St John's School, Leatherhead 5th XI vs Tonbridge School
On: Saturday, 07 Jan 2017
It was a sight to behold. Emerging through the thick white mist that coated the grounds, some of the most driven and able students that St John’s School has produced - albeit not in the football department - Saturday’s game heralded the return of St John’s mighty 5th XII.
Taking to the pitch for the first time the boys had had mere hours to get back into their intensive training routine, and had not yet played as a squad. However it was fantastic to see how quickly the boys got back into their rhythm. There was a good amount of possession, movement, some excellent and spectacular challenges; each member played their part exceptionally well. Tonbridge however saw the challenge and kicked back early, with a few defensive openings leading to a volley of goals in the first half. Substitutions were very difficult as each player was individually doing so well, but it took time for the boys to remember how to function as a team. Tactical analysis from the front, back and bench gave the squad much to consider during the half-time talk and led to a smooth implementation of changes at the start of the second half which greatly improved defensive play. As the team began to gel again through the latter half John’s managed a couple more chances on goal, alas defeated by the Tonbridge keeper. A screamer from Wesley in midfield clipped the crossbar just inches too high and Tonbridge, in their anger, set out to score once more. A second in this half for Tonbridge assisted by Al Saffar set the tone for the closing minutes and the match concluded with a third goal, leaving the final score at 8-0. St John’s had given it their all and learned from the extra hour’s training the match afforded them, but the more experienced team won. Next week brings a fresh challenger, and we will be ready!