The JFA Combination’s select squad – featuring the best players within the Island’s league structure – beat Dorset Senior League 5-2 away on Tuesday night to move just one step away from claiming their second national title in nine years.
The Caesareans, whose predecessors won the tournament in 2012 – earning themselves qualification for the Uefa Regions Cup in San Marino – will meet West Cheshire League on Sunday 9 May at the FA’s National Football Centre.
A hat-trick from St Ouen FC striker Jake Prince helped steer the Combination through, alongside singles from Jersey Wanderers’ Fraser Barlow St Paul’s midfielder Jonny Le Quesne.
‘I thought we played a really strong game,’ said Cassidy. ‘The amount of chances we created was phenomenal and to score five is fantastic. It was a strange game with how we let them back in with a chance in the first half.’
A brace from Prince and a brilliantly-worked Barlow goal from a training ground set piece routine helped Jersey race into a three-goal lead within the first 15 minutes, however two out-of-character errors – from Declan O’Connell and goalkeeper Euan Van Der Vliet – let Dorset back into the game.
Le Quesne calmed nerves midway through the second half with a bullet of a finish before Prince bagged his third late on to kill the game and send Jersey through.
Cassidy, who was part of the coaching unit when Jersey last won the competition, added: ‘We have shown how good we can be, but tonight we also showed that we can be vulnerable and over confident so we will learn from that and move on.’
With the 2021 Regions Cup being cancelled due to coronavirus there will be no chance to represent England and wear the Three Lions’ shirt, but that will not detract from the achievement of lifting the trophy.
‘It would be a massive honour to win the Inter-League Cup,’ he said. ‘We want to win the competition and become English champions, and to do it at such a brilliant venue as St George’s would make it even more special.
Full report and reaction in Thursday’s JEP.