Referee’s Decision Hands It To Norwich
Norwich CBS 1 Oxhey Jets 0
Saturday 21st October 2017
Jets will wonder how they exited the FA Vase on a blustery day in Norwich, but the answer is clear. It was a poor Jets first half performance coupled with a terrible decision by the referee on the Norwich goal.
You enter and love these competitions, days out, coach trips but you do expect the officials to be up to the standard of the match you are to play in. Today, sadly, it wasn’t to be and the double-handed ‘patter cake’ two-handed pass went unpunished and cost Jets the game.
Jets lately are involved in games of two halves that bear no relation to each other. They have lost games from two and three up and have got points from the same deficit. Today it could have been the same. Jets could easily have been three or four down at the break. They just didn’t get off the coach! Norwich hit the post and Jets made last gasp clearances. It was a one way, backs to the wall battle and only some great saves by Rob Partington kept it to the single, contentious goal for Norwich at half-time.
Manager Lee Stedman must take the credit for the switch around. He and his travelling whiteboard was a mass of change as he switched around almost everything and everybody into a new formation. It worked from minute one of the second-half, although you must also say that Jude Bell’s team rollicking, then Sim Armstrong’s inspirational gee up to follow, was massive also.
Jets swarmed forward and by three minutes in they had made more attacks than in the whole of the first half. Jets then continued to dominate with the BBC Norfolk commentator saying ‘it’s just a matter of time here’ for the equaliser.
Well, there were chances aplenty, not missed but defended with heart and passion by the Norwich defence. Nick Kerley three times slotted past the keeper but defenders cleared off the line.
The save of the match, unfortunately for Jets, came from a defender heading high off the line at full stretch with the ball just millimetres short, with many supporters thinking it looked in. To be fair, the Lino was right on the line and it looked a correct call by him.
In the middle of all the one way battering Norwich did get a clear break but Rob Partington pulled off Jets save of the match to keep Jets in contention.
Jets had three cautions, all after poor decisions by the official who was assessed with the lowest mark possible by Jets. For Jets, refereeing cost them the game today.
Jets went for it right up to the final whistle. There were numerous scrambles and blocks, but no compensating ‘hand of God’ to bring Jets level.
Norwich and Jets dominated one half each but it was Jets who bowed out of this prestigious competition. It was a beer and off to the Golden Arches and the long trip home.
A frustrating day for Jets. When you are beaten by good goals you accept it. You have to accept it anyway BUT goals like today make it harder to accept and the old arguments kick in. Respect. Earn it!
Man of the match for Jets wasn’t really contested by many. Two players were in the frame for an excellent first half whilst under the cosh, Skipper keeper Rob Partington and ‘pitch’ skipper Jude Bell. The second half performance by Jude, covering every blade of the pitch, was inspirational to Jets young team, so he gets the final vote.