St John's School, Leatherhead 2nd XI vs Radley College
On: Saturday, 28 Jan 2017
If there was any hope of success in the league this season, the 2nd XI needed a win against Radley College. A slight change in personnel saw Jack 'twinkle-toes' Rickerd and James Robinson come in to make their 2nd team debut. With a strong wind blowing against St John's in the first half, St John's endured a huge amount of pressure, particularly in the first 10 minutes of the game. Nevertheless, the defence worked tirelessly to defend their lines and eradicated any attempt of the opposition scoring with tremendous solidarity. However, it was no all one-way traffic during this period; an early chance was created on the right wing and Hayes' cross was met by McRae's head, but the ball drifted wide for a goal kick. After the initial period of heavy pressure from the home side, St John's began to play some good football and create promising chances. Hayes picked the ball just inside the opposition half and clipped the ball into McRae. He held the ball up and took on a defender, his resulting shot was struck a few yards over. After sustained pressure, John's made a breakthrough and scored their first of the season. Jack Rickerd (who had a fantastic game) drifted forward from the left back position to create the extra man in attack. He took on the road but back and skipped through another. The ball was then squared to Toby, who played it to Owen White on the edge of the D. He side footed the ball and the ball drifted beautifully into the top right corner. What a brilliant team similar circumstances, Rickerd broke away on the left and fed Lewis Catto. A smart one-two with McRae resulted in the ball being drilled into the box but it failed to fall for Hayes of White. Towards the end of the first half, a speedy counter-attack nearly doubled the lead as McRae crossed the ball to Catto, but it was defended well. The score was 1-0 at half time and the game was very much in the balance.
The entirety of the second half was a gritty, hard fought dog-fight. The he intensity was high; tackles were tough and cards were shown. Oil Hunt and James Robinson worked tirelessly in CDM to prevent any attacks coming through the middle and I'm sure both will be bruised tomorrow. Patrick Gilbertson kept the score at 1-0 with a good one-on-one save following a ball over the top. Fortunately, it was St John's who scored next. McRae picked the ball up mid-way in the St John's half. As he ran at the defence, they backed off and Hayes drifted to the right to receive and his first time pass was played exquisitely into Owen White's path. His shot was deflected and beat the keeper at his near post. St John's had a two goal lead and now had to work hard to keep it......unfortunately Radley scored on the very next play following a fantastic ball over the top. It was 2-1 with 15 minutes to go and it was for The Eagles to dig deep and hold out for the win. The boys rallied together and worked as a unit. Alec Fleming and James Walker were brave in defence and the midfield ran hard. Thankfully, St John's withstood the waves of pressure to secure their first win of the season, and much deserved it was. Man of the match was James Robinson for an outstanding debut performance. Other mentions go to Toby McRae who tormented the opposition defence, and Owen White for his brace. Well done boys - St Paul's next week!