A delighted Lee Armitt celebrates his opening goal
Before the game a minutes silence was observed for a member of both clubs who had passed away this week, the sympathies of our club goes to both grieving families.
Jets have only their own self discipline to blame for falling away at Hertford in a game that lost its way in the second half from Jets point of view.
In the first it was two sides who looked far better attacking than defending and it had goals written all over it as the game swung end to end at speed with slick movements. Jets were having the better of the half so much so that the noises normally bellowing out from Hertford’s huge loyal support was all but muted.
Eoin Casey was working his socks off hassling and chasing every lost cause giving the full back a murderous half, and in the middle Beardsworth was running the show providing the final ball openings for Armitt and Casey as Jets pushed and pushed. Following hot on their heels was Tim O'Mara settling into a midfield role.
Some good inter play from the four attacking hot shots of Armitt, Beardo, O'Mara and Casey played in Lee Armitt on 17 minutes who calmly slotted a tidy goal.
Minutes later a thunderbolt that gave Baker no chance rattled the net to level things off at 1-1. Both sides then had chances with Jets holding the edge when another threaded Beardsworth pass played in Eoin Casey to put Jets in the lead 1-2 which they held comfortably until the break, the only blot being a deserved yellow card for Chris Killer who had run and chased before conceding a dangerous free kick on the edge of the area that luckily for Jets was blasted high and wide.
The scare was the basis of Wayne Gladdy's half time talk as he warned that, with the type of players coming at them, one moment of stupidity could cost them their lead at a difficult ground. For me the referee seemed big enough to stand back from the volatile and ear bashing reaction every tackle brought from the hostile home supporters who, in fairness, offer a twelfth man to the team that most of us wish we had.
Unfortunately all my thoughts on the official collapsed as he looked to react to the home support with over reactive cards following every howling session. Jets became victims and architects of their own downfall, ignoring Gladdy's warnings that proved so correct. Sam Phillips allowed his own lack of self control to react to a forward who had been having a niggle session with him and who suddenly happened to be spread eagled on the ground with all hell breaking out around him, in what looked an obvious red card although since the ball was in play I guess no one really saw what happened. (Although later much doubt was thrown on this decision with the injured party allegedly telling all around him during the game how he played it to get Phillips sent off !!).
To make matters worse, the home management were up there screaming way out of their area and the supporters were howling for blood and they got it as the free kick and red card somehow moved back a foot or two and turned into a penalty kick and bang 2-2 and the home side bubbling.
Jets lost the plot and their heads and 2-2 quickly turned to 4-2 with exquisite finishing destroying Jets unsettled and now under manned defence.
Jamie Speer was lost to injury and Sim Armstrong had to risk his injury looking for the magic he provided last week, but after not getting two clear fouls (we didn't have a howling crowd or rolling screaming players to jerk a reaction from the official) the midfielder did a reckless tackle for a clear and fully deserved yellow card, but the death rolls and shouting supporters again raised the roof and brought reward as the official again held up red and Armstrong walked for his first tackle on the pitch !!. It was now damage limitation for Jets as players lost their heads at the official who had clearly lost it and Hertford got a fifth and Jets were just glad to hear the whistle.
On Sky on Sunday morning I heard an experienced player talking of a FIFA referee in the West Ham game saying "it looked a penalty because the referee has never played the game, but it wasn't if you played and understood the game”. Well it is much the same at many of our status games as officials who desire to reach heights start so young and their lack of playing knowledge or ability to play it causes madness on the pitch at times. Now again, in fairness, we at all levels including admin have probably got loads of us who haven't played high level football but everyone is needed to keep grass roots running, but the officials do need less "black and white" and playing the game more or higher would have helped, but of course there is not really time for old players to get up the ladder!
It's made much harder for officials, we all know that,with players cheating, diving in the box, the rolls and screams when touched and all of us wanting it our way when it counts, then they have the clipboard crowd saying, book him, do this do that or you won't get on, so it's difficult to see a way out of this ever worsening spiral unless they make it no physical contact like 6 a side football, because at times it's getting like that.
It was a bad day for Jets but let's not hide behind the officials second half performance or the fantastic home supporters that influenced it. We caused our own downfall and it’s our own lack of self control that started the rot today.
Man of the match was chosen by a respected and constructive Hertford Town officer who praised Jets first half performance and admitted his team were in trouble until we lost our heads. He pinpointed the performance of Eoin Casey and the hard time he gave the defence and Luke Beardsworth who he said bossed the midfield so we settled on a bottle each for the two lads.
Jets have no midweek game so they need some hard talking and self examination to lift themselves ready for the FA Vase game next Saturday when we play Tower Hamlets at home.
Respect from both sides for club members who have recently passed away
Jets paid respect to Mr. Marren who lost his battle with cancer on Friday
Eoin Casey finishes well to put Jets back into the lead 2-1
Eoin's shot heads for the net
Tim O'Mara back in a midfield role
Eoin Casey strides out in front of a large Hertford crowd
Agony for Jets as Lee Armitt is inches from making it 3-1
Jets defensive wall does its job as the ball deflects away
Looking for the ball
Joint Jets MOM Luke Beardsworth focused on the ball
A Hammi ping for Jamie Speer
Hertford level from the spot and it all starts to go pear shaped for Jets
Lee Armitt with asuperb slot for 1-0.
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