Saturday, October 27, 2007

Oxhey Jets FC

Oxhey Jets 1 Cockfosters 2 - Spartan South Midlands League, Premier Division



Oxhey is a suburb of the borough of Watford in the county of Hertfordshire, England. Oxhey grew in size during the mid-19th Century with the coming of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway from London Euston to Glasgow; the settlement being developed to house railway workers. Oxhey's Parish church is St Matthew's, a Grade II listed building, dating from 1880 in Gothic revival style with some elements of early Art Nouveau decoration. The church also features a Karl Parsons window in the Lady Chapel.

A third successive jaunt into the Spartan South Midlands League and just like the previous Saturday at Kentish Town; this Pieman was not disappointed with his choice of match. Having attended a football camp throughout the half-term break, Harry Hotspur was rested for this encounter between the superbly named Oxhey Jets and Cockfosters.

I travelled via London Euston and Hatch End from where I was able to follow a public footpath to the Boundary Stadium. Carpenders Park is a slightly nearer station and having had to negotiate a field of grazing horses, I decided to utilise that option after the match!

Founded in 1972, Oxhey Jets FC has risen from local football via the Herts County League in a relatively short time and appears to have further aspirations from what I could see of the ground, and the work in progress. A community based club for sure and this is evidenced by the impressive clubhouse and associated activities.

All the spectator facilities are housed on the clubhouse side of the ground. A couple of identical covered seated stands (similar to those at Stanway Rovers – Ed) some raised concrete terracing and the refreshment bar. Behind one goal is a newish housing estate, whereas behind the opposite goal the horses graze. Down a dip behind the dugouts is an impressive looking training pitch.

Cockfosters, struggling near the foot of the table, will have been encouraged when Kevin Reade steered the ball home after 28 minutes. However, the home side hit back a minute later through Luke Lloyd’s wonder strike from 30 yards (the keeper saw it coming but there was nothing he could do – Ed).

An equally impressive long-range strike from Danny Hutchings put Cockfosters back in front ten minutes later and despite plenty of good football from both sides, that goal completed the scoring.

Before the match there was a 'minute's silence'. I am not sure of the reason but can report that, as expected this was well observed by all the players and the majority of the spectators. However those entering the ground at this time were not helped by the lady on the gate (all proceedings visible from there - Ed) who just got progressively louder. It was a very long 60 seconds.

A decent afternoon out, I was impressed with the ground. Clearly a lot of work went into levelling the playing surface and it will be interesting to see if the club progress further. I was able to catch the 17.09 service back to London from Carpenders Park and was back at Euston for 17.45 or thereabouts.


Attendance: 59
Admission: £4.00
Programme: Included with admission.
Tea: 50p
Crunchie: 50p
Fare: covered by my annual season ticket/all zone travel card - although I must owe someone something for the return leg from Carpenders Park to Zone 6 (Hatch End)

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