Honours Even At Holmer
Spartan South Midlands Premier
19th November 2016
Jets earned a really hard point on the road (yep another away game) at a ground that Jets rarely get rewards from. Holmer Green are tough to beat these days and the hosts have strong roots at home. Jets didn’t have their best luck in play, losing Brad Thompson in the pre-match warm up and then Sim Armstrong almost immediately but luckily today the squad, options and depth was stronger. There were recalls for Dan Taylor and a debut from the bench for another promising youngster Luke Jones.
Rather than do a full report we’ve decided to use the report from a neutral ground visitor, http://themowdog.blogspot.co.uk, who attached the following from his visit onto Twitter and it is an excellent well balanced neutral report.
The missing info is the Jets man of the match. It was a two player competition today, after a number of saves GK Liam Nugent and Mr ever ready Leigh Stevens, and the bottle went to Leigh this time after another excellent game.
Good battle, tough game, superb point and many thanks to Holmer Green and their staff and supporters who joined us in paying our respects to our fallen soldier Tom Lake on the anniversary of his death in action …. And the next game Yep away again.
The Mowdog Report: –
Holmer Green 1-1 Oxhey Jets
Following a rather unexciting opening period, both teams netted early after the interval and then proceeded to create and squander numerous chances to snatch three points from the opposition. Following the goals, home ‘keeper Sam Butcher made a couple of good saves, his skipper Ryan Tackley made a superb saving challenge but at the opposite end, Greens’ striker Greg Dear cost his team dear with three misses and left-sider Andy Shed was close with two or three headers, before home midfielder Jonty Somerell and central defender Joe Collins failed to score in a late melee which followed a set-piece delivery into the Oxhey penalty-box. Both teams were ascendant at times and I reckon perhaps that each team deserved a point. Greens’ Jamie Britnell had been denied by a combination of visiting ‘keeper Liam Nugent and the goal-frame in the rather mistake riddled first-half, during which Collins and Tackley looked comfortable in the middle of the home defence. Certainly the hosts had the edge in the aerial combats, hence Shed’s efforts at goal but when one considers that Nathan Pooley was drafted in late by the Jets, due to left-back Brad Thompson’s apparent pre-match foot problem and that the bearded Simeon Armstrong lasted only a part of the opening 45 minutes, perhaps the guests would be pleased with that valuable away point.
After Collins had somehow trapped a low centre between his knees and cleared, visiting midfielder Gary Warn couldn’t head Jake Kissedu’s cross goalwards and home winger Ben Hodges nodded a near post Somerell cross over the Jets’ crossbar, before Luke Jones replaced Armstrong for the guests, and yet they so nearly scored. Skipper Jude Bell’s left-side centre found Warn 7 yards out but although his right-footed effort evaded Butcher and seemed bound for the lurking Adam Lowton near the left upright, a superb intervention by the sliding Collins prevented a goal. The Greens had thus been warned of Warn’s lurking threat.
The hosts survived a few Oxhey corners, a couple of which were well caught by Butcher but following a weak Shed shot the tall Britnell must have thought that he had registered a goal. Ben Bradley, the Greens’ right-back who was prominent throughout the match, crossed from the right, Britnell rose beyond the left upright and nodded an angled effort at goal only for Nugent to arch backwards and touch the ball towards the far post, although it was tough to see whether the ball actually nudged the crossbar too. As Nugent scrambled up, the ball bounced gently against the inside of the far pole and he claimed it quickly.
Still the guests looked lively in attack however and before efforts by Jones, which was way too high, then Leigh Stevens, which was bundled wide on the volley, a rasping effort by Kissedu forced Butcher to plunge right and beat the ball out. A run by Bar Hariely saw his near post delivery hit the side-netting from an angle for the Jets but the hosts nearly capitalised upon a couple of low deflections on Collins’ right-flank centre which forced Nugent down but he lost possession and Dear’s lash sent the ball well past the right upright from close range. Butcher fell to stop a Lowton shot and the interval was signalled after Collins had been cautioned, as the cold got colder and as dusk drew down like November dusks do and the few brave fans who turned up to watch either grabbed a drink, or wondered whether a Saturday afternoon at Bicester’s shopping outlet might have been a wiser choice.
Incredibly though, probably before some spectators had exited the clubhouse, the hosts notched the first goal. A right-booted left-side centre by Shed was met by the head of Hodges, similar to the one he headed too high before the break but this time his looped effort dropped over the leaping Nugent.
Nugent reacted well to beat away a Somerell drive, albeit the midfielder with the neat touch was offside anyway, Nugent then tipped a looping Shed header over his crossbar but suddenly the visitors, not content with being anything like downhearted, regained parity following some fine skills by Lowton. He kept the ball well as he reached the left byeline and had the wherewithal to slip a pass inside for Ian Hurst, a wide player who usually seemed to have time on the ball and his control allowed him to shoot past Butcher and off the ‘keeper’s right boot into the net from 3 yards.
The visitors replaced Warn and right-back Daniel Taylor after a Britnell header and a Shed shot had drifted off target for the hosts but Dear then missed two opportunities for the Greens within minutes of each other. Dear’s effort and movement were decent during this game but when a fine Somerell pass to Shed on the left resulted in a cross onto the unmarked centre-forward’s head just 8 yards out, Dear, not having to jump, nodded the ball wide of the left post. He then received a cross from the right by the rapid Hodges but this time the chance was much harder and his spectacular leaping volley flew well over the target from 6 yards.
In response, weak attempts by Hurst and Lowton failed to trouble Butcher who then reacted well to tip an angled Kissedu shot over his crossbar from near the right byeline. Shed glanced another header wide for Holmer Green, three substitutes were then used by the hosts, but in the first of two melees, one at each end, the Jets were so close to taking the lead. Replacement Daniel Bourne made the ground at inside-left and maybe Butcher got a touch on the low cross shot, also a defender but there was Kissedu to surely score… Tackley though slid in like his life depended on it and blocked the shot at the right upright. Lawton was cautioned for words used and the Jets scented a winner. Replacements Bourne and Jones set up Pooley, who had done well for Oxhey, he ran on at inside-left but Butcher dived right to turn the resulting close range drive aside.
The hosts responded well however and subsequently went close themselves, for apart from another Shed header, which looped wide of the left stick and a wasteful 22 yarder by Somerell, which ballooned too high, the second of the game’s melees so nearly brought a deciding goal. A free-kick was jumped for near the edge of the 18 yard box and in the commotion, Stevens inadvertently stabbed the ball towards his own goal but Somerell, obviously played onside, got his feet all wrong, like he couldn’t shake off his mate in a three-legged race and the ball fizzed to Collins, whose drive struck Stevens. Collins then rammed the resulting rebound well off target.
It remained only for Dear to somehow head well off target again from a left-side centre, I think by replacement Marcus Horwood and the evening ended all square. It was dark, it was very cold standing watching but the second period had been a decent watch in Watchet Lane. Midfielder Curtis Stone was in on most of the Greens’ set-pieces, Shed was a lively attacker but the home defence, with that ability to win the ball in the air, did well enough. Somerell looked to have the creativity to win this game but was unable to secure enough possession to affect it enough and Hodges was quick, also good in the air, like Shed, the other winger.
For the guests, their effort was creditable and they competed until the end, not accepting a point, which led to an end-to-end final quarter-hour. Kissedu was close with a couple of good shots, Bell and Stevens defended as well as their Holmer counterparts had and Hurst looked neat in possession on a regular basis. Both goalkeepers made good saves on the day…
Me? Writing this after watching the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert, I can only feel that the badger in the John Lewis advert and the robin in the Waitrose equivalent at least bring some spirit and cheer to watching, unlike the other one. This game brought some cheer to me too… And to my badger…