Jets Shine Through the Storm
Oxhey Jets 3 Bovingdon 0
St Marys Cup Quarter-Final
14th March 2023
A much needed win, no matter what the competition. Jets young team needed the confidence boost of a much needed win after a disappointing 8 days. The much loved St Mary’s Cup has re started following the Covid break and Jets opponents were old friends, from both of our county league days, Bovingdon Fc.
It was a bitterly cold first half, played in driving rain and strong wind, making the conditions very difficult for players, and almost impossible for photographers!!
Jets took the lead with an OG as a cross came in the defender headed into the net while clearly trying to head wide for a corner, clearly conditions made this more difficult. 1-0 (30 min).
Jets extended the lead on 36 minutes when sixteen year old Henry Dudley, from distance, tucked his shot into the bottom corner from around 25 yards, helped by a small deflection.
Jets stayed in the driving seat for the half and you could see the “kids” growing in confidence.
Bovingdon made changes at the start of the second half and had their best period of the game, putting Jets under some pressure. The Jets defence held well and GK Lewis Lavin was back to his best, equal to what came his way.
Bovingdon had a big call for a penalty denied and it was clearly the big pressure point of the game for the hosts.
Jets rode the storm, both the weather and the match, and edged back into the game playing a spring and break match, and with three or four massive ping pong scrambles with multi shots raining in from rebounds only excellent goalkeeping by the Bovingdon lad and brave defending denied Jets time and time again.
Jets had the big chance to put the game to bed but the spot kick was missed as Owen Ayres clattered the cross bar, but the reprieve for Bovingdon was short lived as another sixteen year old Archie James scored from distance, curling a nice goal into the net 3-1 and tied the match up.
It really was a case of the rise of the kids tonight and in fairness these youngsters are giving their best week in week out for a side left in trouble by no fault of the present team or staff, and I applaud their dedication and efforts for the club.
Tonight the Carlsberg Jets man of the match went to Owen Ayres.
Jets clearly need to strengthen the squad in numbers and experience as the injuries now pile up as these youngsters struggle with the end of season mountain of fixtures, with bodies not yet strong enough for the demands.
Tom Inch and Dave Barnes are doing a fantastic job rotating and trying to protect the lads while doing their best to save the club’s premier status, but we’ve made it clear this is a rebuild project and next season is part of their spec, no matter what happens I know they are the partnership I want at the club to bring back better days.
The addition of an out and out striker would transform this skilful but inexperienced team.
Tonight the staff said no pressure, enjoy it, win it, get a clean sheet , they did it all but the weather made it less enjoyable for us watchers soaked, cold but a win so who cares !!
The semi final is against Tring Athletic, date TBA.