Storming Comeback From Jets
Spartan South Midlands Premier
21st August 2018
Jets had to work away back from a Wembley grave, two down, could and should have been more and producing a form horror show of a first half that left boss Tim O’Sullivan fuming and blistering the paintwork in a half-time rollicking that many of the players probably had never suffered before in their lives.
A settled side is a problem and with Leigh Stevens out for some time with ankle damage after falling down the stairs at a station and top scorer and essential 10-dog, Luke Jones committing the sin of a football season holiday to name just two is working the manager’s brain on tactics and moves to the bone.
So a reshuffle in what is always a challenging game on a carpet of a pitch saw Andy Brennan take on Tim’s now club famous 10-dog role and he did it to perfection. He was tightly marked, but he still produced the goods and slipped his marker for an all-important equaliser in the second half stunning fight back.
Skipper Tom Gibson recalled following his extended holiday, and his leadership grip is essential to Jets and was to play an important part later in the evening.
The first half was a real horror show jets were outplayed, outgunned and chasing shadows, losing virtually every tackle so just 2-0 down at the break was almost a blessing and what could be done to avoid humiliation.
Enter Tim O’Sullivan, standing motionless, silently listening to the player’s views. Then the mushroom cloud erupted in a blistering ear bashing that nobody escaped, and which had me getting a defib unit ready just in case for the boiling fuming boss. The content of this blast is best left private! ‘Stormy’ O’Sullivan then exits the changing room with the walls vibrating and the team shaken and silent. Enter a real captain as the silence was broken by Tom Gibson who gave an inspirational account of what they all have to do now in support of the boss and club.
Well, the silly game of two halves saying was never truer. Jets came out like a team possessed chasing, tackling, grafting almost everything that was missing knowing too well the next goal was critical.
The break came with a long-range spinner, and great thumper from Nick Kerley beating the keeper all ends up 2-1 (58 mins). Wembley were wobbling and Jets, with O’Sullivan growling from the sidelines, were rampant at the Wembley goal.
Then a superb pinpoint cross by Ollie Salami into the box, Andy Brennan slipped his marker for a stunning glancing header past the keeper (2-2).
There were moments now at both ends, but it was Jets looking more likely as the Wembley attack faded from the first half threats and both managers played their cards from the benches.
Tim O’Sullivan got this one right on the night too, but almost in a bizarre style. Substitute Jamie Speer attempted a shot from the edge of the area, and the mishit bobbled safely towards the waiting keeper who must have been plotting his out ball. Sensing a chance the other half of the duel substitution Ryan O’Sullivan lurked just in case, and the Wembley keeper spilled it, and Ryan O’Sullivan pounced, pushing the ball along the line away from the keeper and tapping into the empty net. The team and bench went mad, two down, now 2-3 up (73 mins). Now Jets needed to ride the storm for three incredible points.
There were scares both ends and one goalmouth scramble that no one dealt with almost cost us, but the time was played out, and it was a superb result for Jets.
The players felt the Jets man of the match was a team effort. BUT, we have our brilliant sponsors perks and reward scheme to think of so a vote was taken by the travelling supporters and tonight’s ’10-dog’ Andy Brennan was the unanimous choice. I decided, however, to pull rank and share it between Andy and my nomination, Tim O’Sullivan, who turned the match around tonight.
Well done all on a stunning fight back and win, but that first half!
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