Due to the rain, St Clement’s pitch was unplayable and the game was moved to the Airport Pitch.
Experimenting with a 3-5-2 formation, Terry Bennion came into the back three alongside Brad Stratford and Clayton Romeril. Oliver Thompson returned to the starting line up next to Chris Andrews and there was a first competitive start for Declan O’Connell (U18) in central midfield. Tommy Buchanan and Kamen Nafkha moved into more advanced wing back roles, with Francis Lekimamati and Harrison Moon (U18) leading the forward line. With Jamie Brewster unavailable, our 16 year old star in the making, Luke Duncan, who is proving to be a very able deputy, took his place in goal. Ruben Pestana and Lorne Bickley dropped down to the bench along with Evan Nobes, Kieran Queree and Chris Mallett returning from injury.
On what was an usually good surface, the first half was a little pedestrian with Wanderers struggling to get to grips with the new formation and changes to personnel. While dominating possession and creating a number of good chances, the most notable being when Lekimamati threaded Nafkha through on goal to shoot wide, St Clement also had a good chance to take the lead on the break but their advances were comfortably thwarted by an experienced back line.
As the half progressed we started to find our way and the goal finally game on 38 minutes when space was created on the left hand side for Tommy Buchanan to arrow an excellent cross into the centre for Harrison Moon to rise and clinically header the ball into the top left corner of the goal.
Reverting to a 4-5-1 at half time Evan Nobes came on to replace Buchanan. In what was a scrappy period after the break we continued to maintain the lion’s share of possession with O’Connell impressive throughout and young Luke Duncan looking particular assured in goal with some excellent distribution and kicking. The introduction of Pestana and Bickley for Thompson and Moon added further attacking fire power and the second goal soon arrived. Following a poor St Clement free kick by Connor O’Shea the ball fell to Nafkha who took the space in front of him on the right and his through ball was collected by Pestana after a well timed run from deep leaving him bearing down on goal. Showing good pace and strength to leave the St Clement’s defence in his wake, Pestana carried the ball to just inside the penally area before coolly slotting the ball past the keeper and into the bottom corner to take a two goal lead.
St Clement had a excellent chance to pull themselves back into the game when they managed to get around the back and flash the ball across the box and only some brave defending and a slice of luck denied them.
Further clear cut chances fell to Lekimamati and Bickley and although the finishes should have been better, both where thwarted by good stops by the St Clement goalkeeper, and they really should have added to the scoreline.
In a game that had the air of a pre-season friendly, although 3 points were secured and a clean sheet kept, better performances will be required in the games to come. The result leaves JTC JWFC in second place in the league table, a point behind leaders Jersey Scottish who have a game in hand.