Positive Jets Stifle Belstone Threat
Belstone 1 Oxhey Jets 4
11th November 2023
Herts FA Centenary Trophy 2nd Round
Jets started their Hertfordshire Centenary Trophy campaign with a difficult away game at HCL Premier League Leaders Belstone, who are unbeaten in their first fifteen games and are on superb form to hunt down another league title.
The Jets Staff message from the off was beware, reminding them that our three scalps in the charity shield were a step higher and that today Belstone will be looking to prove that only facilities deny them the step 6 status, not the team. They have a menacing goal threat of Chris Blunden on hot goal scoring form also in their armoury.
Jets started really positively, taking the upper hand on possession and restricting the hosts to long-range efforts, and got the breakthrough on 17 minutes when, on his competitive debut, James Barnett from a tight angle notched. The energetic Archie James chased it home to make sure with a defender also homing in, but no goals committee intervention was needed as Archie sportingly said “Not my goal” 0-1
The game continued with a similar theme, Jets controlling most of the possession, but then the hosts looked to have equalised, but a superb clearance off the line denied them. Jets then extended their lead on 35 minutes when a menacing solo run By Dylan Hickman Singh was finished with a powerful strike that the keeper could only watch hit the net 0-2.
The changing room was positive but firm, stay on the Gas, this is a big game against good opposition, and Jets went for the killer straight away. Again it was a well-passed ball from James Barnett (48 mins) that set up young Archie James to hammer his own goal, no doubt this time, to surely put the tie out of reach.
The tie lost some of its impetus, although a few frustrated tackles went in, and the ref remembered he had cards and started to use them. Any doubts about the result were eliminated on 90 minutes, when “Danny long ball” drilled a ball across the area and picked out Sam Hamerton to calmly slot bottom corner, giving the keeper no chance.
With the 90 all but up, the hot scorer reminded us that give him a chance and he will nail it as Chris Blunden, who had been nullified by James Kimber for most of the match, hit a peach direct from a free-kick to put a consolation on the sheet for him and his team.
On paper an expected win, but a massive potential banana skin match for Jets to see off and on the day the lads did put in an excellent display.
Jets man of the match must have been difficult, but coach Chris De Freitas was given the task.
James Kimber was on top form looking after the Blunden threat, Archie James and James Barnett had real top-draw games, but the nod went to the masterful Craig Stephen-Lett, who is calm and in total control of the rear guard nullifying the home threat.
Jets, as young as they are, are starting to look like a real mature team.