Sussex came out for the second-half full of purpose and were on the front foot from the off looking for a route back into the game. Skipper Luca Cocorachio nearly equalised with fifty five minutes on the clock when he advanced from the back, played a neat one-two with Darius Goldsmith, and then delicately lifted the ball towards the top corner only for it to fly marginally wide of the angle of post and crossbar.
Five minutes later a free-kick in a dangerous position for Sussex was struck by Gifford into the wall, with the ball falling kindly for Tyrese Mthunzi in the box, but Jehan was off his line quickly to smother the shot and preserve his side’s lead.
Jehan was called into action again a minute later when he was out quickly to thwart Gifford one-on-one as Sussex were pushing for the leveller.
Frustration started to build for Sussex and Jersey grew into the half. They nearly extended their lead with two opportunities in quick succession with twenty minutes to go.
The first came about in similar style to their goal in the first-half as Carr again ran forward with the ball and laid it off to Solomon, but this time the strikers high curling effort was just off target. Their second chance was spurned by Andy Roxburgh as he rose highest to meet a deep ball into the box but Rudy Stilgoe did well in the Sussex goal to dive across and hold on to.
Sussex were still a threat however and Andrew Briggs saw a well-struck curling free-kick on seventy one minutes cannon off the crossbar and over before the real turning point in the match followed minutes later…
A cross-field ball to the lively Gould presented the Sussex striker with the opportunity to run at the Jersey back line and just as he made his way into the penalty area he was fouled, with referee Steve Hughes correctly pointing to the penalty spot for the second time in the game. The outcome of the penalty however, was very different.
With Waters off the field through injury the penalty responsibility fell to Briggs, and despite striking low and powerfully into the corner Jehan dived across expertly to get a glove on it, and was then up quickly to deny Briggs from slotting in the rebound - a fantastic double stop by the goalkeeper.
That penalty save changed the game and within two minutes Jersey extended their lead. Kushal Frankson cut inside from the by-line and played the ball across to Harris who struck a sweeping effort first time into the top corner from eight yards out.
Sussex looked dejected, contemplating what might have been, and three nearly became four on eighty three minutes, as Solomon played the ball off to Jack Lowrey but his shot was repelled by Stilgoe with Solomon unable to adjust himself quickly enough to make anything of the rebound.
There was still time for Jehan to deny Sussex once more, this time using an outstretched leg to save from Gifford after the attacker had got in-behind the Jersey defence.
Jersey did get their fourth goal with three minutes left on the clock, and Sussex really only had themselves to blame, after casually losing the ball in midfield, Roxburgh spotted Stilgoe off his line, and from distance lobbed the ball over the keeper and in to the net to cap off a fine day for the islanders.
After the match Sussex manager Jay Lovett reflected on the performance and how the outcome could have been much different had his side take some of their chances in-front of goal: “It’s a frustrating performance considering we controlled large portions of possession and created a lot of chances but just couldn’t find the back of the net today.
“I think we got frustrated not taking our chances, and the more frustrated we became the less our quality shone through. If you take our last performance we played the ball around and were clinical in front of goal, this week we had some of that performance but we just weren’t clinical enough and it came back to bite us.
“Credit to Jersey they played well and their keeper pulled off a few fantastic saves including the penalty, for us it just wasn’t to be today, it was frustrating to watch and I imagine frustrating to play in.”
(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)
Goals: 1-4; Shots: 17-12; Shots-on-target: 10-6; Corners: 2-4; Offside: 5-0; Yellow: 2-1; Red: 0-0.
Sussex: Bromage, Pittock, Harper, Briggs, Addy, Cocorachio ©, Mthunzi, Goldsmith, Waters, Gifford, Gould.
Subs: Allen, Stilgoe, Brady, Rawlinson.
Jersey: Jehan, Huckerby, Carr, Thompson, Watts, Le Seelleur, Frankson, Harris, Marcinko, Solomon, Coutanche.
Subs: Roxburgh, Pallett, Pereira, Lowrey, Baines.
Match report by Darren Ford