before the re-arranged date in April. In April 2022 Sandhurst won 4-2 in a Division 1 League Cup Quarter-Final when Jersey fielded their under 23 team.
Sandhurst were Division 1 champions last season after completing a long backlog of fixtures. They now possess a new sand based 3G surface which should prevent many postponements in the future.
This season has seen them struggling, albeit after a string of difficult fixtures. They lie 18th with a 1-1-5 13-22 record but four of those defeats have been at the hands of front runners Redhill, Farnham Town, Guildford City and Knaphill. They fell at the first fence of the F.A. Cup to V.C.D. Athletic and in the F.A. Vase to Highworth Town.
Jersey made four changes after their fifth successive clean sheet win against Spelthorne Sports. Luke Campbell, as captain, and Lorne Bickley returned with both Ben Le Rougetel and Luke Watson promoted from the bench. Making way were Jack Boyle, Kamen Nafkha, Sammy Sutcliffe and Miguel Carvalho. The latter was on the bench along with James Carr and debutant Will Byers.
A sunny (16C) afternoon saw Jersey kick off attacking the clubhouse end and a remarkable match ensued which would have been enjoyed by any neutral watching but probably rued by both sides as both of them had two goal leads at one point in the match.
An uncharacteristic error by Campbell gave Sandhurst an early chance. The captain “passed” to Haydn Vaughan on the right corner of the box. He cut in but was thwarted by an advancing Euan Van der Vliet who also managed to block the follow up from Amari Fashanu.
Bickley had a couple of half chances, lacking power with one and direction the other before Sandhurst took the lead. Dylan Ive took a twenty yard free kick on the right corner of the box and curled it towards the top right corner which Van der Vliet thought his wall would protect. The ‘keeper managed to get across and palmed the ball on the right post but Vaughan beat Watson to the rebound to open the scoring.
A Vaughan cross eluded Fashanu’s head at the quarter match point before Watson had a twenty-two yard shot deflected and then tipped over by Henry Pidgeon at full stretch in the home goal. But it was Vaughan who doubled the lead and his own tally ten minutes before the interval. A sweeping counter attack was started by a long diagonal ball forward by Sebastian Linturn. Vaughan on the left near the half way line dummied Harry Curtis and sped forward cutting inside Le Rougetel and from fifteen yards placing the ball in the bottom right corner.
Jersey were then fortunate that Vaughan did not complete his hat-trick. Put though on the left again Van der Vliet tackled him only for the ball to run loose to the left. Vaughan turned on it but hooked it wide of the right post. Jersey retaliated immediately with Fraser Barlow beating couple of central defenders on the edge of the box only to then put his shot wide of the left post having done all the hard work.
The following minute saw Jersey pull one back. Campbell played a lofted diagonal ball forward which Watson met with a cushioned header inside to Adam Trotter. Trotter lifted the ball over a defender and crossed it into the middle as it fell and Bickley was there to meet it on the six yard line to register Jersey’s 400th goal
At the break James Carr was brought on for Le Rougetel with Jonny Le Quesne moving forward into midfield. The change almost brought an immediate reward as a Carr cross from the left was volleyed over from eight yards by Bickley. However, Carr did contribute to the equaliser shortly afterwards. His through ball to Barlow saw the striker brought down by Pidgeon and a penalty awarded. Campbell stepped up and placed it low left but Pidgeon parried it only to be unfortunate enough to see it rebound to Campbell who then tucked it into the opposite corner.
Back on terms Jersey went looking for the winner. Just after the hour a Francis Lekimamati cross from the right was volleyed from beyond the far post by Le Quesne but was pushed away by Pidgeon. From the next attack a long diagonal cross from the left by Curtis found Campbell rising highest at the far post only for the ball to graze the bar as he headed it back across the face of the goal.
Carr and Barlow both put half chances over the bar before Jersey eventually gained their reward. A low Carr corner on the left somehow found its way across the six yard box for Watson right of centre to tap home.
Carvalho now replaced Lekimamati but it was the earlier substitute, Carr, who put in another cross which was met by a cushioned header by Watson down to Barlow whose shot hit Pidgeon’s legs with the home ‘keeper unlikely to have known much about it. With seven minutes of “normal” time left Byers made his debut replacing Bickley. An eventful time it was to be.
In the first added minute Trotter set Carvalho free on the left and after cutting in he squared the ball past the advancing Pidgeon for Le Quesne to tap in from six yards to give Jersey a 4-2 lead and all three points – or so it seemed. Sandhurst were awarded a disputed free kick wide on the right. Ive floated it to the near post where it was headed clear but it was seized upon by Harvey Seeman who hit a first time rocket into the top right corner past the flailing Van der Vliet for 4-3.
Remarkably the “fat lady” had still to sing. In the following minute Carvalho was dispossessed by Max Herbert as he attempted to break down the left. The ball was hooked forward to Seeman who sped down the right flank and played the ball into the near post where it was half volleyed home by Vaughan for his hat-trick. There was still time for a final Jersey attack. Le Quesne launched a long throw from the right which was headed across the goal by Campbell to Carvalho at the far post. His looping header eluded Pidgeon but unfortunately, for Jersey, just cleared the bar too.
Sandhurst Town 4 (Dylan Vaughan (3) 7, 35 & 90+5, Harvey Seeman 90+4);
Jersey Bulls 4 (Lorne Bickley 43, Luke Campbell 54, Luke Watson 71, Jonny Le Quesne 90+1)
Attendance – 102
Programme – Online only (20 pages)
Sandhurst Town – Henry Pidgeon, Ben Cooke, Ralph Vigrass, Freeman Mulipola, Milo Swanton, Jamie Griggs (c), Haydon Vaughan, Sebastian Linturn, Amari Fashanu, Dylan Ive, Harry Harvey
Substitutes – 12. Joe Predgen (for Vigrass 80), 14. Elliott Miles (for Cooke 24), 15. Harvey Seeman (for Fashanu 64), 16. Max Herbert (for Linturn 72), 17. Logan Coles (for Harvey also 72)
Red & White wide stripes with Red backs/White/White; GK All Light Blue
Jordan Ive (Manager), others T.B.A.
Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Jonny Le Quesne, Jay Giles, Harry Curtis, Luke Campbell (c), Ben Le Rougetel, Francis Lekimamati, Adam Trotter, Lorne Bickley, Luke Watson, Fraser Barlow
Substitutes – 14. Will Byers (for Bickley 83), 15. James Carr (for Le Rougetel 46), 17. Miguel Carvalho (for Lekimamati 72), only three substitutes
Orange & Navy Blue design/Navy Blue/Navy Blue; GK All Yellow
Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach)
Sandhurst Town (5-3-2 R to L) 1; 2-6-5-4-3; 11-10-8: 9-7
Jersey Bulls (4-1-4-1 R to L) 1; 2-4-5-3; 6; 7-10-8-11; 9
Referee – Matthew Childs (Reading)
Assistants – Nick Pyne (Wokingham) on the dug outs side and Jason Giddings-Townsend (Merton) on the grandstand side
Cautions – Luke Watson (JB) 22, Dylan Ive (ST) 22, Euan Van der Vliet (JB) 45+4 (walking off at half time), Freeman Mulipola (ST) 82
Corners – Sandhurst Town (2) 3; Jersey Bulls (4) 7
Player of the Match – Adam Trotter
Added Time – 3.05 & 8.35 (11.40)
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