Blues propel past the Jets
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Saturday 4th February 2017
Oxhey Jets 1(0) Hertford Town 2(2)
The Blues kept up their pressure on league-leaders, London Colney, by maintaining their unbeaten away record with this efficient victory at Oxhey Jets. A bright opening spell that saw the Blues take an early two-goal lead was followed by a host of wasted opportunities to add further goals and a late scare when the hosts pulled a goal back with five minutes remaining.
From the kick-off the Blues played some sharp and incisive football and their two goals inside the first thirteen minutes was no more than they deserved. Ricky Light went close to opening the scoring in only the second minute when he went close with a curling shot from just outside the box but the lead was not long in coming.
With barely five minutes on the clock, Tyler Hatherly received the ball from Brett O’Connor out on the left flank, drove easily past the full back and drove the ball low across the face of the goal. Tommy Wade attacked the near post and might have got a touch on the ball but although the ball was driven into the back of the net, it was his marker who had got the final touch.
If Tommy had been denied a goal on that occasion, he didn’t have to wait long before getting his name on the scoresheet. Less than thirteen minutes had elapsed before Mark Summers ran onto Matt Thomson’s pass into the right channel and pulled the ball back across goal for Tommy Wade to sweep home from fifteen yards out.
Having secured a two-goal lead, the Blues now appeared to ‘take their foot off the pedal’ a little and the hosts gradually worked themselves back into the game and might have reduced the deficit had Jayden Purdue not produced a save with his feet when the Jets’ Luke Wells was allowed space in the box.
After that, Brett O’Connor had a shot deflected narrowly wide after Tommy Wade had chested the ball down to him and then Tommy himself drove wide from a good position. No further goals were forthcoming , though, and the Blues went into the break still with only two goals to show for their upper hand.
The second half began much like the first with the Blues stepping up their game and threatening further goals. Mark Summers was through on goal in the 49th minute but pulled his shot wide and then a sustained spell of pressure saw Mark and Brett O’Connor have goal-bound shots well blocked following a corner. Soon after, Ollie Sharman drove over from a narrow angle but, despite their domination, they couldn’t find a third goal to put the game to bed.
The hosts were in no mood to make life easy for the Blues, however, and they continued work hard in search of an opportunity to get back into the game. Their reward came with five minutes of normal time remaining when Matt Thomson’s mistimed tackle conceded a penalty which was driven home despite the valiant efforts of Jayden Purdue to keep it out.
What might have turned out to be a difficult closing few minutes, the opposite was true. Both Brett O’Connor and Tyler Hatherly could have added a third but, in keeping with the Blues efforts on the day, neither was able to make their chances count. The resulting win was what mattered, though, and the Blues are now unbeaten in their past nine games and still unbeaten on the road.
Next up is another challenging fixture with a trip to sixth-placed Tring Athletic on Tuesday 7th February.
Team:, Jayden Purdue, Ollie Sharman, Ed Taylor, Matt Thomson, Glenn Draper, Jay Lovell, Brett O’Connor, Ricky Light(Connor Scully 61’), Mark Summers(Ben Andreos 76’), Tommy Wade(Phil Lowen 73’) and Tyler Hatherly.
Subs not used: Dan Palmer & Ramone Cassidy-Sinclair.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Video © 2017 Nathan Hobley