Bulls’ bogey team

Bulls are strengthened by Adam Trotter's return, who came off the bench against Falmouth Picture: SIMON ROE (37511450)

JERSEY BULLS can put last week’s disappointment at being knocked out of the FA Vase firmly behind them if they produce a big win away to promotion rivals Knaphill tomorrow in the Combined Counties Premier Division South.

Knaphill have become Bulls’ nemesis in recent seasons, not only in results, but by the nature of how those results have come.

The Surrey-based club, whose win by “hook-or-by-crook” methods have not always gone down well.

However, Bulls manager Gary Freeman acknowledges that his players will have to be wise and overcome their antics to give themselves a chance to return to Jersey with all three points.

Knaphill are currently second in the table, but a win for fourth-place Bulls will give them a better points average with two games spare.

“We’re looking forward to it, especially off the back of last weekend,” said Freeman.

“What you have with Knaphill is one of the few teams in our league who we know how they play because their personnel stays the same. The management stay the same. We know how they’re going to set up.

“They’re really well organised, play in a compact structure and are probably the best team in the league at managing a game and using the dark arts.

They’re quite happy to be very awkward and difficult to play against. We have to show that we’ve learned a bit over the years but they’re good at soaking up pressure and staying in the game. It’s going to be a very tight game but it’s about time we turned one of these types of games into a positive result for us.”

If Bulls need to be cautious in confronting Knaphill’s strengths, Freeman said his side will still play on the front foot and try to take the game to their hosts. Key to that success will be providing Lorne Bickley better support up front after his threat was neutralised in last week’s 3-0 home defeat to Falmouth Town.

“We need to make sure we’ve got bodies around Lorne. His job is to occupy to their defenders which means he’s in for a tough afternoon. If we can get people closer to him than we did last week that can help pull their players around and make space for themselves in higher areas,” added Freeman. “It’s definitely something we’re looking at.”

Bulls drew 1-1 at home to Knaphill in the league at the end of October and were knocked out of the FA Cup by their rivals in August in a replay. Last season, Bulls took just one point from a possible six against them but took four from two tight matches the season before.

“We’ve got enough in us to go and get something and we probably owe them one. But they’ve been always tight affairs and that won’t be any different this week,” continued Freeman.

Harry Curtis returns to the back-line following his suspension but captain James Querée is unavailable, as are James Carr and Fergus Boyle. Will Byers also returns, while there could be starts for Jay Giles and Adam Trotter as both slowly make their return from long term injuries.

Jersey Bulls: Pierce Roche, Will Byers, Frank Tobin, Jay Giles, Harry Curtis, Luke Campbell (c), Ben Le Rougetel, Kamen Nafkha, Joe Kilshaw, Adam Trotter, Luke Watson, Jonny Le Quesne, Fraser Barlow, Francis Lekimamati, Miguel Carvalho, Fraser Barlow, Lorne Bickley, Naka Nwokoro

Premier Division South


Farnham Town 22 22 0 0 74 66

Knaphill 25 16 6 3 34 54

Abbey Rangers 26 15 3 8 7 48

Jersey Bulls 23 14 5 4 28 47

Croydon Athletic 23 14 3 6 21 45

Alton 26 13 5 8 11 44

Redhill 23 13 3 7 25 42

Balham 26 13 3 10 -4 42

Sandhurst Town 28 11 4 13 -8 37

Fleet Town 25 11 3 11 3 36

Tooting & Mitcham 25 11 3 11 0 36

Tadley Calleva 20 12 0 8 0 36

Camberley Town 27 8 7 12 -8 31

Horley Town 24 7 6 11 -3 27

Cobham 24 6 7 11 -7 25

Spelthorne Sports 26 6 6 14 -22 24

Guildford City 26 7 3 16 -28 24

Sheerwater 28 5 3 20 -54 18

Epsom & Ewell 27 5 2 20 -33 17

Colliers Wood 26 3 4 19 -36 13

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