St John's School, Leatherhead 2nd XI vs Abingdon School
On: Saturday, 14 Jan 2017
After a change in plans, the 2nd XI travelled the 1.5 hours to Abington College. Following a tough opening fixture against Tonbridge and a good week of training, they were ready and eager to get their first win (and goals) of the season. However, the football Gods had other plans. St John's were immediately on the attack, which was dealt with by the opposition defence. The ball was cleared and a through ball released their striker. Tom Lyons came rushing out and it ricocheted off his knee and back off the striker; he had a simple finish to go 1-0 inside two minutes. St John's were playing decent football and feeding the ball into the attacking players well. Harry Hayes' distribution was fantastic in the first half and it led to two clear cut chances. Toby McRae was through but the keeper made a smart save. A few minutes later, in an almost identical move, he put the ball wide of the left post. James Walker came close as he found space during a corner, but the ball went marginally wide. Abingdon had several more chances in the first half; lack of pace in defence allowed their striker to get in behind, but the boys recovered well.
The start of the scone half did not go to plan as St John's conceded within 3 minutes. A corner was not properly dealt with and Abingdon capitalised as they struck the ball under Tom Lyons' hand. There was a mountain to climb, but St John's continued to play good football at times. Lewis Catto put in a solid performance in the midfield and almost assisted a goal for Joe Jelinek. A wonderful 50 yard pass saw the play switch to the right to Jelinek. He took the ball past their left back and he struck the ball, but it went past the left post for a goal kick. Momentum was with St John's and they were beginning to open Abingdon up as they tired. Lewis Catto broke through the back four and he powerfully shot; the keeper missed it with his hands, but he somehow saved it with his head...it just wasn't going to be our day. A few minutes later, he received the ball from the right hand and attempted to lift it over the keeper, but the ball drifted just over. Harry Hayes struck an excellent free-kick from 25 yards out, but it was, again, saved by the impressive keeper. The game finished 2-0 and St John's felt hard done by. Nevertheless, they must ensure they take their chances...they may be few and far between in the coming weeks. Man of the match was James Walker who put in an excellent shift in the centre of defence.