But they didn’t have it all their own way by any means.
Two early goals for Jersey, both in open play – the first from Ed Lewis after five minutes and the second, after seven, from Ali Hall – were negated as the visitors fought back and equalised with five minutes of the first half still remaining.Exeter’s first goal came from Mark Couch from a short corner, then Chris Greenslade claimed the deflection for their second.However, a goal from Simon Watling after a short corner put Jersey ahead just before they went into the break.With everything to play for in the second half, Jersey took control and won a short corner, with Matt Banahan cracking the ball into the goal decisively.At 4-2 up, JHC relaxed a bit, and were punished for that when Matt Couch, Mark’s brother, scored after a goalmouth scramble.Jersey upped the tempo, although at times it seemed the pace was too much for their midfield as several balls went under sticks and frustration began to creep in.To their credit, JHC steadied themselves and then extended their lead through a penalty corner strike from Watling.Several more possible short corner goal chances were closed down as Exeter’s ‘keeper charged the man with the ball – and an approaching goalkeeper in full padding is not so easy to get past – while the backs pounced on any loose passes and cleared them from the D.Jersey were forced onto the defensive until Hall scored a belter from the edge of the D after a penalty corner shot on goal was cleared, and it was soon Hall again, for his hat-trick – a perfect hit up the pitch from Banahan found him unmarked in midfield, from whence he ran straight into the D and dummied the keeper to score.Exeter were awarded a short corner just as the final whistle blew, so Jersey’s celebrations had to be put on hold for it to be taken – except that it took rather a long time as various infringements in the D led to a total of five short corners being awarded and played until, finally, Jersey cleared the ball.First XI captain Stuart Ramskill said: ‘We went ahead early, then sat back – and it’s fair to say we were pretty rattled, their two goals were a rather rude wake-up call.’But we responded well.
We didn’t think we were going to lose but we were made to work.
We got control of the game back, and played well in midfield.’He added that the aim had been simply to get through the first round.
‘Our next game will be in three weeks and today’s was a good building block.
I think we have the strength in depth to go all the way this time.’Exeter captain Martin Pearce commented that they had enjoyed the match, despite the final score.’It was a good open game, and it was worth coming over to play.
We received some great Jersey hospitality.
To be honest we didn’t play that well.
In fact, I’d have to say that the skipper played particularly poorly! ‘JHC 1st XI: Paul Duckworth (goalkeeper), Dave Hall, Simon Watling, Ed Daubeney, Matt Banahan, James Wetherall, Stuart Ramskill (captain), Matt Harris, Bob Langley, Ed Lewis, Ali Hall, Chris Curtis, Mark Wain, Phil Shenkman, Richard Ward, Andy Godden.Umpires: Paul Marshallsay and Tony Ray