JERSEY eased to victory in the 2023 Star Trophy at Footes Lane to continue Guernsey U15s’ miserable run in the long-running schoolboy inter-insular.
A goal in each half proved enough for the Caesareans, as the scoreline accurately reflected their superiority.
The hosts were not outclassed nor disgraced, but much of the better football was played by the boys in red, who could have taken the lead in the game’s opening exchange.
Guernsey defender Henry Marsh missed a header and Jacob Clynes played in Liam Brennan on Jersey’s right, but the diminutive raider missed his kick and, though he recovered quickly to get a shot off, Charlie Bird in the Guernsey goal pushed it away for a corner.
As ever, opening exchanges at this level were often nervy and panicked.
Jersey narrowly edged the first quarter, though Finlay Patterson, the smallest lad in the Guernsey line-up, showed he was capable of causing problems. He drew a foul on 15 minutes to create a promising position for a free-kick but captain Emerson Nobes was high and wide with his curling effort.
Jersey dominated the next stages, which ultimately led to the opening goal.
Brennan again did well to work the space for a shot which Bird turned on to the bar, and then blocked the follow-up from point-blank range.
Eventually, Guernsey scrambled the ball out for a corner and Jersey captain Joey O’Toole’s in-swinging delivery left Bird flailing. The ball was hacked off the line, but Guernsey failed to complete the clearance and Clynes fired back across the keeper to open the scoring.
Rather like the U18 Muratti a month previously, Guernsey were behind on any judge’s scorecard at the break, but still in the game. However, the opening stages of the second half proved decisive.
Hesitant Guernsey defending allowed Will Yates to muscle his way all the way to the byline, and then cross for Liam Brennan to pop up and finish.
A 2-0 scoreline felt a mountain too far to climb for the hosts and it could have been worse just 90 seconds later; the same Jersey pair combining for exactly the same move but this time down the other flank, ending on this occasion with Brennan blazing over.
The substitutes started pouring on for both sides and, as Guernsey huffed and puffed for a way back into the game, play became even more disjointed.
A dangerous free-kick for Guernsey on the hour led to two Jersey yellow cards and some consternation, but ultimately their break proved more effective and Jimmy Montgomery did well to stop it.
Jersey substitute Aiden Le Saint stumbled through three fouls before finally drawing a free-kick which O’Toole aimed to curl beneath the crossbar but Bird palmed over, and from the other side Stanley Dunne crashed an effort against the bar.
Guernsey’s best, and only, significant effort of the half, came from sub Liam Mahy, whose looping effort from 25 yards dipped against the post and back into Devy’s arms on 63 minutes.
It was Guernsey substitute keeper Regan Penney who was by far the busiest of the two in the last few minutes, spectacularly saving from Dunne as Jersey made all the running to see out the victory.