Jersey held by Middlesex Wanderers
A FINE goalkeeping performance from Middlesex Wanderers goalkeeper Matt Nolan deprived Jersey of a winning start in the Jacksons International Trophy tournament opener at Springfield.
Jersey manager Martin Cassidy made six changes from his Muratti XI and they gave a fine account of themselves in a 1-1 draw against opponents who play at a higher level (steps 3 and 4), representing clubs like Dartford, Kingstonian, Hungerford, Enfield Town, Harlow Town and Welwyn Garden City.
Jersey, again playing the ball around confidently and with purpose, had a couple of good early opportunities but James Quérée's half volley was kept out by Nolan and when the 'keeper missed Jay Giles' cross-cum-shot, the ball went narrowly the wrong side of an upright.
Sean Theobalds almost broke the deadlock when he out-paced Jersey's defence before firing low past a far post.
Jack Cannon, Harry Curtis and Kieran Lester were all denied by Nolan in the same attack and the visiting number one, who was back-pedalling, then got a hand to Ruben Mendes' effort from the halfway-line and it rebounded off a post.
Lester got his reward five minutes before the break by coolly putting the ball out of Nolan's reach, into the bottom right-hand corner, to put Jersey ahead.
After the break Nolan – a shot-stopper for Bostik Premier Enfield Town – prevented Calvin Weir and Solomon from adding to Jersey's score and with the visitors coming more and more into the game they equalised in the 78th minute when Quérée, almost on the goal-line, put the goal into his own goal attempting to cut out Theobalds' ball across the face of goal.
Both sides had chances to snatch a late winner, but Laney, stretching and at full speed, was unable to convert a cross and Mike Jones turned well only to force Jersey goalkeeper Dan Birrell into his first serious save of the night.
There was still time for Jersey to win it deep into time added on, but Nolan capped a fine evening to tip Adam Trotter's 18-yard effort over his crossbar.
Jersey: Dan Birrell; Harry Curtis, James Queree (Y), Connor O'Shea, Jack Cannon (Y); Michael Weir, Adam Trotter (Y), Ruben Mendes, Jay Giles (Y); Kieran Lester, Sol Solomon. Subs used: Calvin Weir, Kamen Nafkha, Karl Hinds, Fraser Barlow, Geroge Glithero.
Middlesex Wanderers: Matt Nolan; James Folkes, Jaye Rolfe, Dean Inman, Tom Bonner (Y), Sean Theobalds, Khale De Costa (Y), Josh Urquart (Y), Jon Clements, Dernell Wynter, Ryan Horn. Subs used: Rob Laney, George Ironton, Carl Mensah, Mike Jones
Officials: David Brunton, Peter Smith, Richard Dyer, Nigel Hammond.
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