Jersey and Middlesex Wanderers draw in opener
The first game of the inaugural Jacksons International Trophy at Springfield, between Jersey and touring side Middlesex Wanderers, finished 1-1 on Thursday night.
Martin Cassidy’s men starting brightly, passing the ball with confidence and dominating possession, just as they had done in the Muratti Vase final less than a week earlier.
Kieran Lester and Harry Curtis both had good chances in quick succession midway through the first half before a long-range effort from midfielder Ruben Mendes was tipped onto the post.
Jersey looked the better side - against opponents from non-league sides such as Enfield Town, Kingstonian and Tonbridge Angels, – with Jack Cannon and Jay Giles working well as a partnership down the left. Lester was the man to break the deadlock though, five minutes before half-time, finishing well from Mendes’ perfectly-weighted through ball to give the tournament hosts the advantage at the break.
Middlesex Wanderers, who have played some of the world’s best clubs including Barcelona and Ajax throughout their 114 year history, seemed to up their game after the restart enjoying more possession and territory than they had in the first period.
Jersey's Michael Weir had two close-range efforts blocked before an own goal at the other end 15 minutes from time pulled the visitors level.
Both goalkeepers then made good saves in stoppage time, with Danny Birrell getting down well before Adam Trotter’s effort was tipped over, to ensure the points were shared.
Ireland and Northern Ireland go head-to-head on Friday night (7.45pm) in their opening matches of the round-robin formatted tournament.
Photos: With thanks to Adrian Topley
Jersey: Danny Birrell, Harry Curtis, Jack Cannon, James Queree (C), Connor O’Shea, Ruben Mendes, Michael Weir, Adam Trotter, Kieran Lester, Sol Solomon, Jay Giles.
Subs: Euan van der Vliet, Karl Hinds, Fraser Barlow, George Glithero, Calvin Weir, Kamen Nafkha.
Middlesex Wanderers: Matt Nolan, James Folkes, Jay Rolfe, Dean Inman, Tom Bonner (C), D'Sean Theobalds, Khale da Costa, Josh Urquhart, Jon Clements, Dernell Wynter, Ryan Horne.
Subs: Rob Laney, Kyram Clements, Carl Mensah, George Ironton, George Quarrington-Carter, Paul Davy, Mike Jones.