Jersey booked their spot in the 2019 Muratti final with a hard-fought 2-0 win away in Alderney.
Zeljko Martinovic’s well-struck shot on 37 minutes and Jack Cannon’s penalty soon after the break were enough to send Martin Cassidy’s side through to face rivals Guernsey in May.
“It was a battle of a game,” Cassidy told JerseyFA.com. “Full credit to Alderney, they made a game of it but I’m pleased with our lads.
“We defended well and got the clean sheet. We probably could’ve had two or three more, but we’re happy with the result and now we can prepare for and look forward to the Muratti final.
“We knew the two wide players, Zeljko and Mikey [Weir], were going to be key to how we played today because they [Alderney] packed the midfield, they had six or seven across the 18-yard line, so down the wings was where we would hurt them. We got that goal in the first half which settled us a little bit.”
The visitors enjoyed the bulk of the early territory but both sides struggled to regularly test the goalkeepers in the opening half hour, although Jersey’s Euan van der Vliet was forced to turn an awkward, looping effort over his crossbar.
The first goal was always likely to be important and it came when Martinovic cut in from the left, beat his man, and fired in from the edge of the box leaving Alderney goalkeeper James Taylor rooted to the spot.
Five minutes after half time the lead was doubled after captain Jack Boyle saw his free kick strike the outstretched hand of an Alderney man in the wall. The referee showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Cannon stepped up to calmly slot away the penalty and open up a two goal cushion.
The hosts responded well but Jersey went close again when Boyle broke through the Alderney defence and had his effort saved by Taylor.
Cassidy’s side will now travel to Guernsey for the final on Saturday 18 May, 2019. Jersey currently hold the trophy after last year’s 1-0 win at Springfield, with Jack Cannon netting from the penalty spot on that occasion too.
Jersey line-up: Euan van der Vliet, Harry Curtis, James Queree, Luke Campbell, Jack Cannon, Kamen Nafkha, Jonny Le Quesne, Michael Weir, Jack Boyle, Zeljko Martinovic, Craig Russell.
Substitutes: Danny Birrell, Jay Giles, Fraser Barlow, Kieran Lester.
Alderney line-up: James Taylor, John Adamson, Dante Walker, Josh Concanen, Jason Atkins, Richard Moore, Jermaine Parry, Ciaran Stretton, Ross Benfield, Josh Mccouloch.
Substitutes: Joe Blackham, Jamie Laband, Lee McCormack, Simon Benfield, Marian State.