Jersey’s Under 16s showed great spirit to twice come from behind to lift the Nigel Gavey Memorial Trophy thanks to a last-minute of extra time winner against Guernsey at The Track.
With the match level at 4-4 heading into the final moments of extra time Damien Salmon kept his calm to slot home the winner on a memorable afternoon for Paul Renton’s side.
“I think we showed brilliant character throughout,” said Jersey captain James Sunley, who was named man-of-the-match.
“Their number 10 was very strong and very skilful but I think we did well to get tight on him and not allow him much time and space. To utilise our pace up front and get that late goal was just immense.”
Guernsey had gone ahead from a close-range header in the opening minutes but the visitors responded well, hitting the post and seeing an effort cleared off the line before Jay dos Santos’ excellent free-kick levelled the game.
Within seconds though the hosts were back in front after the ball ricocheted around the box and was eventually planted in to Tyler Quinn’s net. Back came Jersey again though, and Elliott Friend bundled in an equaliser before half-time to ensure the sides went in all square at the break.
Defender Sammy Sutcliffe’s brace of well-worked goals put Jersey into a commanding 4-2 lead but Guernsey showed great fight and spirit to find two late goals and send the match into extra time.
It was the home side that had the better opportunities in the additional period but on the break Salmon got clear of the Guernsey defence and produced a tidy finish to make it 5-4 and spark huge celebrations in front of the Jersey dugout.
“I thought we were terrific,” added Paul Renton, Jersey FA Link Asset Services Centre of Excellence Manager.
“That’s how we want a Jersey team to play – grit, determination and no shortage of ability. When we went to 4-2, the learning curve for our players is that they just need to see the game out in the last 15 minutes. But they’re only kids and they’ll learn from that.”
Jersey: Tyler Quinn, Jack McKenna, Jamie Watling, Jay dos Santos, Sammy Sutcliffe, Daniel Burton, Damien Salmon, Olly Rivers, Sean de la Haye, James Sunley, Elliott Friend.
Substitutes: Danny Fernandes, Pedro de Assuncao, JJ Lloyd, Luke Lister, Alfie Le Guilcher.