Jersey Premiership 1: St Paul's off bottom with win at St Brelade

Jersey Premiership 1: St Paul's off bottom with win at St Brelade
The result means St Paul's move above St Ouen in the relegation battle

St Paul's climbed off the foot of Jersey Premiership 1 thanks to a 2-0 win at third-placed St Brelade.

First-half goals from front-men Jack da Silva and Callum Gilroy were enough for Robbie Whittaker's side, although they needed excellent saves from young goalkeeper Charlton Lawlor either side of half-time to ensure they took all three points.

The result, along with scorelines elsewhere, means that five of the island's seven topflight teams remain deep in the relegation mix heading into the last month of the season, with just three points separating St Brelade in third from bottom side St Ouen.

League leaders St Clement and defending champions St Peter are well clear of the rest in their own two-way battle for the title, there are effectively two leagues within the league.

St Paul's were in front within 10 minutes in the late March sunshine. Jersey Bulls midfielder Joe Kilshaw played a lovely ball down the right for Ewan Brodie who cut the ball back into the path of da Silva to stroke home the opener.

Joe Kilshaw in action for St Paul's at St Brelade
Joe Kilshaw, who has played 14 times for Jersey Bulls this season, was in the St Paul's side

Five minutes later and it was two. This time Gilroy capitalised on hesitation at the back and slotted in from a tight angle to put the visitors well in control.

The Fish, who were without their top-scorer Kieran Lester (suspended), responded well and twice hit the crossbar before the break. First, Will Yates' left-footed curler crashed back off the woodwork. Then, on the stroke of half-time, Lawlor superbly turned Rafa Andrade's effort behind before Andrade's resulting corner landed on top of the bar.

Lawlor was again called into action in the opening minutes of the second period, saving with his legs with Connor Maher through one-on-one.

At the other end, the lively Gilroy had a good opportunity to kill off the game, but his left-footed effort flew over. Moments later Gilroy turned creator, bursting through down the right. His cross found an unmarked da Silva in the box, but the forward's well-struck volley was straight at St Brelade 'keeper Josh Jehan.

With time ticking away, substitute Tom McAlister had a chance to pull one back for the hosts but couldn't quite sort his feet out in the six-yard box as the game fizzled out.

The result sees St Paul's - who were Jersey champions as recently as 2021 - leapfrog St Ouen, who have just three games left to find the points required to move off bottom and stay up.

At the other end of the table, St Clement extended their lead at the top to seven points with a 5-2 win over Grouville in a match that was switched to Springfield Stadium. The Anchors have played a game more than second-placed St Peter, who slipped to their first league loss of the season, a surprise 2-1 defeat at local rivals Jersey Wanderers.

St Brelade: Josh Jehan, Rafa Andrade, Joe Tilstone, Brad Stratford, Charlie Brennan, Declan O’Connell, Connor Maher, Will Yates, Logan McGhee, Jack Gibson, Dan Andrade. Subs: Coen Le Monnier, Tom McAlister, Thomas Bisson, Aiden Le Saint.

St Paul's: Charlton Lawlor, Matt Davy, Harry Davy, Fraser Crow, Tom Goncalves, Ben Shirley, Ewan Brodie, Finley Thomson, Callum Gilroy, Joe Kilshaw, Jack da Silva. Subs: Louis Robinson, Ryan Poingdestre, Sonny Cassidy, Eddie Rothwell.