Shootout win for Island men
A PERFECT five penalty flicks sent Jersey into the last 16 of the EH Men’s Tier 2 Championships after the Islanders twice came from behind at Southgate.
The first XI finished 5-4 up in the shootout on Sunday following Tom Millar’s double in a 2-2 draw, with his second coming to cancel out a late strike by the hosts in the national knockout.
Nick Ferraby, Pete Millar, Tom Millar and Joel Dudley all scored from the spot before Bobby Minty flicked home the winning stroke. Southgate 2nds’ second attempt was sent wide.
‘Penalty strokes are always a lottery, we’ve won and lost some over the last couple of years but thankfully our guys held their nerve and we had five really good penalties,’ said captain Tom Millar.
‘Southgate are a big club with seven or eight men’s teams and they have an amazing set-up. Their first team plays in National South with some top-quality players and the second team has guys who are trying to force their way up.
‘They were a structured team and defended well, but having said that we bossed the first half and kept hold of the ball well ... it was just the final touch that let us down. Then just before half-time they got into our ‘D’ with an aerial ball over the top and their forward swung at it, caught an edge and it bounced past our goalkeeper.
‘That was disappointing, but we committed more men forward in the second half and with about ten minutes left Pete [Millar] drag-flicked a short-corner to me at the right post for a deflection for 1-1.
‘They went up the other end and scored a penalty corner with about four minutes left, but thankfully Alex Bolton won us another short-corner and we scored again with the same routine – another deflection beyond the ‘keeper.
‘It was a solid team performance. We caused Southgate a lot of problems but going forward we just need to find a way of capitalising on our chances.’
Jersey have failed to reach the quarter-finals since 2013, but those involved will hope the introduction of former Jersey Reds scrum-half Joel Dudley will pay dividends.
Millar added: ‘Joel played for England at U16 I think, so he has real pedigree and he played really well on his debut, as did Tom Heelis, Steve Le Maistre, Alex Bolton and Piers Brandie, who stepped up for us in goal and was excellent.’
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