Top Performance From Jets
Oxhey Jets 2 Hilltop 0
Cherry Red Combined Counties Premier North
25th March 2023
Jets hauled themselves back into the relegation fight with a superb 2-0 home win against Hilltop.
Changes were made following consecutive disappointing defeats. Sam Woods departed for fellow relegation fighters Chalfont and Jets brought in three new players to boost the squad. Remell Stirling and David Levy started for their debuts and young Jordan Okwor, another superb young prospect from Warren Gladdy’s academy, started from the bench.
Jets started brightly on a heavy pitch following the monsoons of the recent days but we looked a team with more intent and purpose.
The early chances were Jets and it was David Levy who thought he had opened his account but the cross-goal shot was agonisingly wide, then (we blame a bobble ?) one over into the farmer’s field, while Hilltop clattered the Jets crossbar with our defence beaten.
A smart move by the debutants opened the scoring when Remell played an exquisite ball across to David Levy, who squared for Ethan Goulding to side foot into the net for his first goal for Jets since joining us from the Watford FC academy on work experience (18 minutes).
It was a lively game and many chances were created in the end-to-end encounter. Ethan was bolt-on for a second, but a good block denied as it did Sam Scott’s blaster as Jets, looking hungry, went for broke.
The Jets midfield, led by skipper Tommy, was at its best today and Henry was superb, covering every blade of the ground, it was a different Jets.
The big break came just two minutes from half-time. David Levy again powered into the box but was denied. Remell Stirling picked up the ball and did a 360 before placing home off the post to double Jets advantage. 2-0 HT
Disaster struck for Jets within minutes of the restart. The lively Levy was cautioned for delaying the start of play and then, moments later, was pushed in the back while going in on goal, the referee decided it was not enough for the tumble and issued a red ( 2 yellows) while not wondering why a player would go down when in on goal. Veo confirms a push but no appeals for yellows so a blow for jets.
Now the battle. Ten men to hold their lead for 38 minutes against a good footballing team.
Jets dug in and it was the defence’s turn to take the battle, and GK Lewis Lavin’s handling was top draw and the whole defence, Jack James, Sam Scott, Nugs and Ben Delicata were faultless.
Tommy had been in bed ill all week and had to come off but the wise old head of Warren Gladdy went on to steady the young side.
Jets young and at times reckless team kept countering and Kieran Patterson added to the front runners to keep the pressure on Hilltop’s defence.
It was great to see another Warren academy prospect Jordan Okwor joining his mentor on the pitch and what an impact he made with his menacing turn of speed, and only an excellent save denied him the golden start.
Jets man of the match was difficult. There was a reason for the whole team to be nominated. Owen Ayres had, in my opinion, his best game of the season, the first 45 minutes was stunning, and Henry Dudley could easily have had the nod. One person, though, had a real above-and-beyond performance, and scored, Ethan Goulding took the Carlsberg MoM for his whole display.
Having new attacking options opened different tactics and formations for Jets and it all worked out on the day as Jets although outsiders in the relegation battle are at least back in the mix for safety.
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