Frustrating Cup Exit For Jets
Herts Senior Challenge Cup 1st Rd
1st November 2016
Jets officials, staff, supporters and players were all left agreeing on one thing after the defeat in the Herts Senior Cup at Tring Athletic last night, the match officials were the main reason why they lost.
In a appalling string of apparent errors Jets were left the injured party each time. I had officials of various organisations at the match asking me ‘had I upset the officials pre-match’, ‘had we ran a black cat over’, even an apology from one gent who obviously I can’t name, but it’s nice to know if no help at all that it’s not only us who thinks it.
Tring and Jets put on a great football battle and it was no fault of the hosts that Jets hold bad feelings over the result, they were innocent of anything, they just capitalised on the chances that were going their way as any team would when the ball is in play, (and aside from a bench official who thinks he is clever throwing the ball at opposing players as hard as he can for their throw-ins which is just irritating) Tring are the same well run friendly club they have always been.
Jets didn’t really cherish the trip, yet another away game against a side who are unbeaten at home, are the winners of the Spartan Premier Team of the Month for October, and are on an unbeaten eighteen match run. Meanwhile Jets, following the mare FA vase fixture that left their team decimated with more injured than available, have conceded nine without reply in their previous two games.
Jets gave debut starts to keeper Allan Buck and Dan Bourne, who joined us with Dan Taylor from Sun Sports.
Jets looked a different team tonight and part of that was the excellent combination of Reserves multi retiree boss Warren Gladdy who added his artistry to the energetic Leith Stevens, Nathan Pooley and Sim Armstrong to bulk up the middle ground and Jets made a real game of it.
Going down the slope that clearly holds a big advantage Jets went for it but Tring are experienced there and can soak up the pressure. It was evens in the first half although twice Jets had the ball in the net but were ruled out each time by an assistant’s flag, both put away by Luke Wells, one an honest Tring Officer I’ve known for many years and trust tells me was well off, the second the same gent says was tight but he’d be upset if his team had seen it ruled out at the other end !! Half time 0-0
The second half was much the same, an excellent battle by both sides, competitive but never dirty, and a will to win. The new additions of Pooley, and the deadly Dan duo are settling in well and a big bonus to Jets, while the back line skippered superbly tonight by Jack Robertson had to be top gear against the on form Tring forwards. Returning Brad Thompson along with Dan Bourne also made opportunities to spring forward down the lines.
In the 58th minute Jets got the breakthrough they had worked so hard for, a superb ball by Nathan Pooley opened up the defence and with long composure that seemingly took an age Sim Armstrong steadied and slotted 0-1 Jets.
Jets again had the ball in the net, again Luke Wells and this time at our end of the pitch and, to say the least, it wasn’t the best decision as the assistant was constantly caught upfield ‘game watching’ and in no position to give offside decisions based on when the ball was played. It was basically given from when he looked and caught up, which the nippy Luke Wells was basically too fast for him.
Tring now were gaining the territorial advantage with the slope and chasing the game, so as Jets did the counter over the top the late flag was murdering us time and time again although, yes, the young striker needs to learn as well when up against such ‘challenges’ to hold a little deeper to spring the defence and the assistants.
With eight minutes to play Tring scored a superb equaliser, George Carbery catching a near post ball on the volley to beat debutant Buck for the first time, but Jets were rightly howling in disbelief not at the goal, but at the fact it was a Jets throw at the other end of the pitch. Tring had run the ball out a good foot over the line, Jets stopped, the dug out technical area staff stepped back to get out the way, and …… nothing, up field it went and the sweeping move 1-1. The only logical reason for such an error is that the assistant mixed the almost worn out pitch line with the heavily marked technical area line close by, if not it’s difficult to understand how it was not given.
The Tring goalkeeper then made the save of the match from Wells at the foot of the post, one handed as the ball was crossing the line to keep the stores deadlocked.
Jets lost Lowton to be replaced by Oliver Cole returning from injury who almost burst through as, with no extra time on this game, both sides went for it. Then the two Danny’s were lost to cramp after an excellent shift, but this probably didn’t help Jets as it was no time on a cold damp night to try to come on in a defensive position and get up to match speed, and then the decisions to end all decisions of the night that was to kill Jets.
The ball forward, Luke Wells beats the last man, and heads for the 1:1 with the keeper, the assistant catches up, up goes to the flag and Jets are denied a possible winner. While Jets are bitterly complaining a resulting corner and skipper Sam Jolliffe shot was parried by Buck but the rebound went straight to Ryan Sturges to net the winner in the now multi extended time. 90+5 and Jets were denied even a penalty shoot out to settle the game. The mistakes, in our opinion, that occurred all unfortunately led to ultimate big blows for us tonight and that leaves you bitterly disappointed with the game, the result and the officials (maybe we just left wishing it was a South Mids game that we could have got abandoned by our supporters moaning about the dreadful decisions).
Man of the match was hard. Jets to a man put in a great shift and can be truly proud of tonight’s performance against a very in form Tring side who we wish well for the coming rounds and at least it stops us needing to steer Lee Stedman into the correct changing room with the next game due to be away at his former long term club Kings Langley. The two Dans both did well and the back line sound. Warren Gladdy, particularly in the second half, along with Nathan Pooley was outstanding but the nod went to Leigh Stevens in the midfield.
Unfortunately tonight will be remembered mainly for the wrong reasons.