Island men march on

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CAPTAIN Tom Millar sung the praises of youngsters Robbie Forrest and Sam Watling for their efforts in helping Jersey’s men into the third round of the England Hockey Tier-2 Championships.

The Island side beat Crawley 2-0 away on Sunday to set up another UK trip in the last-16 – against Kent club Old Williamsonians on the weekend of 19 February.

Millar said his side should have been ‘out of sight’ in the first half, following a handful of wasted opportunities, but even with just the two-goal buffer the Caesareans were comfortable.

Forrest (left) converted on the rebound from a short-corner in the second period, following Millar’s deflected reverse-stick opener before half time.

‘We bossed possession and were deserving of the win, for sure,’ said Millar. ‘Our real problem was that we didn’t take the chances we created in the first 20 minutes. That is an area for us to work on, because against stronger sides that could be your downfall.’

Player-coach Peter Millar handed debuts to Sam Habin and Forrest, while teenagers Ned Crosby and Watling made their first tournament appearances for the senior side.

Tom Millar added: ‘There were some real standout performances from a couple of our younger players – Robbie and Sam Watling, who cam into midfield and played with an experienced head, which was great.

‘A couple of other guys stepped up too, like Joel Dudley, who switched from left-back to centre-back, and Bobby Minty, who came back in and had an excellent game as well.’

The victory follows a 27-month break from championship hockey for Jersey’s men; a period extended by the postponement of this fixture in November due to flight cancellations.

‘We’re just pleased to be playing representative hockey again,’ Millar added. ‘It has been two-and-a-half years since our last game and fog scuppered it in November, which was really disappointing.

‘Old Williamsonians are in the league above Crawley, so I expect it will be a tougher game. But, it’s another game I feel we can go and win, which will put us through to the quarter-finals.’

Jersey were knocked out in the first round of the 2020/21 tournament on penalty flicks, having reached the semi-finals the season before.

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