Scott Walsh finished Jersey Wanderers off with a low strike with the last kick of the game but Rutter’s goal was the highlight of an even match in which both teams had good periods of possession.Rutter’s strike, seven minutes from the interval, was a gem.Junior Nathan Jégou won the ball on Tower’s left and.
he spotted Rutter’s run across his marker inside the penalty area.
A precision pass to Rutter resulted in the former Muratti striker meeting the ball in the air to guide it superbly with his left foot over goalkeeper Jimmy Styles from an acute angle 12 yards from goal.Tower had the better of the chances in the first half but they could not finish.
Jégou was denied in the first minute by Styles’ right boot while skipper Chris Carter, who later followed in his late father Jeff’s footsteps to lift the Cup, should have done better with just Styles to beat.Rutter also lifted a good opportunity over the crossbar, following an excellent run from Scott Walsh – the latter who had the beating of Wanderers’ defence every time he ran at them.Neil Langdon also hit Wanderers’ post with a powerful strike although he did look to have fouled a couple of opponents along the way.Wanderers also had good chances in the opening period.
Chris Hamon drilled a shot just over while Paul Banahan, who was lively and tricky throughout, twice went close as well as nearly capitalising on a mistake in Tower’s young defence.Young they may be, but in James Prendergast they had the most composed player on the pitch as he timed his tackles to perfection on numerous occasions.Both teams worked hard after the break when Wanderers had more of the possession but they couldn’t break down Tower’s rear guard.
The closest they came was just before the hour when goalkeeper Casey Hickling brilliantly pushed away Bradley Vowden’s effort as it headed towards a top corner.Wanderers pressed and pressed but following a corner they were punished for a second time when Walsh doubled Tower’s advantage with the final kick of the game.’We bounced back very well from Saturday’s defeat and I’m delighted,’ said Tower manager Dave Philpott.’We could well have been four-up at half time, we created some very good chances purely because of the effort and commitment we put in.’Our movement and tackling throughout was strong and we closed Wanderers down very quickly when they had possession.
John’s goal was excellent while Casey made an excellent save to keep us ahead.’Wanderers manager Martyn Stratford, who suffered his first defeat in ten games, said: ‘Tower were much hungrier than us, we were extremely disappointing.
Our commitment was missing; we didn’t get going at all.
We seemed to lack belief and at times it looked like we were having a stroll in the park.’Tower president Roger Gibbon said: ‘I’d like to dedicate this win to the late Jack Walker and Colin Jones.
It is a tribute to them for what they did for First Tower.
I’m very happy we won as I didn’t want to be the first president in our history not to win a trophy.’Jersey Wanderers: Jimmy Styles; Leigh A’Court, Craig Grant, Chris Corfield (Justin Jouan, 79), Kevan Crowell; Andrew Johnstone (Mark Woodford, 90), Chris Andrews, Bradley Vowden, Chris Hamon; Paul Banahan, Jon Southern (Duncan Prince, 64).Cautioned: A’Court.First Tower: Casey Hickling; Blake Applegate, James Prendergast, Tom Poole; Chris Carter (Mark Lucas, 90), Neil Langdon, Darren Munden, Nathan Jégou, Scott Jones (Martin King, 90); Scott Walsh, John Rutter (Chris Conning, 79).Cautioned: Langdon.Officials: Mark Le Cornu, David Goldsmith, Ian Solomon.
Fourth: Ray Sutcliffe.