Underdogs Jets Push Chenecks Close
Northampton ON Chenecks 3 Oxhey Jets 1
FA Vase Extra Preliminary Round
27th August 2023
Jets exited the FA vase but were really impressed with the effort the make-shift side produced at unbeaten ON Chenecks.
Played on Bank Holiday Sunday Jets found themselves without nine of the squad available, a mixture of reasons that we just have to expect, but coupled with the reports about what a complete side our opponents were, hopes were not high on the journey North.
It was a case of who could play, and manager Tom Inch found himself as the new centre forward going for his first 90 minutes of the season.
Jets started brightly, but a poor bit of defending let the hosts in on the quarter hour to grab the lead on the counterattack.
Jets responded immediately and, just three minutes later, Inchy played a cutting ball to in-form Andre Lopes, who cheekily dinked one over the keeper into the net 1-1.
It was a good battle end-to-end. Jets surprised themselves in many ways as the young guns threw caution to the wind and went for broke. The last words before the start from joint boss Dave Barnes were “Come in here at HT still in the game”, and the boys did exactly that at 1-1.
It was an end-to-end game for much of the second half but as the end was in sight it was clear that Jets were getting tired legs, many having their first game of the season, and with two of the sub bench pulling up in the warm-up and one a GK, options were limited for the staff.
Jets thought they had the lead, but somehow a net buster was brought off the line by a defender, with the keeper just looking on in despair.
The will was broken after Jets attacked and sloppy play lost the ball, and a quick counter had Jets defending. There was a poor attempt to clear, but the loose ball was driven into the net with just twelve minutes to play. The third followed close to time, but by then the legs and head had already given up.
A ground-hoppers neutral tweet summed it up. The game looked destined for penalties with two evenly-balanced teams, which on the day is a compliment to us !!
Man of the match was discussed and two nominations emerged, striker Andre Lopes and Kevar McKenzie. The vote went to Andre Lopes for the goal and an outstanding contribution throughout in Jets’ thin front line.
When will the FA and leagues realise bank holidays are family and events times, and just move the games to midweek the same week, nothing lost but families gain.
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