Jersey Bulls Football Club | Matches
3 G1 A0397

FRANCIS LEKIMAMATI 90+1

12:30

Sat 24 Sept 2022

Middle Road

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Match Report

The Bulls continued their Vase campaign, once again in Sussex. Ten miles west of their previous Vase match in Brighton they now opposed Shoreham. The Sussex coastal town was where the previous King Charles made his escape to Normandy in 1651 after being routed at the Battle of Worcester.

Their football team have been stalwarts of the Sussex League since its founding in 1920. They won the title in 1952, 1953 and 1978 but were more often to be found in the lower reaches of the top division with frequent brief spells in Division 2.

The League was re-named the Southern Combination in 2015 and the following season was won by Shoreham when Haywards Heath Town had nine points deducted. Consequent promotion to the Isthmian Division 1 South proved to be a poisoned chalice for Shoreham. They won only three matches and also had six points deducted which left them bottom and a swift return to the Southern Combination Premier Division.

Their slide did not end there as they again finished bottom and were relegated to Division 1. The first “pandemic season” saw them lying 11th but in the next one they were 2nd. This improved form continued in 2021-22 when they finished 5th and qualified for the play-offs. They won 2-0 at Seaford Town in the semi-finals but lost the final to the only goal of the game at Midhurst and Easebourne.

Shoreham had again started strongly this season and were currently unbeaten in the league with four wins and two draws. Their goal tally was 15 scored and only 3 conceded, putting them in fourth position just a point behind the leaders. In the Vase they won 3-2 at Lingfield of the Southern Combination Premier Division in a Friday night fixture which saw all of the five goals scored in the first half.

Shoreham made six changes to their starting XI from their previous game, a 4-0 away win at Montpelier Villa. Goalkeeper Sam Marsden and defender Levi Martin missed that one but Lee Graham, Joel Sayers, Jordan Stallibrass and Jack Nicholls were all on the bench that night.

Jersey only had one change from their squad at Cobham with Kamen Nafkha, a starter, replacing James Carr who had been on the bench at Cobham, but who had subsequently returned to university. However, they rotated the rest of the bench with Sammy Sutcliffe, Francis Lekimamati, Ruben Mendes and Jake Prince swapping roles with Jonny Le Quesne, Sol Solomon, Fraser Barlow, Joe Kilshaw and James Queree. Luke Campbell therefore took over the captain’s duties for this match.

The early kick-off attracted an attendance, three times Shoreham’s usual, to their Middle Road ground to the East of the town. The pitch was looking good but turned out to be bumpy. It was a sunny afternoon with a strong cross wind blowing in off the English Channel a half a mile to the South, behind the clubhouse.

Shoreham kicked off attacking the industrial estate end to the West, with Jersey defending the adventure playground end.

After a couple of minutes Prince laid off a ball for Bickley but it was put well over. Ten minutes later Ruben Mendes got in a powerful shot from the edge of the box but Marsden parried it and Nafkha following in, was unable to get any strength or direction into his header which the recovering Marsden therefore caught easily.

Jersey dominated possession but were unable to create many clear opportunities.
Shoreham captain Tom Shelley put in his team’s first effort after a quarter of an hour but it did not exercise Euan Van der Vliet unduly.

Bickley had a penalty appeal waved away with the Shoreham defenders claiming it was a dive. Prince tried a curler to the right corner but did not get enough whip on it to bring it back in. Ross Myers responded for Shoreham but only gave Van der Vliet any easy catch.

Bickley put another shot wide of the left post before a good chip forward by Mendes gave Tobin the chance to put a ball across from the left byline. It was cut out by a defender before it could reach Bickley. Bickley then provided Prince with a shooting opportunity but again the target was not found.

The half continued with Jersey in control but not finding a way through the well organised and obdurate Shoreham defence.

At the break Jonny Le Quesne replaced Nafkha and three minutes later Lekimamati nearly broke through from the edge of the box but Marsden pounced on the loose ball before he could take advantage of a fortunate ricochet.

Jack Nicholls wanted a penalty when he ran in on the blindside of Sutcliffe but he failed to find much interest from referee Ian Lane. However, Lane was far more interested a minute later when Nicholls took out Lekimamati at the other end of the pitch and Nicholls was duly cautioned.

Shoreham then had their best period in the match. A ball forward was headed on and fell nicely for Ross Myers. He was clear of Campbell but rushed his shot which Van der Vliet was able to block with his legs.

Five minutes later Campbell miscontrolled a ball near the right touchline and Stallibrass seized upon it. Seeing Van der Vliet on the edge of his box he put in an excellent lob from forty yards out which had the ‘keeper scrambling back to tip over for Shoreham’s only corner of the match.

Van der Vliet punched out the ensuing corner to the edge of the box from whence it was returned for a brief period of “pinball” before Jersey were able to clear it away.

Shoreham’s bumpy grass, unlike the true bounce to be found at Springfield, contributed to Bickley putting another opportunity over on the hour. Shortly after, Le
Quesne did the same with a side footer having been well found by Lekimamati.

With twenty-five minutes left, Solomon was brought on for Prince and it almost paid immediate dividends. A trademark skip down the left flank was halted near the corner. The subsequent throw in was flicked on to Le Quesne on the edge of the box. He fed it on to his right where Frank Tobin hit a powerful swerving drive which rattled the outside of the right post and rebounded away.

The last quarter of the match saw little goalmouth action and it looked as though the “Musselmen” were looking to run down the clock and take their chances in a shoot- out at the end of the ninety minutes.

Jersey, on the other hand, having gone out to Fareham Town that way last season, looked to get the goal their dominance deserved. They brought on another attacker, Fraser Barlow, with ten minutes to go, sacrificing central defender Sammy Sutcliffe, as they attempted to break down the Shoreham rear guard.

With the match entering its five minutes added time the breakthrough finally came. A Solomon / Barlow move down the right led to a long throw in by Le Quesne from near the corner flag. The ball was partially cleared and then fed back to Le Quesne. Cutting in on his left foot, he lofted a cross to the far post where the “big men” were still up from the initial attack. Campbell outjumped everyone to put in a looping header on to the right of the crossbar. Lekimamati was quickest to react to the rebound and drilled in a low cross shot from five yards into the bottom left corner past the despairing defenders.

The Shoreham defence, now apparently frustrated as the game had slipped away from them, started putting in some reckless tackles. Tony Timms clattered Bickley as he threatened a break down the left so he joined Nicholls in Lane’s notebook. In the dying embers of the game Garnham who had already been spoken to by Lane in the first half went through the back of Barlow. Barlow reacted, a mini melee ensued, and both players were cautioned before the final whistle came shortly afterwards.

After the match it was revealed that Solomon had decided to return to Liverpool University after a year away. He would be joining teammates Harry Curtis, James Carr and Darryl Mvalo there, so would not be lacking for Jersey football company. He had also signed a contract to play for another seaside football club, the aptly named Marine, in Crosby, seven miles north of Liverpool.

Marine had initially shown interest in Solomon a year ago when he made the headlines with his spectacular F.A. Cup goal against Sutton Common Rovers.

Marine were then in the Northern Premier League Division 1 but finished fifth and won through the play-offs to regain their place in the Premier Division, two levels higher than Jersey, after three seasons away. In that time Marine had hosted Tottenham Hotspur in the F.A. Cup which had raised £300,000 and enabled them to lay a 4G surface for the 2022-23 season.

Solomon had started 62 competitive matches for Jersey plus coming on 9 times as a substitute in a total playing time of 5,459 minutes. He had scored 60 goals, including 3 penalties, a goal every 91 minutes.

Shoreham (0) 0, Jersey Bulls (0) 1 (Francis Lekimamati 90+1)

Attendance – 304

Programme – 28pp £1.50

Shoreham – Sam Marsden, Levi Martin, Tomas Bond, Lee Garnham, Tony Timms, Joel Sayers, Louis Denyer, Thomas Shelley (c), Jordan Stallibrass, Ross Myers, Jack Nicholls
Substitutes – 12. Dean Gilmour (not used), 14. Harry Robins (for Nicholls 76), 15. Henry Day (not used), 16. Scott Clampin (for Denyer 69), 17. Luca Slaney (not used), 18 Lewis Shepherd (sub GK, not used) (only six substitutes, seven are permitted, but only three can be used)

All Blue (White sleeves); GK – All Light Green

Michael Death (Manager), Kieran Collins (Assistant), Paul Ettridge (Coach), Matt Rogers (Physio.)

Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Frank Tobin (wore 12), Jay Giles, Sammy Sutcliffe, Luke Campbell (c), Ben Le Rougetel, Francis Lekimamati, Kamen Nafkha, Lorne Bickley (wore 16), Ruben Mendes, Jake Prince

Substitutes – 2. Jonny Le Quesne (for Nafkha 46), 9. Sol Solomon (for Prince 64), 14. Fraser Barlow (for Sutcliffe 80), 15. Joe Kilshaw (not used), 18. James Queree (not used) (only five substitutes)

Red/White/Red; GK All Yelllow

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

Formations
Shoreham (4-4-2 R to L) 1; 2-4-5-3; 7-8-6-11; 9-10
Jersey Bulls (4-4-2 R to L) 1; 12-4-5-3; 7-6-8-10; 11-16

Referee – Ian Lane (Lancing) his first Jersey match.

Assistants – Daniel Hague (Crawley), on the dug outs side and Jamie Cogdell (Seaford) on the clubhouse side. All the officials for Vase matches are F.A. appointments. All three were “new” to Jersey and they usually officiate in the Southern Combination League.

Cautions – Nicholls (S) 52, Timms (S) 90+2, Garnham (S) 90+5, Barlow (JB) 90+5

Corners – Shoreham (0) 1; Jersey Bulls (3) 6

Player of the Match Award – Ruben Mendes (JB)

LINE-UPS

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JERSEY BULLS

VS

Bulls Starting line-up

1

Euan Van der Vliet

12

Frank Tobin

3

Jay Giles

4

Sam Sutcliffe

80 ↓

5

Luke Campbell

(C)

6

Ben Le Rougetel

7

Francis Lekimamati

8

Kamen Nafkha

46 ↓

16

Lorne Bickley

10

Ruben Mendes

11

Jake Prince

64 ↓

Substitutes

18

James Queree

2

Jonny Le Quesne

46 ↑

14

Fraser Barlow

80 ↑

9

Sol Solomon

64 ↑

15

Joe Kilshaw