Jersey Women dominate Muratti

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A BRACE from Eve Watson, as well as goals from Ella Docherty and Hannah Campbell, saw Jersey comfortably retain the Women’s Muratti with a 4-1 win.

Manager Chad Morris described the win as ‘more than good’ and praised his squad as they continued their dominance in this fixture.

‘There is nothing better than coming to Guernsey and beating them in their own back yard. I thought we were excellent today and could have won by a bigger margin.’

Jersey started quickly and could have opened the scoring in the first minute but Rozel Rovers skipper Tiffany Sundby’s header cannoned back off the crossbar and, a few minutes later, Watson had an effort saved by Emma Queripel in the Guernsey net.

Calleigh Hedley had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock for the hosts when she was slid through, but she dragged her shot wide when one-on-one with Soraya De Conceicao.

Macey Wyse, back from university and playing football in Scotland, drove Jersey forward with a cracking run before being brought down in a dangerous position, but Leah Morris, also returning from university, fired the resulting free-kick over the bar.

Jersey began to impose their dominance and could have taken the lead when a Morris corner led to a goalmouth scramble with Sofia Rodrigues, Watson and Sundby all going close, but the Guernsey defence stood firm.

It felt like a matter of time before the Reds would take the lead and the goal came on the half-hour mark through Muratti debutante Docherty. The forward’s right-footed shot from the edge of the box dribbled into the bottom-left corner of Queripel’s net.

And a few minutes later the tie was effectively settled by Watson. The experienced midfielder’s left-footed strike rolling past a helpless Queripel.

Jersey continued to press forward after the break and Watson almost had her second but saw her effort cleared off the line.

A third felt inevitable and Hannah Campbell – fresh off the back of an excellent season with Rozel – found the top corner before celebrating in front of the travelling Jersey fans.

Guernsey did pull one back – their first goal in this fixture since 2014. Hedley’s long-range shot flew over De Conceicao into the Jersey goal to give the home fans something to celebrate.

But any hope of an unlikely Guernsey fightback were dashed when player-of-the-match Watson sprinted on to a through ball, rounded Queripel and brilliantly slotted the ball into an empty net to complete the scoring.

Captain Libby Barnett said: ‘It feels so good. I thought we were quality and credit to Guernsey they gave us a game. The more they improve, the better we have to play and therefore it can only be a good thing for women’s football in both islands going forward.’

Coach Morris concluded by praising the squad, and the range of ages within it. ‘We have an excellent mix of experience and youth in our group. It showed again today with Docherty coming in at 16 and scoring a debut goal, while Eve bagged her brace. It is a perfect mix and today again highlights why I have such confidence in them,’ he said.

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