Jets Show Promise Against A Strong Phoenix Sports
Oxhey Jets 1 Phoenix Sports 3
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
6th August 2022
Jets showed so much promise in this FA cup defeat to the very experienced Phoenix Sports. It was always a big ask draw for Jets as their first competitive match (our new league Combined Counties chose not to start before the FA cup) coupled with eight new player debuts and multiple FA cup debuts for the young Jets team with the average age of just 20.3 years.
Jets suffered two blows before kick off, with Ferrell Charles suffering a bereavement, then Barsa Mirtahmasebi injuring an ankle in the pre-match warm-up.
Jets losing both centre backs had to pull the players back in to completely rearrange the formation and change all the team talk preps that had been given for the match.
Nicely accompanied by our youth set up mascots with the Dam Busters playing over the ground PA Jets prepared for the task ahead.
It was a defensive rear guard as our visitors with massively more experienced players, including those with Football League experience took early control and gave our crossbar a battering as Jets survived four “woodwork” strikes but hung in admirably.
Jets could and should have had the opportunity against the run of play to take the lead when on the break Jerome Akinola, called in to replace the pre-match injury was felled by the Phoenix keeper (who was a massive presence and was clearly more experienced with the decisions when it counted).
The same was said later in the half when Jets were again denied a spot kick which looked like a good call, not our day I guess.
Jets really competed and debutants Conrad Holland and Deago Dunbar Bonnie were really impressive.
Jets had their moments on the break playing a soak up and spring the attack game forced by the strength of the visitors, and it worked until the 28th minute when again the crossbar was thumped, but this time Jets switched off and the hot shot skipper Ryan Hayes made no mistake.
Jets rallied and badly wanted to hang on until the break but on 38 minutes the ball was lost cheaply in midfield and Dave Martin added the second. 0-2 and the damage done by the two massively experienced hot shots Jets staff warned about (in fact Martin has played almost 200 football league games which includes Millwall (78), Luton (23), Southend (31) and Crystal Palace (14)!), leave them for a second and they will nail you and they did !! It was now a mountain to climb for Jets in the second half.
Jets did not falter, lose heart or give up in a massively impressive display which all at the club should gain much hope and pride from.
Jets took the game to Phoenix and got their reward when skipper Sam Denham volleyed home with fifteen to play, and Jets went for it in typical cup football gun hoe, it’s either 2-2 or 1-3 but just go for it, and they did.
The only disappointing thing was the cheap mistake that led to the killer goal, but with four minutes to play the ball was lost, and from there, an absolute class individual goal scored by Alfie Evans wrapped up the tie 1-3.
Defeat for Jets but a game of learning pride and much promise and Jets looking better than they have for a while, so much hope with the side Kevin Christou and Tom Inch are building.
The Carlsberg Jets Man of the match was closely fought. Vass and Conrad covered many yards in extremely hot conditions, and Jack Fletcher in goal made some good saves, but in fairness to the defence, not many due to fantastic defending, while the lads up front had to work tirelessly to turn the match.
Nothing but extreme pride today for the whole team’s performance.
Big crowd at Jets today and a visiting club with smashing players, staff and supporters who we wish well and no doubt will stay friends with. This is the FA cup at its best, good games, meeting new teams and experience, just missing the good bit, some winnings today.
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