St John's School, Leatherhead 2nd XI vs Haileybury
On: Saturday, 25 Feb 2017
Venue: at Home
It was tough day at the office for the 2nd XI against Haileybury, but we were, unfortunately, the only team to lose in the block fixture. With a strong wind, St John's won the toss and opted to play with the wind for the first half with the intention on scoring a goal or two, then diligently defend the lead in the second half. This was not the case. The 2nd XI tried to force too many through balls to Owen White, but the wind carried the ball into the keepers arms or out for a goal kick far too many times. Nevertheless, there were some excellent opportunities to take the lead. Cameron Hyne, returning to the 2nd XI following his Saturday commitments for Irish battled hard, but his shot went just wide of the post. Toby McRae worked diligently throughout the game and his run and pass found Owen White, but the keeper made a brilliant save by tipping the ball over the bar.
The half-time score was 0-0 and all players knew it was going to be an uphill battle. Being against the wind, St John's played better football. They passed better, move more off the ball and more importantly, did this as a team. The home side came close several times throughout the second half, the closest of which saw White's shot on the turn go a whisker wide. Despite not creating much in the first half, the wind helped push Haileybury downfield. Patrick Gilbertson was called into action several times and his save of the game was a reflex stop following a header from a long throw. With about two minutes to go, Haileybury was given too much time on the edge of the box and the ball was struck from 25+ yards out. With a strong tailwind, the ball shot over Gilbertson and into the back of the net. Final score was 1-0 and St John's lie fifth in the table.