Jets Test League Leaders
Amersham Town 2 Oxhey Jets 1
Cherry Red Combined Counties Division One
28th October 2023
The much-anticipated match against the league leaders, who include so many ex-Jets players, was cruelly edged away from Jets in the last six minutes. But what a fantastic effort by this young side of ours, many in their first season in men’s football against a side fully capable of being bankrolled two divisions higher. A great comment from one Amersham player was that “the key difference between the two sides today was experience”, a compliment from him as Jets only had Owen Deamer over 23 years old in the starting eleven.
This was always going to be a learning experience, and watching today I know I’d not swap this staff and team for anything else, looking at the massive progress they are making in such a short time.
The staff’s message was passionate and clear. Come in here at HT still in the match, don’t switch off as they are a higher-level capable side that has all but got the championship and promotion in sight.
Danny Fowler was suspended, and the two centre-halves were out of action. Some reshuffle was needed for the in-form Jets.
To make the report honest observations should not be taken as criticism for young Jets, as we pointed out this was a learning game, and we learned a lot, mostly positives, on the potential here.
Jets almost got a dream start when a slight on-ball hesitation by the Amersham keeper had the ball agonisingly close to being stolen by Andre and Avto to nab a gift start.
Jets had to dig deep, and the expected two contrasts of the team were less evident as Jets, known for touch football, were careless on passing and playing themselves under pressure by doing so as the hosts came at them early, maybe starting in awe of the build-up given, but it was dig-deep and battle time, and we did just that with the Jets defence, led by GK Lewis, superb.
Amersham took the lead with a well-worked goal, a splitting ball but not getting the run of the luck evident when the Jets keeper got a good block on the ball, but the ball looped high and dropped into the net, a good goal but a gutter for the keeper who thought he had done enough.
This was a testing time for Jets and, with Amersham well on top, we had to work very hard to deliver on the staff instruction to come in here at HT in the contest, and the lads did just that. 1-0
Now I don’t know what was said in the changing rooms, but the staff did a fantastic boost job as Jets came out a different side and were to make a hell of a game of it.
A little bit of luck for Jets started the half as the Amersham striker Jake Tabor blasted a harsh penalty high over the bar to keep Jets at 1-0.
Now Jets were on their toes, and you could see the belief rapidly growing and, with Lopes and Hickman Singh attacking the lines, Jets were starting to counter and offer a big threat.
Jets’ reward was Dylan Hickman Singh opening the defence and laying back plum for Andre Lopes to hammer home the equaliser 1-1 and game on.
For Jets it was cup tie type fever trying for the giant kill, while Amersham kept going forward for the expected win, but an incredible double save at opposite ends of the goal by Lavin had them in disbelief.
It was a nail-biter but, in the end, it was a big disappointment with Amersham scoring what turned out to be the winner with just six minutes remaining. Small margins, but Jets were not set with an injury at the back to Chippy, he was labouring but it was a kick on the edge of the area at the other end to Jets, one of football’s sins, clear the first man !! Not done, and while my camera patiently waited for the ball to arrive, it was breaking clear to the other end on a two-pronged counter that was thinly defended and allowed the tap-in winner for the Division’s leading goal scorer.
It felt cruel on Jets, but they have now raised the expectations on the side from a month ago as the kids are learning, listening to coaches and growing into the level fast, winning over step 5 teams in the County Cup and beating second place Molesey last week. Now add to that list this outstanding effort against what must be the champions-elect this week. The potential of the side under this staff is enormous. Keep humble, keep your heads, and progress is the aim.
It’s been a long time since the pride in a performance has been as high as this.
The Carlsberg Man of the Match was a two-nomination contest between Chippy in the heart of the defence and the stunning keeper display from Lewis. Dave Barnes made the split and went to centre half Harry “Chippy” Brady.
Have to close on a single-word summary: Pride
Match Photo Gallery: