Panjab suffer 2-0 defeat.
Panjab FA conceded two avoidable second-half goals in their 2-0 defeat to Jersey FA at the Aggborough Stadium on Sunday.
Captain Luke Watson and substitute Karl Hinds secured the win for Brian Little’s men, in an otherwise evenly fought battle that on another day Panjab could have won.
Panjab went into the game without team captain Amarvir Sandhu, who missed out due to injury.
The hosts started the fairly brighter, not allowing Jersey to settle on the ball. Rajpal Virk dictated attacks well and Gurjit Singh proved a nuisance in the free role all afternoon.
The first chance fell to the visitors however, a corner from the right was glanced on at the near post and looked destined to open the scoring before Arun Dhillon cleared off the line. Jersey’s closest chance of the half on fifteen minutes.
Three minutes later, Terlochan Singh tested Jersey keeper Jose Fuigeria. The keeper unconvincingly batted a long-range free-kick into the path of ‘Toch’, who failed to generate any real power on the rebound.
Stray efforts followed for the rest of the half, there was a sense both teams were still feeling each other out before the interval approached.
Rikki Bains slided superbly to deny Watson from latching onto a through ball with the goal at his mercy. The tackle of the game.
Both Dan Romirell and Jake Baker were causing problems on the Jersey wings. For Panjab, ‘Gaz’ Singh became a thorn in the away team’s side, collecting deep and weaving through players to get things going.
He forced a smart save from Fuigeria in Panjab’s best opportunity to go one up. The forward fired low to see his effort parried and eventually cleared, a wall of bodies blocking Jordi Sall on the rebound.
The home side made five changes at half-time, seeming to unsettle them slightly. And four minutes into the restart Watson would capitalise on some slack passing in defence to beat Raajan Gill from 15 yards.
Besides some neat play from Gaz Singh and substitute Karum Shanker, Jersey stifled any real chance of an equaliser, battling hard in midfield, sometimes a little overzealous.
The warning signs of doubler began 71 minutes in, Jack Cannon’s 50-yard whipped free-kick was met and headed just over the bar from seven yards out.
They did put the game to bed nine minutes later though. A goal kick over the top found Hinds, who only needed one touch to lob a stranded Gill from 18 yards. A wonderful finish but another goal which, on their day, you would feel Panjab would have dealt with comfortably.
Gaz Singh almost struck a consolation in added time. His curling effort 25 yards out looked headed for the top right keeper before Fugeria’s replacement Ryan Le Coutier tipped wide.
Reuben Hazell will definitely seek more from his men if they plan on posing a real threat in the Abkhazia CONIFA World Championships next month.
Article by Rajen Bagri – @rbagri94