vs Oxhey jets (H)
SSML Premier Division
16th March 2019
On a really windy day Arlesey faced Oxhey Jets who had narrowly beaten them just 2 weeks ago, Arlesey welcomed back Alex O’Brien from suspension and after having a blank Saturday last week they really needed this game to be on but they lost the 1st contest of the day losing the toss and having to face into the gale on kick off.
With the wind at their backs Jets started strongly whist Arlesey struggled to get forward; Scott Bonner put in a ball that Robbie Ponting collected whilst a ball forward from Arlesey was held up in the wind for Matty Evans to come out and beat James Hatch to a header to clear. A Free kick from Nick Kerley beat the Arlesey wall but not Ponting and a deflected shot by Kerley was taken by Ponting at the 2nd attempt. The swirling wind was making it difficult for both sides with Ponting struggling to make the half way line with his kicks and Evans over hitting it straight down to Ponting. With jets pressing Bonner had a shot well wide while Kyle Johnson put his shot straight at Ponting before a long clearance from Jets finally found the range putting Johnson through and he cut inside the Arlesey defence and neatly tucked the ball inside of the post for 0-1 on 22mins.
Arlesey tried to get control; Aaron Browne latched onto a good ball forward but Evans did well saving at his feet and getting injured in the process that required some treatment, and from a FK Jason Darvall headed down well to feed in Aedan Gaffney but he was stopped by an O/S flag. Jets were finding an easy out ball with the wind whilst Arlesey were having to work really hard to get forward, a good tackle from Lewis Sinclair stopped Henry Marku as he cut in but a ball that put Hatch through slowed up so Evans closed him down and he put his shot wide. Arlesey were slowly starting to play through the conditions Alex O’Brien fed Gaffney who put in a good ball but Adam Mead playing further forward than usual put the ball over the bar from a good position. A volley from Hatch went against a defenders raised hand right on the line of the penalty area; the FK was placed right at the corner of the area on the line and with everybody expecting the cross he drove the ball just past the post with a good shot. Good football working the ball out of defence by Arlesey found Hatch but he was fouled breaking up the attack.
Another good move saw Hatch find Darvall who fed in O’Brien and he hit a good shot that slipped just over the bar. Browne put in a good cross that was taken by Evans as time ran out in the 1st period before Mead picked up the ball in his own half and drove forward; as everybody expected a pass and the defenders followed the other Arlesey forwards the defence opened up and as Mead got to the edge of the area he hit a fierce low drive that beat Evans at his near post and hit the back of the net for 1-1 right on half time.
Jets tried to drive against the wind as they started the 2nd period, Lewis Sinclair picked up his 1st yellow card of the season for a foul on the edge of the area that Ponting collected from the FK and Sean Giordmania and Henry Marku combined well for Marku to hit a shot that Ponting pushed over the bar, the corner was deflected over the bar for another one before Ponting finally punched the danger clear. From a break Johnson and Giordmania combined well to put Giordmania clear and he hit a great shot in stride to fire past Ponting for 1-2 on 52 mins. A mistake in the middle saw the ball intercepted and it was picked up by Giordmania who crossed into Johnson in a good position but the striker missed the ball and it went out for a GK. A hand ball on the edge of the “D” led to a FK from Mead that although it beat the wall it also curled around the post. O’Brien had a shot that went over the bar and a cross into Hatch was taken by Evans before Arlesey made changes with Ryan Lamond coming on for Aedan Gaffney and Ricky Lawrence coming on for Jason Darvall. At the same time Oxhey replaced George Hobson with Ollie Lawford. Arlesey were looking firmly forward; a FK in from Browne found Hatch but his header hit the side netting and a corner found Lawrence who played back to O’Brien but his shot was wide. An O’Brien cross was too hard with the wind but Browne recovered it well and found Mead but his shot was just past the post. Lawrence beat the keeper with a sidestep but shot wide before Hatch was fouled on the half way line which earned Jordan Payne a yellow card. The main controversy in the game came on 79 mins as Marku broke down the left; Ponting came out quickly to the edge of the box and made what looked a great tackle but the ref thought otherwise and pointed to the spot. With most in blue in the ground complaining loudly the ref consulted the lino and eventually reversed his decision. (One for the Proper Assistant Referee (PAR)
Oxhey replaced the hobbling Johnson with Ryan O’Sullivan whilst Arlesey threw replaced Lewis Sinclair with Stuart Richardson for the last 5 mins. Almost immediately the game turned again; a cross in from Hatch found Ryan Lamond in the box and he lifted it over a sliding defender into the net for 2-2 on 86mins.
Arlesey still looked forward with the wind behind them; Lawrence was fouled 20yrds out and Browne put his FK just wide of the target. With Arlesey pushing up they almost got caught on the break as Oxhey broke out but Aaron Gooch made a great tackle before it bounced to Kerley and he went down under Gooch’s second challenge which earned him a yellow card. Marku put his shot from the FK well wide.
With it looking like another draw with time almost up Arlesey pushed forward again and O’Brien and Lawrence combined well in the box and the ball came across the goal to Aarron Browne who put it home at the far post for 3-2 on 90+2 mins.
It still wasn’t over as Oxhey tried to push up they lost the ball and a deep long ball out of defence went over everybody and fell to James Hatch who had anticipated just that ball, with the keeper coming out Hatch just chipped him and it dropped under the bar into the net and 4-2 on 90+5 mins and with the final whistle a grandstand finish for a 4-2 win.
This game had just about everything apart from a crowd but those that were there were treated to a great game that had the lot. Arlesey showed great character to come back from behind twice and snatch the winner at the death and even extend that lead.
Next week we go to league leaders Tring for a difficult looking game and Arlesey will need all of their character for that game
Team : Robbie Ponting, Lewis Sinclair Y (Richardson 85), Ross Taylor, Jason Darvall © (Lawrence 67), Aaron Gooch Y, Adam Randall, Aedan Gaffney (Lamond 67), Alex O’Brien, James Hatch, Adam Mead, Aarron Browne.
Subs; Ryan Lamond, Stuart Richardson, Ricky Lawrence, Fabian Brown-Johnson, Anthony Araba,