St Peter FC take on a bigger challenge
In years long gone, Jersey soccer club sides competed in off Island County Cup competitions. Due to rising costs and increased difficulty in formulating affordable and timely logistical travel, this has long since ceased.
However, this season St Peter FC have taken up the challenge of competing in the Kent Reliance Shield.
The Club’s management believed that with the withdrawal of two competing teams in the Jersey Premiership their strong squad of young players needed to challenge their abilities on a bigger stage.
The costs of entering are quite substantial as acceptance into the competition was only granted on the basis that all games were played in Kent. The Clubs Committee and sponsors gave full backing and the Club started its campaign on the 23rd September away to recently promoted Otford United. St Peters put in a dominating performance that was not fairly reflected in their 1-0 victory. The winning goal was a stunner, coming from some outstanding individual play by 16-year-old Sol Solomon, finished by a fierce drive into the goalkeeper’s right hand corner.
The second round was played on the 21st October away to Farnborough Old Boys Guild, another team who had earned promotion to a higher division at the end of last season. The journey to Kent was a problem in itself, the team was booked to travel on Condor but at the eleventh hour the ferry was cancelled and last minute bookings had to be made by air, with the management having to fly to Southampton as the Gatwick flights were full. In extremely difficult conditions with very strong winds blowing straight down the length of the pitch, St Peter put in a top-class performance. Playing against the wind in the first half they closed the opposition down quickly and efficiently preventing any clear chances on goal. Playing some very good passing football, working hard for each other and with a couple of missed chances themselves they went into the half-time break feeling quietly confident.
With the strong wind behind them in the second half the team put in a dominant and dazzling performance. Harry Cardwell opened the scoring soon after the restart and from that moment it was one way traffic. Calvin Weir scored a brilliantly worked team goal. Substitute Darryl Wilson who has been recovering from injury then took over and scored a fine first hat-trick for the club to secure a 5-0 victory..
To play such outstanding football in such testing and difficult conditions says a lot for the quality of the St Peter team. There were top performances throughout the team, with captain Luke Campbell and young Johnny Fernandes dominant at the back. Eighteen-year-old Jake Prince was inspired, chasing everything up front and closing down the opposition when-ever the ball was lost. Above all, this was an absolutely top team performance without a weakness anywhere.
The team now find themselves in the Quarter Finals of this prestigious competition, a game that will take place on the2nd December. Hopefully the team can bring success to this famous old Club that celebrates its centenary in 2019 and give this Parish something to be very proud of.