FOUR consecutive home games in as many weeks offers Jersey Bulls a chance to strengthen their stance in both the league and cup, according to FA Vase match-winner Luke Campbell.
Following the defender’s last-minute winner at Fisher FC on Saturday, the Island club has been handed a home draw in the third round of the knockout tournament – wedged between a trio of outings at Springfield in Combined Counties Premier South.
Saturday’s league clash with Knaphill [3pm kick-off] will be followed by a date with fellow title contenders Badshot Lea on 26 November, before Vase opponents Athletic Newham touch down on the weekend of 3 December. Horley Town will follow suit a week later, looking to disrupt what is shaping up to be a historic campaign for Gary Freeman’s side.
Sixth-placed Knaphill sit one point better off than the Islanders, who are the only unbeaten side left in the division.
However, even if the Bulls keep on winning it is unlikely that they will reach the summit any time soon. Current scheduling – and a possible run deep into the FA Vase this term – means it could take months for them to clear their games in hand.
For now, protecting that ‘zero’ in the ‘losses’ column is the main priority.
‘Getting a last-minute winner is always a good feeling,’ said Campbell, discussing his headed goal at Fisher, which followed a red card for Miguel Carvalho.
‘After going down to ten we thought they might come at us but we were still in control and had the confidence. Once Lorne [Bickley] got the equaliser there was only one thought around the team: to go on and win it.
‘It does well for the morale and we’re a confident team anyway, when we play. Obviously we want to try and stay undefeated for as long as we can and we have a good run of home games coming up, so we’ll kick on to keep that record in tact.’
Teenager Carvalho is set to miss the next three games through suspension, having provided a breath of fresh air for the Bulls in recent weeks.
‘Miguel will be a miss,’ Campbell admitted. ‘The young players have given the team a bit of a boost recently, to be honest, and Miguel has given us something different. But we do have a big squad with lots of players who can take his place and do well.’
Knaphill scored a late equaliser in Surrey when the sides last met – a 1-1 draw in March which followed a 2-1 victory for the hosts at Springfield last December. On that occasion, Jersey came from behind and played 60 minutes with ten men, after goalkeeper Euan Van Der Vliet was sent off for handling outside his area.