Probably Jets Best Win Of The Season So Far
Jets battled hard and to the man to earn a rare away win at Berkhamsted on a bitterly cold night.
Jets were without Sim Armstrong and Luke Wells already and had a scare when keeper Rob Partington turned up feeling unwell, but he ended the night as man of the match for Jets pulling off incredible saves. For Jets, playing in their green Carlsberg kit, this was probably their best three points of the season so far. Berko are a top side challenging the top teams at the sharp end of the table looking for that one promotion place and this was their first home defeat of the season.
Jets had to defend long and hard and it was a determined man for man battle in this incredibly sporting fixture that ensued. The home side had by far the best of the first half with Jets for long periods pinned back and the back line doing their job fully, and when keeper Rob Partington was beaten one of the lads was on hand to clear the lines, it really was a super effort from all involved to hold the clean sheet at the break.
The instruction was clear, superb effort try to up it a bit and who knows we might steal one, and after just six minutes we did just that as a counter attack fell to Oliver Cole who held up well and turned and went direct for goal, but was halted flattened. Some confusion followed as the referee went to the area of the offence and looked to be awarding a corner, but his assistant, former football league official Mark Mellor was indicating the penalty and the referee went straight to the spot, to be fair photo evidence and the sportingly honest home club officials confirmed it as the correct decision.
Jets have been a little suspect from the spot but this time Leigh Stevens was calm and precise and slotted 0-1 (51 mins). This really spurred Jets as much as the home team and in a much more even second period it was a game of many chances at both ends and it is amazing that neither side added to the scoreline for so long.
The two Berko wide men were always dangerous and excellent attackers and the Jets defence were truly outstanding tonight to stop them, while in the middle Jets were inspired by the debut of Nathan Pooley, who combined so well with Tom Inch and Luke Lloyd to spring forward producing some really nice football.
Jets had seemingly rode the storm and were making their own chances, the industrious Stevens upsetting the home defence and the passing opening up the home side. Twice Luke Lloyd could and maybe should have scored, but it was third time lucky as he three times rounded defenders before a glorious chip over the keeper that left him rooted and looking back hoping… but to no avail as it dipped superbly into the net 0-2 (87 mins).
Surely all over, nope a tremendous slot through the keepers legs minutes later by Campbell (89 mins) and it was panic stations.
In the added minutes Partington saved a tremendous 1 on 1 then Jets countered but didn’t pull the trigger, Berko flooded forward but blasted over the bar then the miss of the match for Jets when young sub Luis Mateus literally dribbled past the lot but didn’t look up and realise it was an open goal with the keeper wrong footed and with all the staff screaming ‘shoot please’ well similar to that. Anyway the ball stayed rooted and was smothered, thankfully followed by the final whistle and three superb points for Jets on the road and it has been a long time since a win at Broadwater.
Jets man of the match, it was almost cruel to give one as the team were outstanding tonight, but rather than praise individuals it is best to just say that the nod went to keeper Rob Partington but almost everyone could have thrown their hat in the ring and been nominated tonight.