Stoppage Time Anguish For Defiant Jets
Flackwell Heath 2 Oxhey Jets 1
Cherry Red Combined Counties Premier North
17th September 2022
Jets lost to a high flying Flackwell Heath, and rarely in my many years running Jets have I felt more sorry for the team and staff than in this defeat today.
The staff had the nightmare of the worst attitude and excuses possible with five late pull outs and three on the day, some past the meet times for the most pathetic unacceptable excuses I’ve heard, and from people in some cases who think they should be playing higher up the pyramid, this probably shows them why they are not !!
Add to the above covid biting again and two hospital cases, and Jets are starting to think we’ve run a black cat over at the moment.
Manager Kevin Christou and Coach Tom Inch set the day out, and the team played it to the core. It was defensively and unit wise one of the best performances of the season.
Jets set out to offer possession, but no chances, to Flackwell and they stuck to it and worked hard to deliver the plan. Tom Inch was outstanding all the game and was rock solid with Harry Brady next to him also having an excellent match.
It was a faultless 85 mins by the team with Sam Cahill and Deago Dunbar-Bonnie shutting the wings down then countering to cause the home side problems, who were roared on by a nearly 500 crowd.
First half chances were limited, but Jets best one was when Tom Shaw, who had a strong debut, delivered a ball into the area after battling to win possession and, as the keeper spilled it, Ricardo had a golden chance, but hesitated and the scramble that followed could not be converted.
The only real disappointment that could cost Jets was the petty needless fouls that were giving possession to the home side and inviting them on.
For the second half Flackwell adjusted their formation and came at Jets a little more. Karl Beaumont in goal was called on a few times to make the saves, some late on at 1-1 were stunning.
Jets took the lead on the hour with an excellent low daisy cutter by Kyle Matthew, who beat the keeper with the his well-placed shot into the corner.
Minutes later young Reid Sims, on for Ricardo, had a great opportunity and the shot just inches over, but he probably knows he had just a bit more time to compose and finish, but young talent is learning on the job for Jets this season, so patience and understanding needed.
Two massive turning points were to cost Jets. With just ten minutes to play Harry Brady went down and dislocated his shoulder and became the third Jets player to end up in hospital in two matches. This caused a reshuffle, and the tightness and understanding he and Tom had forged was not quite as tight.
With just four to play Jets were furious and hanging on when the referee ( linesman’s fault really) missed a blatant, and I mean yards, offside attack either ball watching or now all becoming influenced by the howling crowd behind the home side.
The error came after a Flackwell attack had broken down thanks to an incredible save by Beaumont and an equally incredible tackle by injured skipper Sam Denham, who had to be named and thrown into action because of the unacceptable actions of the players mentioned at the start !! A corner was given instead of the offside, and Jets paid the price when a bullet header beat the defence to level the match.
Tempers frayed, and the final minutes were not good to see, and the officials seemed to completely lose control, perhaps overwhelmed by the crowd numbers.
Then Conrad Holland and Jets were to pay the price fully for picking up stupid yellows when your game is based on a tigerish work rate and tackles. Having been booked earlier for kicking the ball away ( yes again when someone else gave away a pointless needless free kick with a player going nowhere), then picked up a second yellow, so red and Jets had to play the last two plus stoppage with 10 men.
Very deep into stoppage time and Jets were heartbroken. The shot was unstoppable, and the points gone. Unacceptable scenes followed as the home side chose to celebrate right down the line through and beyond the away dug out area. Handbags all around, which was a shame as it was an incredible game of football.
I say again, rarely have I felt more sorry for a team or the staff in my 50 years tenure of Jets.
Before the match full respects we’re paid to HMQ Elizabeth ll and also to my sister Val who passed away Thursday. On behalf of my family I’d like to thank all the Jets teams this weekend and their opponents for their kind words and respects.
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