St John's School, Leatherhead 4th XI vs St Paul's School
On: Saturday, 04 Feb 2017
Venue: at Home
After last week's abject second half surrender, it was a pleasure to witness a real wholehearted performance against a confident St Paul's team. On a muddy pitch and with a strong sun hanging low in the early February sky, the match began with St Paul's dominating the early exchanges. After only three minutes a cross from the left was allowed to drop in the six yard box and St Paul's were one up. Last week this would have been a signal for the flood-gates to open, but St John's refused to cave in and continued to fight hard for every ball, With Harry Roberts withdrawn and still feeling his injured ankle, Louis Cappell entered the midfield fray and allowed Harry Jany to become increasingly influential out wide. Half time arrived with the score still at 0-1 and the feeling that a chance would come sooner or later as the midfield battle became more even.
The second half opened in a similar manner to the first, with the opposition snatching another goal from a close-range header following a sharp save from Guy Broad, Again, St John's refused to capitulate, and gradually the home side began to take control. Bas Senior, George Emerson, Wes Van Der Ploeg and Ollie Bell were now dealing well with any St Paul's attack, while Guy Broad was catching any ball that made its way through. Harry Snell, Sam Sterling and Louis Cappell were now holding their own in midfield and beginning to release Harry Jany and Tom Lambert out wide. St Paul's were getting rattled and were fortunate to concede a free kick rather than a penalty mid way through the second half. From this free kick, Louis Cappell curled a low shot past the wall and found Wes Van Der Ploeg- yesterday's birthday boy- in the six yard box ready to thump the ball into the net. From now on, play opened up and both sides had chances, but St John's were in the ascendancy. Tom Lambert brought a good save from their keeper and Harry Jany had a header agonisingly wide after some excellent work out wide from Harry Britten, who caused St Paul's trouble all afternoon.
So, although a second goal finally eluded us, this was a really pleasing performance which sets the team up well for the second half of term.