JERSEY progressed to the next round of the England Hockey Tier 2 Championships with a hard-fought, 4-2 victory away at Slough.
The sides were locked at 2-2 after the first half, before the Caesareans’ collective effort saw them pull away in the final minutes for the win.
Jersey started the stronger but they failed to convert any early chances and allowed their opponents back into the game. It was the Islanders, though, who opened the scoring after slick play around the D between Blake MacRae and Jamie Bolton set up Jack Tait.
Jersey were on top and looking to extend their lead when Slough hit back with a quick counter-attack that was finished with a reverse stick strike.
Tom Millar then put Jersey ahead, deflecting a Phil Cuming pass into the back of the net, before Slough again pulled themselves level with a drag flick from a short corner.
It was Jersey’s second-half performance that proved decisive, building the pressure before Miller scored again from a short corner with just five minutes remaining.
As Slough searched for yet another equaliser, centre half Anthony Kay found Jamie Bolton on the sideline, who sealed the game with some fine individual skill.
Coach Peter Millar said: ‘We were the better side but they had some very good players. It was a tough, hard fought game which we could have lost on another day.’
He said that young debutants Jack Stevens and Blake MacRae played out of their skins and that it was good exposure to come up against such a potent drag flicker as Slough possessed – something not seen in the local game.
‘We play each other week in and week out and know our strengths and weaknesses, so to go away is great, to watch guys running at someone and not know if they are a good defender, a good hitter of the ball, they just get on with our game and get their heads down,’ Millar added. ‘I think we play a bit better because of that.’
The third-round draw takes place on 18 December for fixtures scheduled to take place on 8 January.
‘We’re hoping for a home draw, we always are, but it never seems to happen.’