Jersey Bulls Football Club | Matches
3 G1 A3072



Sat 15 Oct 2022

Springfield Stadium




Match Report

Balham started life as Balham Blazers (Youth) in 2001 and grew to the extent of starting adult sides in 2011 in order for their “graduating” players to continue playing for the club in adult football.

They swiftly moved up the leagues with five promotions in six seasons before being held back by their own ground facilities. They eventually gained admittance to the Combined Counties League by sharing with Cobham.

They finished third in Division 1 and went up to the Premier Division initially sharing at Colliers Wood United. To continue the “C” trend they are now at A.F.C. Croydon Athletic. The F.A. moved them sideways in to the South Eastern Counties League for 2020-21 only to move them back again last season.

On the same weekend last season Jersey won 3-0 at Balham to leave the hosts flirting with relegation. In that match Balham were missing both their top scorer and their captain. Despite that they had early chances to score before Jersey took control. After that they had a much better season and ended up eighth with a 16-5-17 66-54 record.

In the reverse fixture, played at Ascot United, Balham turned the tables and ran out comfortable 3-1 winners with the Jersey consolation goal only coming in added time.

In the close season they lost Tom Lanek-Read, top scorer last season with 41 goals, and midfielder Luke Hedges, who have joined the higher ranked Metropolitan Police and Beckenham Town respectively.

Greg Cruttwell their manager since their inception 21 years ago has retired and is now the Club President. Assistant Manager Ebrahim Seedat has been elevated to the top spot and Maciej Kulbacki has joined the coaching staff.

This season they lie 13th with a 2-3-5 15-21 record and fell at the first hurdle in both the F.A. Cup and F.A. Vase to Punjab United and Colliers Wood United respectively, the latter on penalties. Despite the seven defeats in twelve matches none has been by more than a two-goal margin.

Fraser Barlow joined Lorne Bickley, Joe Kilshaw and Kamen Nafkha on the injury list and Jonny Le Quesne was not available. Luke Campbell was welcomed back, pushing Frank Tobin on to the substitutes bench. Ruben Mendes replaced Le Quesne and Sammy Henia-Kamau made his first start in place of Barlow. Joining Tobin on the bench were John Lloyd, Jack Cannon and Miguel Carvalho. Robert Martins-Figueira was also named although he was not present.

Balham made four changes to their previous match with Edward McCrea, Nathan Osaji, Sam Pagano and Mamadou Doukoure all starting.

Balham’s flight was delayed and the kick-off had to be pushed back an hour to 4p.m.

On an overcast damp autumnal afternoon (16C) with the wind from the East, Balham kicked off attacking the Robin Hood End.

The football was as dull as the weather for the first quarter of the match with little goalmouth action at either end. Then a Jake Prince lay off to Adam Trotter ended with a shot down the ‘keeper’s throat. Ten minutes later a deft touch from Sam Pagano set James Adebayo free before Sammy Sutcliffe came across to block off his shot. Pagano then swivelled well to get in a left foot shot from the edge of the area but it was straight at Euan Van der Vliet.

The 37th minute saw the first significant drama as a Trotter cross from the left was brought down with his right foot by Prince who then hit a left foot shot from ten yards that rattled the bar. The rebound fell to Mendes whose header was brilliantly tipped over the bar by the recovering Haydn Read. From the subsequent corner Campbell got in a downward header but it was easily gathered by Read.

Three minutes later Francis Lekimamati produced a similar pass to Prince. A volley was required as the two touches taken gave Read the opportunity to smother the shot at the second attempt. Prince must have decided the same as his next attempt was from much snappier from outside the box but if flew just wide of the left upright to leave the teams level at the interval.

A brief heavy shower greeted the players upon their return and from the kick-off Jersey gained a corner. Played across by Jay Giles, Read pushed it way at full stretch to Sutcliffe just beyond the far post but his half volley from a narrow angle went back across the face of the goal and out for throw in.

Adebayo broke at the other end and rounded the advancing Van der Vliet. Forced wide, his cross was cut out by Sutcliffe and very little was seen of Balham as an attacking force for the rest of the match. Trotter again played in Prince but he again wanted a touch too many which enabled Jake Henry to block his shot.

Just before the hour Tobin and Carvalho came on for Sutcliffe and Le Rougetel.

Soon after these changes Mendes dinked a free kick in to the penalty spot area which found Campbell unmarked but unsure whether to head it or to volley it Read was able to gather. Balham seemed to have opted for a point by this stage with mysterious injuries and other delaying tactics being employed.

Giles put in another cross from the left byline which was parried away. It fell to Carvalho on the left corner of the six-yard box but his shot on the turn went into the ground and just cleared the bar. A Giles corner from the right was met beyond the far post with a stooping Campbell header but that went just wide.

With time running out it looked as though Balham would hold out but in the last minute of normal time a forty-yard crossfield free kick by James Queree was missed by Read as he challenged Trotter. Giles following in, kept his eye on it and from eight yards directed his header in to the open net before his teammates submerged him.

Jersey Bulls 1 (Jay Giles 90); Balham 0

Attendance – 509

Programme – 28 pages, £2

Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, James Queree (c), Jay Giles, Sammy Sutcliffe, Luke Campbell, Ben Le Rougetel, Francis Lekimamati, Adam Trotter, Jake Prince, Ruben Mendes, Sammy Henia-Kamau

Substitutes – 12. Frank Tobin (for Sutcliffe 59), 14. John Lloyd (not used), 15. Jack Cannon (for Henia-Kamau 80), 17. Miguel Carvalho (for Le Rougetel 59), 18, Robert Martins-Figueira (not used)

Red/White/White; GK All Yellow

Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach), Steve Martin (Physio.)

Balham – Haydn Read, Erick Arias, Edward McCrea, Nathan Osaji, Kojo Kyei, Jake Henry, Alec Fiddes, Dan David (c), James Adebayo, Sam Pagano, Mamadou Doukoure

Substitutes – 12. Alfie Dance (for Fiddes 90+3), 14. Khalid Savage (for Adebayo 81), 15. Andre Cruz-Rosa (for Doukoure 81), 16. Omario Stewart (for Pagano 90+3), 21. Fabio Suarez (sub GK) (not used)

White/Black/Black; GK All Orange

Ebrahim Seedat (Manager), Dare Jean-Pierre (Coach), Maciej Kulbacki (Coach), Seneye Morrell (Physio.), Faisal Ali (Squad member), Matteo Milazzo

Jersey Bulls (4-1-4-1 R to L) 1; 2-4-5-3; 6; 7-8-10-11; 9
Balham (4-1-4-1 R to L) 1; 2-6-5-3; 4; 11-8-10-7; 9

Referee – Josh Osafa (Walton on Thames) Of Nigerian descent, qualified in 2011 and officiated in the Wessex League whilst he was at Portsmouth University before joining the Combined Counties League. Previously in the middle at Springfield in April for the match with Frimley Green

Assistants – Jason Southwell (Hungerford) on the dug out side on his first Jersey match. Qualified in 2010, originally with the Wessex League but with the Combined Counties for the past two seasons. Steven Anderson (Wokingham) grandstand side, previously at Springfield in April for the Redhill match. Previously with the Hellenic League but with the Combined Counties for the past two seasons.

Caution – Dan David (B) 33

Corners – Jersey Bulls (3) 9; Balham (3) 4

Player of the Match Award – Francis Lekimamati





Bulls Starting line-up


Euan Van der Vliet


James Queree



Jay Giles


Sam Sutcliffe

59 ↓


Luke Campbell


Ben Le Rougetel

59 ↓


Francis Lekimamati


Adam Trotter


Jake Prince


Ruben Mendes


Samuel Henia-Kamau

80 ↓



Frank Tobin

59 ↑


John Lloyd


Jack Cannon

80 ↑


Miguel Carvalho

59 ↑


Robert Martins-Figueira