Match report: Jersey women beat Aland in vital group game

Match report: Jersey women beat Aland in vital group game
Jersey captain Libby Barnett netted a late penalty in the 4-1 win - photo credit Scott Fusellier

Jersey kept alive their Island Games medal hopes with a 4-1 win over former champions Aland, in a match rammed full of stunning strikes.

Two memorable long-range goals in the first quarter-of-an-hour set the tone for Chad Morris' side, who bounced back in style from a heavy opening-day defeat against Bermuda.

Seven minutes in, experienced striker Jodie Botterill capitalised on a slip in the Aland defence, firing in from just outside the box. Five minutes later and it was two, as teenager Leah Morris was given too much space 30 yards out and her superb strike flew in just under the bar, giving keeper Ellen Ahlstrom no chance.

Jersey were controlling the game but the Finnish island went close on the half-hour mark, when Alva Khanberg's cross-come-shot from wide on the right came back off the post.

Aland halved the deficit just before half time and it was another screamer. Milla Rosenberg beat the high defensive line, and her right-footed effort was expertly placed to beat Sara Luce and find the back of the net.

Eve Watson re-opened the two-goal lead for Jersey early in the second half. Danny Da Silva won possession in her own half, found youngster Ella Docherty, and her perfectly weighted through ball was tucked away by Watson as Ahlstrom raced out of her goal.

With five minutes left on the clock, Anita Tavares weaved her way into the box and was taken to ground. Skipper Libby Barnett stepped up to dispatch the penalty and complete an impressive day at the office at College Field for the 2015 champions.

The victory pulls Jersey level with both Aland and Bermuda on three points, although Bermuda are yet to play their second match of the tournament. That comes on Monday afternoon, when they take on Hitra.

Jersey then face Hitra on Tuesday (2.30pm) in their final group fixture, on a day when calculators may be required to work out the fourth semi-finalist to progress alongside the three group winners.

Group table
How the table stood after Jersey's 4-1 win against Aland