Jersey 1-0 Guernsey
On Saturday 18th March, Guernsey travelled to Jersey seeking to defend and retain the Junior Muratti trophy following victory in this fixture in 2016. However, in a very close match at Springfield Stadium, it was the home team that claimed the trophy with a 1-0 victory following a late goal.
As expected with this annual fixture, both teams began in very competitive fashion with a number of strong challenges. The first half was one with a number of chances for both teams and it was Jersey who had the ball in the net first, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside. Guernsey responded well and has several chances, with Finn Whitmore going close to scoring but narrowly missing the target, whilst Jersey’s goalkeeper made several good saves to deny Guernsey taking the lead. Jersey also had chances, although a number of these were long-distance efforts that were of little threat. Some better chances for Jersey required a combination of resolute defending and good saves from Jordan Kelly, whilst Jersey’s ‘keeper made another excellent save to ensure that the match remained 0-0 at half-time.
Guernsey made a tactical change at half-time, with Jacob Fallaize moving into the centre of defence, and the change had the desired effect as Guernsey began to dominate possession with Jersey resorting to doubling up in defence to win the ball back and mostly hitting direct long balls into the channels. Both teams continued to create chances and when Guernsey finally beat the Jersey ‘keeper, they were denied by a goal-line clearance. As the match entered the last ten minutes of normal time, it became more frenetic and end-to-end with both teams creating further chances, before Jersey finally opened the scoring against the run of play. Despite the timing of the goal, Guernsey’s players refused to be deflated and only another excellent save from Jersey’s ‘keeper denying Guernsey an equaliser and preventing the match going into extra-time as Jersey regained the trophy with a 1-0 victory. The story of the match was arguably shown in the Jersey goalkeeper being named man of the match.
Guernsey U18 Head Coach, Martin Scott, reflected on the match afterwards when commenting that;
‘Overall, I felt we were the better team, we implemented the game plan pretty well in the first half and created some good chances and their keeper made a couple of very good saves. We made changes at half time and the longer the game went on the more control we extended and chances we created. The game did get messier in the final ten minutes as both sets of players were starting to struggle but ultimately we had the chances and should have won by a couple but their goalkeeper kept them in it and outside of that our finishing was not good enough on the day.’
Guernsey starting XI and subs in the match were:
Christian De Carteret (c)
Ben Le Tocq
The next inter-insular match will involve Guernsey U21’s travelling to Jersey on Saturday 1st April, seeking to retain the Ambassadeur Bowl trophy, which was won 4-3 in a thrilling game at The Track in 2016.