The Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Division One leaders Jersey Bulls head to Berkshire on Saturday with one of the few 100% records left in English football.
The Channel Islands side with a goal difference of 69 will meet promotion chasing Sandhurst Town with boss Michael Herbert confident his side can cause the visitors some problems.
Football in Berkshire spoke to Herbert who saw his side beaten 4-1 in front of an incredible 800 plus supporters back in October, but he believes the visit to East Berks will be a much tigher affair. He said: “Bottom Meadow will be a bit different for them, a lot of the teams in the Combined Counties League Division One ground share with step 4 sides, they won’t necessarily be used to grounds and pitches like ours so I am hoping that will be an advantage to us.
“Their away games tend to be tighter affairs as well where as they are tending to blow teams away a little bit at home.”
The previous meeting
Jersey Bulls 4 – 1 Sandhurst Town: Goals from Harry Cardwell, Karl Hinds, Sol Solomon and Fraser Barlow as well as the Fizzers Paddy Gardener saw the Bulls home in this one but there was a red card for the Bulls Karl Hinds on 86 minutes.
Herbert: “We started okay, it’s a 4G pitch which obviously helps them they are used to to it. They’ve got a number of players there who could easily play step 4 or higher, some of the goals they scored were good goals from range.
“We were in the game and Paddy Gardener got us back in to it at 2-1 but once they scored again that was it.”
Who to watch out for
Herbert: “Jersey have a couple of players that stood out from our visit there. Goalkeeper Euan Van der Vliet is an England C international and had better feet than a lot of the outfield players!
“Sol Solomon is another one to look out for and in Karl Hinds they have the division’s second highest scorer with 15 goals from 16 games – the striker is also the only player the Bulls have had sent off this season, ironically against us.
“As for us, we have signed Danny Turner, previously of Frimley Green and he’s transformed the way we play, I am hoping he’ll be fit. We’ve also got Bradley Brown who is a handful and Jake Nicholls should be back. We are a better side than when we faced them before.”
What’s going on at Bottom Meadow on the day?
Herbert: “We’re bringing out the mascots, the Sandhurst Boys and Girls clubs are involved, there will be food and drink.
“There are obviously a couple of other big games going on on Saturday, but if you choose to head over to Sandhurst, all I can say is it’ll be an entertaining game, both sides know where the net is, this won’t be 0-0!”
This game aside, what is the aim for Sandhurst this season?
Herbert: “Saturday is a real test, we have the quality and commitment to end their run but we’re also still in four cups and we are well in the promotion race with four going up this year.
“The Combined Counties League Division One is very strong, three or four of the clubs could hold their own in the Hellenic League Premier Division. Our aim is to go up, hopefully we have a pool of players who can compete if we do.”
Match details: Kick off is at 2pm on Saturday 18th January. Tickets for the game at Bottom Meadow, Sandhurst are available on the gate priced £6 adults and £4 concessions.
The Fizzers will hold a pitch inspection on Friday afternoon. Due to the nature of Jersey Bulls journey to away fixtures, games can be called off the day before instead of on match day. Updates will be posted on @fiberkshire and @sandhursttownfc on twitter.
Address: Sandhurst Town FC, Yorktown Road, Sandhurst GU47 9BJ
Listen to Pete Browning and Steve Stairs chat about the time Sandhurst hosted AFC Wimbledon at Bottom Meadow: