Jersey Bulls adapt to face demands head on

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IT was a display that epitomised the Jersey Bulls of late.

For a third successive game, Gary Freeman gave his half-time team talk with the game scoreless, and once again his troops responded in devastating style to secure all three points.

A brace apiece for the in-form duo of Lorne Bickley and Miguel Carvalho, saw off a stubborn Sheerwater 4-2.

The Islanders now find themselves in third place of the CCL Premier South, overtaking Knaphill who were beaten at home to Balham and Badshot Lea, after their game against Banstead was postponed.

Freeman said: ‘It is always much easier said than done to exploit the opposition from the get-go.

‘Last season we were guilty at times of trying to push too soon and getting caught on the counter-attack.

‘Sheerwater are one of those teams that have changed recently and a lot of the opening period was about figuring out them as a team.

‘We adapted and in the second half, Luke Watson played higher and Miguel Carvalho drifted wide to pull their defenders around.

‘Once we started to put more pressure on, they couldn’t live with us and I’m very proud of the way we killed the game off.

Freeman’s side learned some tough lessons about football last season, and in a long and gruelling campaign, them experiences will be called upon as the fixtures continue to mount.

The squad of this season has much more depth to that of the last.

Both Ruben Mendes and Fraser Barlow have sustained long-term injuries, while Jonny Le Quesne and Jake Prince have been recently sidelined.

Freeman said: ‘Unfortunately, knocks and niggles are part and parcel of the game.

‘All our absentees are a big miss, but there is a collective attitude in the camp and a trust in each and every player to slot in and perform.

‘We have adapted from the struggles of last season and have a deeper squad that can cope with some injuries.

‘The core group across the defence have all stayed healthy and that has laid the foundations for the attackers to exploit.

His side are now unbeaten in eight across all competitions, including a deep run in the FA Vase.

Up next tomorrow, is another unknown entity in the shape of Fleet Town.

Although they languish in 16th, the Hampshire outfit have won three on the spin, buoyed by change in management.

The upcoming matches come thick and fast for the Islanders, who will need to maintain their focus to be in the title conversation come April.

Bulls to travel to defending champs Pagnell in FA Vase

JERSEY BULLS will travel to Buckinghamshire on 11 February to face defending champions Newport Pagnell Town in the fifth round of the FA Vase.

The holders, who play in the United Counties League Premier Division South, went through on sudden death penalties 7-6 at the expense of Leighton Town after the match finished 1-1 after normal time.

Pagnell won the FA Vase last season after beating Littlehampton Town 3-0 at Wembley Stadium.

The match is scheduled to kick off at 1pm and will be streamed live via the Bulls website.

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