St John's School, Leatherhead 4th XI vs Radley College
On: Saturday, 28 Jan 2017
Had someone with the gift of second-sight trotted along the touchline at half-time in order to inform me and the opposition coach ( who was, at that precise moment, busy telling his players to prepare themselves for the toughest half of the term so far) that St John's would collapse dismally in the second half, both the opposition coach and I would have pooh-poohed the suggestion. And yet, having dominated the first half, St John's would, indeed, throw in the proverbial towel as soon as the match restarted.
1-0 up after five minutes, when Sam Sterling curled a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box, St John's maintained the pressure on Radley for much of the first period. A quick break and an unstoppable shot brought Radley level, but it was against the run of play that they scored a second from a corner just before half-time. Up till now, the midfield were dominant, the defence untroubled and Harry Britten impressive up front.
Then half-time happened. And suddenly all energy seemed to drain from the team as two goals verging on the ridiculous were given away, followed by an equally silly penalty. A sixth goal made it look like a rout but St John's left the field aware that, with greater composure and determination, things could and should have been very different.