St John's School, Leatherhead 4th XI vs Wellington College
On: Saturday, 18 Mar 2017
The 4th XI maintained their unbeaten run since half-term with a well contested draw at Wellington. Absences in the teams above necessitated several late changes and a bare eleven took the field against a confident Wellington team blessed with the luxury of five subs. Nevertheless, the opening exchanges remained fairly even until mid-way through the first half, when a neat through ball was well converted by Wellington. 0-1, but St John's now began to play more successfully through the midfield, with Harry Jany and Harry Roberts both beginning to find space on the wings and Louis Cappell settling into his role as lone striker. After 25 minutes, a beautifully angled pass by Jack Rustom pierced the Wellington defence and released Harry Roberts behind his full-back; the Wellington player tried his best to get back but handled Roberts's cross for a deserved penalty. Harry Jany stepped up and coolly slammed the ball beyond the goalie to make it 1-1 at half-time.
It was clear by now that it was St John's who were the more skilful team- and at their most effective when exchanging neat passes on the ground- while Wellington were more effective in the air. With a strong wind at their backs, Wellington began the second half in the ascendency and St John's were soon behind again to the very worst kind of route one ball. Still, we stuck to our task, and, as the play veered from end to end, it was St John's who scored the best goal of the game to make it 2-2. Harry Snell played a great pass in behind the defence and Harry Roberts used all of his pace to pull back a low cross from the by-line which Harry Jany converted with some aplomb. Chances came and went at both ends, though, with St John's tiring, it was Wellington who were dominant in the closing exchanges. Tom Holwell kept us in the game with several good saves, while a new-look defence of Nathan Bradshaw, George Emerson, Jack Rustom and Captain Bas Senior were looking increasingly secure behind Harry Britten at CDM as the term's final match drew to a close.
A season which began disastrously on the playing fields of Tonbridge after only one team practice has gradually matured into a successful and very enjoyable campaign. Harry Jany finished as top scorer in a team that has really enjoyed its football, while it was a reflection of the skills on display at the supposedly lower levels of St John's football that both 3rd XI goals today were scored by players who have spent the season in the 4th and 5th XIs.