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Page last updated at 19:06 GMT, Saturday, 30 January 2010

Jersey Combination Euro dreams over with Dorset defeat

Football

The Jersey Combination's National League System Cup campaign is over after a 1-0 quarter-final defeat at home to Dorset Premier League.

The only goal came after 25 minutes from Portland United's Alex Halloran who stabbed in from close range.

Despite totally dominating the second half, Jersey could not find a way past keeper Andy Knight, who was named man of the match.

The result means Jersey will not be playing in Europe next season.

While Dorset were good value for their half-time advantage, Jersey created several second half chances, and went very close to scoring, playing some attractive football.

Paul Aitkin saw his turn and shot finger-tipped away by Knight, and then almost bundled home a header.

I think at times we were second best
Dorset boss Steve Norman

Dave le Roux had a goal-bound shot tipped over, while Luke Watson's 25-yard pile-driver hit the inside of the upright and bounced to safety.

But the visitors bravely held out in the face of constant pressure and manager Steve Norman could not conceal his delight.

"I'm absolutely over the moon," he told BBC Jersey. "The boys battled hard."

"I think at times we were second best. I thought Jersey were absolute quality. They've got a good footballing side."

He was particularly impressed with his side's resilience.

"We came here, competed, and we came off after having done ourselves proud."

With a place in the semi-finals, European football is still a possibility for Dorset.

Not so for Jersey, whose boss Jon Welsh was typically dignified in defeat.

"We were fantastic second half, disappointing in the first," he said.

"We really didn't start the game like we wanted to. To give credit to Dorset, they were a very well organised side - they made it difficult for us to break them down.

"I'd have to say technically, certainly in the second half, we were by far the better side."

But he admitted: "You've got to score and they prevented us from doing that. I wish them well in the semi-final."



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