DIDCOT CASUALS SUNDAY 6-4 JET FC
Didcot Casuals Sunday edged JET in a ten-goal thriller that saw the latter hit the woodwork four times, miss a penalty, and have three attempts cleared off the line.
JET lined up in a similar fashion to last week’s win over Exeter Rangers, with Chris White coming in for centre-back Mark Baker and Aaron Aquilina returning to the starting line-up.
And it was the visitors who got off to the perfect start inside ten minutes when Richard Buckle’s free-kick was fumbled by the goalkeeper, leaving Jonathan James to tap in for his third goal in as many games.
But Didcot replied almost instantly as their impressive striker headed in from a corner after he was left unmarked from five yards.
In an action-packed 20 minutes, JET went up the other end and was awarded a dubious penalty when Andy Chilvers was brought down after lining up for a shot. But their goalkeeper made up for his earlier error when he produced a low save to deny James, who was better off going for an ‘R1’, ‘circle’ with no direction.
At the other end, Casual’s striker turned the game on its head yet again when he finished low from close range with only his side’s second shot of the match.
With JET pressing for a deserved equaliser, Didcot showed how to finish as their striker turned provider this time, weaving through JET’s defence before setting up his partner to knock home.
With a change of formation at half time and the introduction of an extra striker, the visitors came out flying for the second half and Aquilina’s volley somehow stayed out after hitting the inside of the post and rebounding out.
Though JET did pull a goal back moments later when a corner rebounded to James, arguably via a hand, who finished well through a crowd of bodies on the goal line. Having not scored since the erection of the Pyramids, the striker now has 4 goals and equals the club’s top scorers this season.
Aquilina was then unlucky to see his left-foot effort hit the post for a second time as the Culham outfit pushed for a third, but it was an audacious 35-yard lob from Didcot’s substitute that eventually knocked the wind out of the JET sails.
Like the first half, Didcot proved ruthless in front of goal and their striker completed his hat-trick with a low finish passed an unwell Jamie Tricker.
JET’s Warren Ralph then had an effort cleared off the line before striking the post himself, whilst a Casual’s defender twice cleared Graeme Smith’s efforts from the goal line to keep the score at 5-2.
But Aquilina eventually scored from inside the area with a deflected toe-poke before substitute Clint Hedges struck the crossbar for the fourth time with what would have been a rare goal for the Hedges household to celebrate.
The visitor’s misfortune played into the home side’s hands and Didcot snatched a sixth from a counter-attack as their player raced cleared and side-footed the ball into the bottom corner.
There was time for Ralph to bundle his way into the area, round the goalkeeper and tap in, but unfortunately it was too little too late for the Tangerines.
Despite the loss, JET created a host of chances and improved on their 6-0 drubbing here last season.
JET FC GOALS: Jonathan James 2, Aaron Aquilina, Warren Ralph
JET FC MAN OF THE MATCH: Andy Chilvers/Jonathan James
H/T SCORE: Didcot Casuals Sunday 3-1 JET FC