Fossi's winner caps great City fightback
PUBLISHED: 16:31 18 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:31 26 October 2009
Herts Charity Shield Semi-Final Welwyn Garden City 2 Oxhey Jets 1 John Hutchinson reports from Herns Lane A HALF-TIME rollicking from management duo Dave Lewis and Graham Willis was the catalyst for WGC to come from behind and deservedly wrap up a Herts
Herts Charity Shield Semi-Final
Welwyn Garden City 2 Oxhey Jets 1
John Hutchinson reports from Herns Lane
A HALF-TIME rollicking from management duo Dave Lewis and Graham Willis was the catalyst for WGC to come from behind and deservedly wrap up a Herts Charity Shield final place against Tring Athletic.
Jackson Fossi was City's hero on a bitterly cold night at Herns Lane with the winner 11 minutes from time to give his side a 2-1 victory over Oxhey Jets.
Last night's win was all the more impressive as the Citizens came from behind after a dour first half to secure a shot at some silverware in what has otherwise been a tough season.
After the game caretaker manager Lewis said how a few harsh words spoken during the interval did the trick.
"The first half was totally unacceptable and myself and Graham (Willis) told the players that at half-time," said Lewis.
"It was nowhere near what we expected, so we switched things around, and all credit to the lads, they deserved to win the game on their second-half performance."
Chances were few and far between in a rather forgettable first half as both teams failed to get the ball moving, and you wouldn't have guessed it was a cup semi-final.
It seemed fairly obvious that the only goal to be scored in the first 45 would be from a set-piece.
That duly arrived in the 24th minute when Oxhey centre half and captain Marc Ayres powered home a bullet header from an inswinging corner by Colin Jenkins to put the visitors one up.
Six minutes later, Craig Tomkins should have levelled scores, but his header from only three yards out fell the wrong side of the post following a terrific cross from the returning Nathan Dawes.
In the 44th minute, Perry Christian, brother of Rickelle, went on a jinking run down the right-hand side and pulled an inviting ball back inside the area.
However, typical of the first half, there was no WGC player who had anticipated the play and the ball was cleared out of danger.
Lewis switched things around at the break, with Onur Ahmet coming on for Barnet Academy player Max Turner, and only five minutes into the second half he brought on Josh Bonnett for a more attacking style.
The changes seemed to work as the Citizens looked more dangerous on the attack, with Bonnett and Jake Parratt using their pace well against the visiting defence.
A free-kick from inside his own half from Dawes in the 58th minute found Jason Williams in the area, but his scuffed shot was safely gathered by Jets keeper Dean Layton.
However, seven minutes later Tomkins made amends for his first-half miss when he headed home a corner from the effervescent Bonnett to bring the Citizens back into the game.
With City now sensing they could go on and win the tie, they began to take risks at the back.
The home side had keeper Simon Bartley to thank for a number of outstanding saves.
It was left to Fossi to seal a spirited comeback in the 79th minute.
A searching ball into the box from the boot of Richard Teixeira was missed by a couple of Oxhey defenders and Fossi was on hand to steer past Layton and inside the post.
It was no more than the Citizens deserved, and Fossi in particular put in a man-of-the-match performance.
The Herns Lane side held on for the victory and can now look forward to facing Tring Athletic in the final.
The trophy showpiece will be played at the County Ground in Letchworth on Tuesday, April 29.
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