March 23rd, 2019
Alderney v Jersey
Kindly sponsored by Mick Price & Pete Concanen
Match report – The Muratti Semi-Final
For the first football Saturday in weeks there was no gale force south westerly blowing across the island ideal conditions for the big match of the season. As the blue & white support arrived at the arsenal ground news came through that the Jersey team were delayed and so the kick off was put back 45mins which allowed more time for the atmosphere and nerves to build! Expectations were high amongst all that came along, hoping to witness a historic football occasion, the team were also in buoyant mood and on the back of a fine run of form in the Priaulx league. Coach Josh Concanen made a few team changes, moving captain Ross Benfield into a forward position with Josh McCulloch playing just behind in a number 10 role, Marian and Joe Blackham were on the bench.
Alderney kicked off attacking the Fort Albert end, a strong Jersey team were soon putting the home team on the back foot and forced the first corner of the game Boyle takes defended well by Benfield whose header was applauded by the blue & white ranks on the side-lines. The first 10 mins Jersey were looking comfortable on the ball, as they pressed, Alderney defending stoutly with Con and Jermaine Parry winning the early exchanges and keeper JT commanding his box well, collecting the ball with ease. Some relief for the home defence came when the ball found Dante Walker he found some space down the left-hand side but his cross evaded all, Alderney’s first chance came when a precise free kick taken by coach Josh C ended up being tipped over the bar by Jersey’s no1 Van Der Vliet Soon after more home pressure Ross Benfield had a shot on goal blocked, a ball he timed well. The early stages of the game were quite an even affair with Nafka playing the ball around well finding his team mates, Parry and McCulloch linking well applying pressure whenever the reds were in possession. John Adamson wins a corner down the right-hand side a low trajectory which found Con his shot went over. At the other end a header on target by Campbell was tipped over by JT, and a shot just wide by Boyle who then commits a foul on J Concanen who again is commanding events from the back. A lengthy delay as Parry receives some bandage work on his head, this break may have caused Alderney to switch off slightly as the lively Martinovic found some space beat two players and rifled a shot passed the unsighted JT 0-1, the reds were straight on the attack with Russell heading just over. Half time came at the right time for the blues. Who were applauded off by the appreciative home support.
Half time 0-1
Jersey were straight on the attack a foul committed by Adamson just outside Alderney’s 18yard box Boyle takes as the wall jump the ball hits Parry’s hands Penalty and a booking. Cannon takes and scores 0-2 A double substitution on came State and Blackham replacing Walker and McCulloch. Stretton wins a free kick but then receives a booking! State was straight into the action and looked hungry to impress, Parry wins a corner, State takes which just missed the head of J Concanen another training ground plan which have resulted in a goal in previous games. This was the closest the home team would come to forging a chance on goal, Jersey looking in control of the game continued to press and counter with Boyle and Weir linking well JT made another good save with his feet from Boyle the resulting corner was punched away, Jersey looking for a 3rd goal. Jersey sub Nafka off Lester on as the game went into the final 15 mins Alderney still not had much of a sight on goal, another sub Cannon off Giles on. Blackham chasing the ball at every opportunity applying pressure, the final home sub Adamson replaced by Lee McCormack and with the home support hoping to see the blues score a goal the team deserved. McCormack was soon into the action he delivered a superb cross from the righthand side by line the ball falls to Blackham whose shot went over, head in hands for him and the home support, a great chance and the best of the game for theBlues. As the game drew to a close Alderney’s man of the match Josh Concanen had a shot which went over, Jersey saw the game out. Another Muratti defeat, 99 years. Alderney can be proud of the team’s efforts against a well drilled and professional Jersey team and they received a grateful round of applause from the huge arsenal crowd, approx. 400 in attendance all 375 programmes were sold. The football club would like to thank our match sponsors and all the support that turned out so many wearing Alderney’s colours. The team now focus on the Priaulx league and to cement their position in top spot.
Team: James Taylor, Dante Walker, Josh Concanen, John Adamson, Steve Concanen, Richard Moore, Jason Atkins, Ross Benfield (c), Jermaine Parry, Ciaran Stretton, Josh McCulloch Subs Marian State, Lee McCormack, Jamie Laband, Joe Blackham.
Alderneys Man of the Josh Concanen kindly sponsored by Mick Price and Pete Concanen, player sponsor Rio Bowditch