Gary "The Legend" Page puts Jets in front
Rolling back the years in the 2015 Webster cup final was Oxhey Jets A team, the seasoned vets from Jets proud history who were so important to Jets climb when their first team was in this very West Herts league. They were up against a powerful Vicarage Celtic, top of the division above Jets and in multiple finals, so it looked like a turkey shoot on the big Hemel Town pitch.
Tony Marren picked his squad, a tight knit group of loyal Jets lads whose total ages added up to 635 years so average of a young 42 years, only one, keeper Steve Duce under 30 years and he doesn't do any running anyway!! They donned the Carlsberg kit, our generous club sponsors who had supplied a "more generous" shirt size, total appearances tonight for the club was 6160 games, so no shortage of experience at least and the top of that list was former first team skipper Marc Ayres who had played 651 previous games.
Jets kicked off up the slope on the sandy pitch hoping to ease their legs a little going downhill in the second period when the legs start to feel as heavy as the required oxygen cylinders needed to get their breath, and they gave as good as they took in an even first half where the running youth tactics took on the slower but controlled vets. Jets were very dangerous from set pieces and found the net via Ian Holdom but it was ruled out by a very unlucky assistant's flag, but look at the photos and see why Jets are more than a little disappointed. The same assistant got it wrong when Ian Holdom burst through beating the offside trap and was pulled back by his flag, and he was subsequently told a thing or two by Jenks and Eddie O who were right behind him and very very unhappy with the ball watching official whose reactions were slower than our players after 120 minutes.
In response to Jets, Celtics were really doing our job for us. We were playing a tight blocking game, and doing it well, but when they opened us up 90% of their chances were hit high over the bar or off target, so we were hoping it stayed that way. A blistering header looked goal bound but the save of the night was finger tipped over somehow by the Vicarage Celtic's keeper to keep the scores level at the break.
Now we expected to struggle in the second period as the legs started to go and first signs were the loss of Gary Quinnell to a ping on the old hammi, but in a scene first played out in the last millennium the commentator's words of "superb ball from Holdom to Page.... Goal! its Gary Page for Oxhey Jets" yep that goal scoring legend of 359 goals added another to shock the favourites back on their heels (52 mins).
Jets for a while looked for more as the adrenalin kicked in, and a goal line clearance denied a second and twice the Fox and Hound pair of Holdom and Page came close, but then VC sussed it out and the youthful side came hunting in fast moving packs at the now creaking legs. Jets started to take a battering and were throwing everything in the way to deny the successful cup holders from retaining their trophy. Woodgate, Ayres, Sheward needed every inch they had in all directions to block anything thrown at them, and it was Gary Dancy looking spritely chasing the young hounds matching their speed, if only in shorter bursts, but Jets were holding on.
VC threw on their subs and like the U-boats they hunted in packs and finally they cracked the defence when a fresh sub solo run was dribbled into the net, just as Steve Duce got a hand but not enough to deny .1-1(78 mins). From there it was one way as VC went for the cup but Jets held out and incredibly took the game to extra time, but that would probably mean half of these won't be able to get out of bed in the morning.
It was a magnificent display in extra time, a 30 plus minutes of hurt for Jets but they dug deep, they contested every ball, they gave their ALL, Steve Duce in goal was outstanding, making a save that all but matched VC's keepers first half one, and Gary Dancy pulled a super trooper one off the line to hold Jets in there. It was mostly VC now but on the break Jets threatened big time and nearly snatched one more than once. As time ran out you started to dream again that IF, just IF they held out maybe pens would be a chance for the old heads to snatch it.
Pens it was, the hated lottery of football that leaves someone feeling suicidal at the end..
1-1 all clean
2-1 Jets as Steve Duce pulls out a save to deny
3-2 Chris Harding clatters both posts but it goes in and Jets are on the brink
3-3 Paul Barrowcliff goes straight down the middle and it's all square
4-4 keeper Steve Duce takes his turn and takes it to sudden death
4-5 as poor Charlie Sheward is denied by the diving keeper that won the cup and earned him the Man of the Match from the league officers.
Our star player was shared between the outstanding keeper of Steve Duce and Ian Holdom who was the centre pin of all Jets forward moves tonight.
Tonight was one of the proudest cup final defeats I can remember in the club's history. They gave all but just, literally just, failed in the lottery of penalties to crown the most incredible night. It might be the last final ever for some, who knows, in football, but for sure they will never be able to give more than tonight. These players are some of the most loyal and most respected players in our history and tonight they showed why.... Mr Tony Marren you and all your team deserved your medals tonight, you are an example to players not just in our club but in grass roots football, in football that attracts declining headlines all over the country, but tonight two teams showed how to play a sporting generous final. Also good luck to Nick Debenham who is running the London marathon next week, wow will the legs recover in time !!
Congratulations to all at Vicarage Celtic on retaining your trophy, you earned it because we made you work your socks off to get it !!
Just like the 90's - the Holdom/Page Combo
Gary Dancy clears off the line in Extra Time
Holdom denied by the offside flag at 0-0, but goalie and defender on the line
Superb game from Jets keeper Steve Duce
Chris Harding still dominant
Jets push hard
Charlie Sheward goes close
Gary Page drives through the Celtic defence
Save of the match denies Jets
Celtic pressure finally delivers the equaliser
Masterclass from Ian Holdom
Solid defending from Gary Dancy
Phil Sharpe in the thick of the action
Keith Woodgate gives a piggyback
First shootout penalty gives Jets the lead
Steve Duce saves to give Jets the edge
Marc Ayres makes it 2-1 Jets on penalties
Paul Barrowcliff misses and its tied
Steve duce nets and its 4-4
Unlucky for Charlie Sheward as is miss in sudden death means Celtics win 5-4
Oxhey Jets Webster Cup Final Team Photo
Not Jets day as late sub Armitt's header misses
Jets travelled to Stotfold with a depleted squad and ended up losing by three goals to nil, all the goals coming late.
Jets had their chances to win it before the late collapse but they definitely didn't have their scoring boots on today and the chances came and went.
Not a day to dwell on but the highlights were yet another man of the match performance from the in-form Tim O'Mara and the 400th Jets appearance for the ever consistent and hard working Chris Killer.
On the downside, Golden Boot chasing Lee Armitt was restricted to a substitute's role today and didn't get his name on the scoresheet while Berkhamsted's Christie hit a hat-trick to close the gap to four. This looks like a battle that is going to go down to the wire.
Wayne breaks through but the flaf is up for offside
Killer and Timmy worked hard throughout
Not Anton Collins day as this one on one shot goes high, very high
Jets just couldn't get a goal, their first shut-out this year
Another Man of the Match for Tim O'Mara
Back to the drawing board?
Match officials: Stotfold vs Oxhey Jets
Adam Lowton started for the first time since September
Late sub Lee Armitt couldn't save Jets today
Congratulations to Chris Killer on 400 Jets appearances
Ricardo Dinis leaps to make another fine save
The maths at kick-off were easy. Hillingdon had to take all the points to keep the faint hopes of survival going and boy did they try as they went full on at a lacklustre Jets side in a game that had one team wanting it and the other on a season run down (well, until the break !).
Jets had suffered the normal long list of pull outs, some no doubt more necessary than others, but it gave Wayne Gladdy a chance to look at some promising reserve youngsters, Godfrey Kalemera, young Alfa Jalo for his first team debut from the bench and with Will Baker injured and sent off at London Colney on Saturday it was a first team debut for goalkeeper Ricardo Dinis who was outstanding making save after save to hold the visitors at bay waiting for his team mates to wake up and join in the contest.
Former Jets midfielder Roy Byron had hit a peach to give the visitors hope and the deserved lead in 12 minutes, breaking from Jets stagnant rear guard, guilty of over playing again, and apart from a bolt on penalty not given when Lee Armitt was taken down, Jets did not make a single first half chance.
Jets were licking their wounds and blaming the formation picked by Gladdy, excuse making because as a unit and individually they could do little right, and in the middle it was Terry Smith doing the most to motivate a decent ball to the cut off strikers standing at point but receiving very little but scraps as Jets withdrew further and further back. At the break thanks to Ricardo and sloppy panicking rather than clinical finishing from Hillingdon, Jets were lucky to be just one down.
The staff were not happy to say the least but it remained calm and constructive, but for fifteen minutes little changed, but luckily as in the first half our keeper and the missed chances kept us in it. Then, BANG, like a sleeping beauty Jets woke up with devastating power. An hour gone and Tim O'Mara hit a blistering free-kick from outside the box to level the tie, then it was truly like the Alamo, Jets were confident and efficient picking passes and moves and they were a different team. Luke Lloyd, who had been a shadow of his Saturday form, pin-pointed a cross and the league's top scorer Lee Armitt headed, YES headed, eyes closed past the keeper 2-1 and Jets smelt blood (65 mins).
It was now a battering and Lee Armitt broke clear on a long ball and drew the keeper, who came out in vain, before running the ball home 3-1 (69 mins).
In fairness to Hillingdon they didn't give up and four minutes into stoppage they pulled one back via a header by Gary Edwards for an interesting last gasp, but the dream was shattered and relegation sealed when almost straight from kick-off Lee Armitt hit his hat-trick and the referee blew full time with the ball in the net 4-2, and Lee Armitt's dream of the South Midlands league's golden boot is still in the melting pot.
Man of the match shortlist included Terry Smith, who was the most productive pitch player in the first half, and Lee Armitt, who again notched a hat-trick in a blistering second half, but the vote went to a lad on his debut for the first team after excellent games in the reserves, young Ricardo Dinis took the award making a string of saves that broke Hillingdon's heart.
Good points on a difficult emotional night for the Gladdy Babes.
A word for Hillingdon Borough who had they showed this grit every week would not have gone down, but who knows in the pyramid system somebody's loss could be their gain and a reprieve who knows until the AGM but they are a smashing club run by nice people, the sort grass roots football need, so we wish them well and a happy return soon to the Premier division.
Jets shout for a first half penalty but nothing given
Battling Hillingdon take deserved first half lead
A super free-kick from Tim O'Mara makes it 1-1 and sparks Jets into life
Jets come alive in the second half and apply pressure on the Hillingdon goal
A Lee Armitt header gives Jets a 2-1 lead
Jets stretch their lead with Lee Armitt's second
Hillingdon don't go down without a fight, grabbing a second in added time to make it 3-2
Still time though for Lee Armitt to complete his hat-trick with the final kick of the game
Ricardo Dinis made his first team debut and kept Jets in the game in the first half
Tom Kennedy digs deep as Jets face early Hillingdon pressure
Joe Horwood heads clear as Hillingdon continue to cause problems
Terry Smith was the driving force for Jets in the first half
Match Officials: Oxhey Jets vs Hillingdon Borough
Lee Armitt scores with his chip-in penalty
How oh how Jets got nothing from this trip to second place London Colney is a mystery and proof as to how cruel and uncaring this game can be at times. Jets had a splinter squad as the injury list, work, holidays and coach trips took its toll today as the Easter Bunny seemed to lure everyone away from club football. The remaining squad was further reduced when Sim Armstrong was reduced to a "John Wayne" hobble in the warm up so Adam Lowton got a call to come from work and help out on the bench and Luke Lloyd intending to watch was hurriedly put in for the full ninety minutes.
Jets started ok and for the first fifteen minutes it was a tight and interesting battle then Jets defence went completely AWOL as Colney put in a pinpoint cross for a completely unmarked header in the box 1-0, a very good goal for Colney but dreadful marking by Jets.
The balance for a while went with the home side and depleted Jets looked in trouble, then Anton Collins who was so heavily praised on Tuesday but was having a "nap day" today burst into the box , split two defenders and was brought down for a bolt on penalty, rather cheekily dispatched by leading goal scorer Lee Armitt with a chip over the tall keeper. 1-1 and Jets stimulated into action.
The home side still had most of the attacking action and Jets countered but then another defensive gift gave Colney the lead. Jordan Gutteridge will want to forget the sloppy pass that swung Colney into attack and the ball forward seemingly way offside was allowed to go and duly converted despite Luke Lloyds loud pleas for the flag, home supporters level with the line later confirmed it was offside but the assistant was caught by the sudden change of direction after Jordan Gutteridge mistake. 2-1 Jets then suffered a further blow when Will Baker fell heavily from a challenge injuring his knee and after a long stoppage continued but clearly in a lot of trouble until the break. Half time 2-1
Jets worked on Baker but it wasn't good and just five minutes into the half it all went wrong as he slid out and brought down the incoming forward after two good saves that you could see hurt him badly, this time it went wrong following a slack Horwood ball Colney broke clear Baker went down and bang and the referee had no option but go to the spot for a clear cut penalty and automatic red card for the limping keeper.
I just wish our centre backs would do as most do in this level and get rid and clear it as time and time again Jets over playing defenders cost them points. With the absence of the "cat" aka Beardo, Jets previous stand-in keeper a few weeks back thanks to the QPR game at WBA this time it was Joe Horwood who took the gloves and was getting the ball out the net seconds later 3-1 match over for Jets,!
But no it invigorated them into action, Adam Lowton was put on for his first, first team action since his injury in September for the injured Lee Armitt and although struggling with injury himself Warren Gladdy graced an appearance and Jets went for broke. The second half belonged to the visitors as wave after wave went at London Colneys goal, Tom Kennedy and Terry Smith had good shots beaten out and Tim O'Mara who was having one of his best games in the 10 shirt had a very good penalty appeal turned down, that photos later showed he was hauled back by his shirt, in return Joe Horwood made two excellent finger tip saves that even Baker would have been chuffed with.
Adam Lowton then crowned his appearance driving home at the back post 3-2 and twelve to play. Jets pushed and pushed and you would not have known they were the ten men as they did everything but get the goal for the deserved point, and in the final throw everyone thought they had got it when another probing Kennedy cross picked out O'Mara who did it all right, drew and beat the keeper, controlled and sent a blistering high shot goal bound into the top of the net, BUT how I will never know the defender somehow got his head on it and put it over the bar to Jets despair. London Colney had the points but wow those Jets lads get a lot of credit.
Man of the match wasn't given but I'm going to stick my head out here and share it between the front and back pair of Tim O'Mara and Luke Lloyd both having very good games and deserving as most the side who did play today a little more from the short trip.
Will Baker fell heavily from this challenge
No pen for Tim O'Mara, just a stretched shirt!
Luke Lloyd played the full 90 mins and shared the Jets Man of the Match
Another strong away performance from Tim O'Mara
London Colney score what proved to be the winning penalty
Finger tip save denies Tom Kennedy
The end of the game for the limping Baker as he brings down the Colney forward
Adam Lowton came on and helped Jets get back in the game
Tom Kennedy in the thick of the action
Spectacular save for stand-in keeper Joe Horwood
Anton Collins is brought down for Jets penalty
Adam Lowton (15) scores to make it 3-2 as Jets surged back
Terry Smith drives one in
Tim's last minute power drive is cleared off the lline
Match officials London Colney vs Oxhey Jets
Anton Collins turns and fires home Jets opener
Jets romped to three points and a clean sheet at Cockfosters on a bitterly cold windswept night.
Jets had to contend with the inconsiderate last minute pull outs from injuries but tonight the side stayed well balanced and the side blended well to grind out the points.
Anton Collins and Tim O'Mara were leading the line tonight and how well they did, sharing the goals and the man of the match award.
Jets went at the game from the off on a difficult bobbly pitch that was helped by the heavy rain prior to kick off and it took Jets just five minutes to grab the early advantage. Sim Armstrong went on a power run through the defence and at the byline crossed hard across the goal, Tom Kennedy jumped it allowing Anton Collins to control, turn and slot the opener.
In honesty it was scrappy in the conditions and for a long period it was fought out in a checkmate midfield battle that saw Armstrong, Kennedy and Smith power-housing but on the counter Will Baker was forced to pull a super finger tip save out to deny the hosts.
Cockfosters just started to hold the upper hand a little when Tim O'Mara latched onto a cross ball and a wicked deflection gave the keeper no hope, 2-0 and Jets in a commanding position.
Jets injury problems are piling up and Terry Smith over stretched in his workaholic twin shift with side-kick Tom Kennedy and was replaced by the boss himself Wayne Gladdy in a straight swop.
Half time 0-2
The second period kicked off and all but ended the game immediately when Tim O'Mara hit a super dipping curler into the top corner, a goal to grace and win any game. 3-0 and Tim's second in two consecutive away days. It was a welcome return for young uni puppy Harry Beaumont who did well on his return as did Shamrock Sean as Jets shuffled the pack, leaving only Warren Gladdy out of the travelling pack denied a run out at one of his favourite grounds by big brother Wayne.
Jets took their eye off the game a little for a while and how Cockfosters didn't get a score on the ball is a mystery, but for sure one reason was keeper Will Baker who had, as in the first half, to make an excellent save to keep the clean sheet.
It was a good workman like team performance tonight in difficult (and freezing) conditions by all the fifteen squad players who gave their all for each other.
Man of the match as I've said was shared between tonight's twin strike force of Timmy O'Mara (whose Jets goal tally is now up to 150 !)and Anton Collins.
Manager Wayne Gladdy commented that his injury hit squad is running on empty but still running, and tonight got some rewards for the trip home. Maybe the two Steves have him cracked as it's their team when the boss is on the pitch.
It was a good honest effort from everybody, and honesty is all you can ask from any team.
Ouch! Jamie Speer battles for the ball
The opening goal assists - Sim for the driven cross, Tom for the leap over.
Tim O'Mara makes it 2-0
What a beauty! Tim O'Mara fires an unstoppable dipper to seal the win
Tim gets his goalscoring shot away
A strong display from Harry Beaumont - back from Uni for Easter
Brilliant save from Will Baker
Tom Kennedy back to his industrious self tonight
The ever consistent Chris Killer
Will worked hard to preserve the clean sheet
Fine performance from Anton Collins as he shared the Man of the Match award
Tim O'Mara a constant threat and two goals to share the Man of the Match
Jets Joy !!
Gary Page strikes jets into the lead.
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