Match Report
St John's School, Leatherhead 2nd XI vs  St Paul's School
On: Saturday, 04 Feb 2017
Venue: at Home

Following the drumming St John’s received from Tonbridge on the opening day of the new season, there has been steady progression. A win last week against Radley gave the boys confidence and hope that they can challenge for the league title this season. This weekend’s fixture against St Paul’s would affirm this, the opposition being one of the best teams on the circuit. St John’s had to withstand a period of pressure in the first five minutes, but did so with confidence. The ever reliable James Walker and Alec Fleming thwarted any chance of a goal, whereas Ben Gadsby was up against it with a speedy left winger. It was very much a midfield battle for the following 10 minutes; Oli Hunt, James Robinson and Lewis Catto worked hard to protect the back four. Pat Gilbertson was called into action when a corner was whiupped in and was heading for the near post.

With a breakaway attack down the right, Owen White forced a corner. The initial delivery was cleared, but only as far as Oli Hunt, who put a first time pass back out to Harry Hayes. His cross looped over everyone and found the 2nd XI captain, Gadsby who powered a header from 4 yards out. Joe Jelinek nearly doubled the lead two minutes later when Owen White held the ball up on the left wing and crossed the ball, but Joe’s volley was just too high. St John’s were inches from going two goals ahead following a huge kick from Pat Gilbertson. The ball bounces high off the defenders head and looped over the oncoming keeper. The goal was open. The ball bounced high…it looked as though it was going in, but the ball hit the bar. The half time score was 1-0 and much of the same was requested.

In the first two minutes, Paul’s struck the ball from 30 yards; the scrambling Gilbertson had the goal covered, but the ball bounces back off the inside of the right post. Too close! Throughout the second half, St Paul’s pressed high. They put pressure on the back four and created many chances. Due to diligence and passion, few of these chances were clear. Most were snap shots, which drifted agonisingly wide. Intermittently, St John’s questions the away team with counter attacks. Joe Jelinek, caused constant problems for the left back with his pace and strength, put several balls into the box, but the strikers could not convert. Joe the had a chance of his own following a 50 yard McRae run; he scuffed his shot, but into the path of White, he flicked the ball goal wards, but it was cleared off the line by a well positioned defender. The final ten minutes were a long ten minutes. The defence were superb, throwing their bodies in the way of oncoming shots and putting their head onto high balls. The final whistle was a welcoming sound and the 2nd XI secured a fantastic and well-deserved 1-0 victory against one of the best footballing teams in the country. Well done. Jack Rickerd was voted man of the match. Special mention also goes to Pat Gilbertson, who was fantastic today.