St John's School, Leatherhead Boys-U15A vs Abingdon School
On: Saturday, 14 Jan 2017
The first away fixture of the season was against Abingdon School on a cold afternoon in Oxfordshire. The hosts started positively, pushing the ball forward to their lone striker, who looked threatening, but was ably marshalled on the whole by Genco and Ballard on the left side of defence. Neither side gained any early control in midfield as Thomas and Loy struggled to keep possession and find men in green shirts with their passes. The bobbly pitch was of little help but it was the same for both sides. Balls played forward to the striking duo of Ralph and Sellick caused trouble and Mead was a regular supplier down the left. Bednall has less of the ball on the right but it was his telling cross that Sellick managed to connect with to open the scoring, not long after the hosts had blasted a penalty wide. Sellick and Ralph created further chances due to their pace and determination but none were taken before the break.
In the second half, the visitors pushed forward with intent and Sellick soon scored from a loose ball to double the lead. With his confidence up, he was now running at the defence at will. He collected the ball on the right touchline, beat two men, drove into the box and shot beyond the keeper from a narrow angle to earn his hat-trick. Before long he repeated almost the exact same procedure on the left to increase his tally to four. In the meantime, Salter again proved a reliable force at centre-half with his new partner Genco, whilst Shaw sought to link the play from right full-back. In the final minutes, Farnsworth pushed a strong free-kick over the bar and Ralph was on the receiving end of more good work from Sellick to apply the coup de grace. Stiffer tests will come but this victory should give the team some confidence for the next league fixture.