After the encouraging start to the season at home to St Pauls on Thursday night, we found ourselves playing our second home game in three days as it was Trinity’s turn to visit JTC Park. Trinity have made a few good signings and will cause the so called ‘bigger’ sides problems this year.
There were two team changes to the starting line up with Chris Mallett unavailable due to an injury sustained against St Paul’s and Oliver Thompson not 100% due to a back pain. Paul McLauglin came into the team at right back with Ruben Pestana in centre midfield. In a conventional 4-4-2 formation the team was set up to take the game to Trinity from the outset.
After impressing on his first league start on Thursday night, youngster Lorne Bickley carried on from where he left off and following good work by Jamie Mourant driving from deep, Bickley raced onto the ball and opened the scoring with an accurate side-foot finish past the Trinity goalkeeper after just 10 minutes. JTC Jersey Wanderers showed good intent in the opening exchanges and should have doubled the lead, when again Bickley timed his run well only to this time find the outrushing keeper when well placed.
Despite a number of further chances to extend the lead we failed to convert our chances and Trinity gradually grew into the game with Jake Baker and Marco Zocchi their most influential players. Trinity’s equaliser came under controversial circumstances with a Wanderers throw in being adjudged to have come in and out of play. From the resulting Trinity throw in, Baker played a smart one two on the right, cut inside, and after riding a number of tackles the ball broke back to him to finish well in the bottom corner.
Against the run of play, Trinity took the lead before half time when Zocchi, who was difficult to pick up all afternoon, took on a speculative effort from distance that the back peddling Wanderers goalkeeper Jamie Brewster was unable to reach and the ball nestled in the net after coming off the underside of the bar.
With renewed intent, the second half was all Wanderers, and with the exception of a few opportunities on the break that fell to Trinity’s busy centre forward Karl Heinz, all of the play was in Trinity’s half. With many men behind the ball they proved difficult to breakdown but the equaliser came with half an hour to go after more good work by Mourant who’s cross deflected into the area where Jamie Savory was quickest to react and at full stretch managed to toe the ball past the keeper to level with half an hour remaining.
The introduction of Kieran Queree for the injured Tommy Buchanan at left back gave further pace and width on our left flank, and with the introduction of Oliver Thompson into midfield for Bickley, the scene was set to go on and win the game. Sustained pressure and a number of half chances, most noticeably a glancing header by the dominant Clayton Romeril, weren’t enough to force a winning goal and with resolute defending and bodies behind the ball Trinity hung on to share the points.
JTC JWFC coach, Rob Cameron said, ‘It’s a disappointing result really as we felt we had more than enough to win the game today. We started well, took the lead, and if they’re honest with themselves, some of our players thought it was going to be easier than it ultimately turned out to be and at 1-0 up took their foot off the gas. If we are going to mount a serious challenge for the league our lads need to be able to apply the same attitude that they do against the stronger teams against every opponent. At the moment we aren’t doing that, and as we’ve seen before, if we’re not careful, poor attitude against sides that we should comfortably beat, and putting personal performances before the team’s performance will be our downfall.’