And, after the first ten minutes, the midfield pairing of Charlie Smith and Dave Brodie took control of this South West Counties game to such an extent that Dorset never looked likely to score unless Jersey made a mistake and let them in.For long periods of the game Jersey had most of the possession, and it was only in the last five minutes that they sat back on their lead too much, inviting Dorset to attack them – which they did – although thankfully the visitors were not able to capitalise enough to give them too much cause for concern.And yet Dorset, playing with two wingers filling in as strikers for their county side, were first in front.After their No 7, Jamie Moores, a constant thorn in the side of the Jersey defence, had chipped a goalward attempt just wide in the 21st minute, a free kick was given to Dorset in the 30th minute on the right, just outside the box.Moores lined up with the Jersey defenders and ducked as the free kick was sweetly struck by Anthony Tilley, to sail in to the right hand corner of the net, giving ‘keeper James Styles no chance as he dived across his goal.It was Dorset’s first real chance to score, but within a minute Jersey were level.From the re-start Dorset were running backwards, and as the ball ran across their penalty area no-one took command to clear it.
Instead it went beneath the foot of a frantic Dorset defender to striker Gary Freeman, who calmly slotted home.
After just over half an hour’s play it was 1-1 and, by now, Jersey were in the ascendancy.For the rest of the game they continued to dominate, both at the back and in midfield, although they could have spread the ball more to the flanks where Dorset looked particularly vulnerable.And Dorset did have their chances.
In the 75th minute their No 7, the irascible Moores turned and shot from the right of the penalty area, only to see his goal-bound attempt skim the top of the crossbar with Styles well beaten.Then, eight minutes later, a goalmouth scramble saw Dorset’s gangly No 6, Shaun Bartlett, hook the ball over from beneath the net when it looked so easy to score.By now, though, Jersey were in the lead, and deservedly so, following a series of attacks, and corners, which culminated in the ball being floated in to the head of Freeman, who scored to make it 2-1 with 30 minutes remaining.For the last half hour Jersey looked the livelier side, and with more luck they could have stretched their lead.Freeman, and then substitute Jimmy Reilly, were both presented with opportunities, but the Dorset defence stood firm.And, in turn, in the last five minutes Dorset upped their tempo but never really closed in on goal.So, having lost to Cornwall in their first game, away, in their South West Counties match Jersey came away not just with a win but with a good win – this was the first time that Dorset had lost in one and a half years in this competition.With their defensive record broken after 18 months at county level, Dorset manager Alex Pike was incensed – not so much at the way his side had been beaten but at the pre-match preparations he and his side had to endure.’I’m very disappointed,’ he said.
‘We gave away two goals through naive defending, missed two open goals, and on the number of chances created didn’t deserve to lose.
However, you can’t expect to compete on level terms when you’ve been travelling since 4 o’clock in the morning, which has been the case for most of my players.’Pike was unhappy with the organisation of this competition, which now sees his team playing Sussex, on Tuesday, with another five players from his team unable to play.Meanwhile, for Jersey coach Dave Matthews, this was a game he enjoyed from beginning to end.’I’m very pleased,’ he said.
‘We’ve had to make five changes from the team that lost to Cornwall, but they’re blending in well.
We struggled at times for the first ten minutes of the second half, but apart from that we were always in control.
We kept the ball for long periods, kept our discipline, and for long periods ran the game.’Jersey: James Styles, James Fortune, Chris McNabb, Lee Bradshaw, Gordon Brodie, Charlie Smith, Chris Andrews, Dave Brodie, Gary Freeman (Jimmy Reilly), Allan Brown, David Le Roux (John Rutter).Dorset: Darren Wakeley, Dave Miller, Matt Lawrence (Stuart Langrish), Kevin Blackham, Shaun Bartlett, Brett Williams, Anthony Tilley, Loic Herouard (Scott Bedward), Darren Lawrence (Gary Hurren), Jamie Mooores, Gary Langrish.Referee: Neil Jones.
Officials: Colin White, Malcolm Mason, Nigel Hammond.