Charity Cup final: St Peter clinch narrow victory over St Ouen

Charity Cup final: St Peter clinch narrow victory over St Ouen
St Peter celebrated winning the Charity Cup for the first time since 2011

Reigning Jersey Premiership champions St Peter, who had reached the final in unusual circumstances, cashed in on that good fortune to lift the Charity Cup with a hard-fought 1-0 win over St Ouen.

Sean Lambert's powerful header from a corner after quarter-of-an-hour turned out to be the only goal of a physical battle at Springfield.

The Charity Cup is the island's traditional season curtain-raiser and hasn't been without controversy this year. St Clement thought they had booked their place in the final with a dominant 3-0 win over St Peter in the semis, only to find they had fielded an ineligible player. St Peter took their spot, took advantage, and took home the first silverware of the 2023-24 season.

Crosskeys captain Elliot Poole combined well with Paul McCafferty early on but with little end product before the first clearcut chance of the night fell to Seaney McColgan, who saw his left-footed effort well saved by St Ouen keeper Johnny Le Blanq. Poole's resulting corner from the right found Lambert's head to give Elliot Powell's side the lead.

The initial Charity Cup was first competed for in 1907-08.

St Ouen's possession increased after the goal, though they could, and perhaps should, have dropped further behind when the ball sat up nicely for Lambert just ten yards out but he hooked his strike wide of the left-hand upright.

Fabio Pestana hit a wicked St Ouen free-kick into a dangerous area but it evaded everyone on its way behind. The Ouennies had a further chance to go in level at the break but Elliot Stephens' half-volley from the edge of the area flew over the bar.

If we're honest, the second half wasn't one that will live long in the memory for neutrals. A good battle, keenly contested between two well organised and really hard-working sides, but not a thriller.

Cristiano Ascencao was looking bright for St Ouen, particularly on the break, while at the other end McColgan went close to doubling the lead but his curler went just a yard wide of the post.

Neither keeper had a particularly busy night. With five minutes of normal time remaining, Le Blanq made the first save of any real note since the interval, diving away to his left to palm Harrison Moon's strike behind for a St Peter corner.

At the other end, Pestana saw a dipping shot from range go over the bar, and soon after St Peter could celebrate lifting the cup for the first time in 12 years.

St Peter lift the Charity Cup
St Peter lifted the first trophy of the 2023-24 Jersey FA Combination season

St Ouen: Johnny Le Blanq, Calum Huckerby, Kirchner Orland do Prado Souza, Joe Murphy, Jack Steel, Jay Curtis, Cristiano Ascencao, Callum Coote, Kyle Hampshire, Fabio Pestana, Elliot Stephens. Subs: Dan Huelin, Lucas Parker, Ryan Marcinko, Elliott Hughes, Harry Kidman.

St Peter: Pierce Roche, Jay Newton, Jamie Watling, Jack Griffin, Luke Shirley, Seaney McColgan, Paul McCafferty, Elliot Poole, Harrison Moon, Sean Lambert, Jack Hardisty. Subs: Peter Vincenti, Harry Gladdish, James Murphy, Mark Logue, Harry Scott.