HIGHLIGHTS: Deadly Dudley double sends Woking packing

Jersey’s Tom Millar gets some special attention from Woking players on the way to victory Picture: ROB CURRIE

JERSEY progressed to the quarter-finals of the England Hockey Tier 2 KO Championship with a dominant 4-2 win over Woking at the Hockey Club.

Woking came out of the blocks flying at the Islanders, taking the lead in just the first minute after a mix-up in the hosts’ defence, with Joe Snell doing the damage.

Joel Dudley, who had an outstanding match, was the man to get the Islanders back on level terms, before Tiaan Kruger made it 2-1 to the men in red.

Woking managed a leveller before half-time thanks to a magnificent top-corner finish from Harrison Hubbard off a short corner, drawing applause from both sets of supporters.

The hosts thought they had a third just before the break, only to have the umpires rule the goal out.

Jersey came out after half-time in dominant mood and Dudley was again the man to make the difference. A shot from Sam Dunstan beat the Woking keeper and was heading for goal, only to be blocked illegally on the line by one of the Woking defenders. This offence led to a penalty stroke being awarded, which Dudley tucked away neatly to give the Caesareans a well-deserved lead.

And Jersey could taste victory when a phenomenal long ball forward from Pete Millar found Jamie Bolton in acres of space on the Woking D. He controlled beautifully, turned and slotted his shot past the goalkeeper to send the home fans delirious.

Player-manager Tom Sibley said he was “delighted” to move through to the next round and is pleased at how his team recovered from conceding early.

“It was a tough match, Woking are a good team,” said Sibley.

“We played some good hockey at times and we had to battle hard.

“The goals we conceded came from our own errors, which is disappointing but something we can go away and work on.

“But we controlled the game really well and dominated possession, I think it was a fair result in the end.

“We played a lot of the second half with ten men, even nine men at times! But that shows our strength in character to maintain our composure and dominance.

“A massive shout-out to young Will Hodgson as well, who made his senior debut today.

“He’s been really impressive around the group and deserved his chance, so it was amazing to see him out on the park and great we could get him a win in his first match, too. It’s so good for us to have these young players coming through, Sam Watling and Jack Stevens as well, it’s all excellent exposure to good level hockey.”

Debutant Will Hodgson, whose younger brother Ed is also a promising talent in the under-16 age group, said: “It was a great match. I was so nervous before and as I was running on, but once that first pass went OK I felt a bit calmer and thoroughly enjoyed it.

“A lot of these guys I’ve been watching as I was growing up through the younger age groups and now to get to call them teammates is pretty surreal.

“They’ve been so supportive and it’s a great team to be a part of.

“I’m so proud to have made my senior debut, especially at home in front of my family and our fans.

“To get the win was pretty special, we have momentum with us to go all the way in this cup.”

Sibley concluded: “Our quarter-final is on 10 March, which is the same weekend as the inter-insular against Guernsey. However, Guernsey are still in it so there’s a chance we could draw them, what a weekend that would be!”

Jersey: Piers Brandie (GK), Tom Millar (c), Tom Sibley, Pete Millar, Jack Stevens, Joel Dudley, Will Hodgson, Matt Boote, Jamie Watling, Sam Watling, Tom Bolton, Sam Dunstan, Jamie Bolton, Jack Tait, Tiaan Kruger, Phil Cuming.

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