Grouville advance

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Before a sparse crowd at Springfield, goals from defender Danny Hughes and recent capture Peter Warrell broke the hearts of the Saints, who had competed well and forced two good saves from Grouville goalkeeper Casey Hickling before falling behind.

Both goals were extremely well taken.

Grouville switched play and Hughes received a cross-field pass around 15 yards inside St Brelade’s half.

He confidently beat a defender before moving inside to fire home a fine shot in-off a far post from 20 yards.

Less than five minutes later, in the 38th minute, St Brelade were caught with too many players forward and Warrell waltzed his way round three defenders to give goalkeeper Michael de la Cour no chance.

Earlier Hickling was forced into full-stretch saves, denying Liam Sutton after two crisply-driven long-range efforts.

Grouville had the upperhand in possession in the second half but they rarely stretched de la Cour in goal.

And the only time he was beaten luck was on his side as Alex Jefferies’ well-directed header cannoned back into play off a crossbar.

At the other end Saints substitute Ian Crocker had a goal correctly ruled out for offside while fellow sub Ollie Nightingale sent Hickling the wrong way – only to see the ‘keeper clear the ball with an outstretched boot.

Two players excelled last night, defender Craig Northedge for Grouville and midfielder Stephen Reed for St Brelade.

St Brelade caretaker manager Peter Taylor said: ‘We desperately need a bit of luck, it’s not going for us at the moment.

‘We had a bad 15 minutes and it’s cost us the game.

We’ve played the top four teams recently and they are all good footballing sides but apart from Saturday’s defeat by St Peter we’ve competed well in all the games.’ Grouville manager Ian Horswell said: ‘We scored two high quality goals and that took the sting out of the game.

It was comfortable in the end but full credit to St Brelade they battled hard and I’m sure positive results are just around the corner for them.’ Grouville now face Jersey Scottish at Springfield on Thursday 23 February while the other semi is Trinity and Guernsey’s AFC St Martin’s at the IJ Bathe Field on Saturday 25 February.

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