St John's School, Leatherhead 2nd XI vs Harrow School
On: Saturday, 04 Mar 2017
Venue: at Home
Losing four key players from the squad coinciding with a fixture against Harrow was always going to result in a difficult match. Having no natural strikers in the squad, the 2nd XI did their best to be versatile, but it took time to adapt. during the warm-up, my parting message was 'be defensively tight in the first 15 minutes and do not concede and early goal.' Well, within two minutes, it was 1-0 to Harrow when a ball was chipped over the defence and the attacked placed it around the oncoming Gilbertson. Chances were few and far between in the first half, but St John's did go close as James Robinson headed the ball onto the bar following a drifted free-kick into the box. The score was 1-0 and The Eagles were very much still in the game. With the exception of a couple of quality Harrow players, the gulf was not great. Aside from the goal, the defence were tight and it was very much a mid-field battle that could go either way, given the right chance. An injury to Ethan Jones at the end of the first half, after an opposing player went hard into a tackle meant that St John's would have to complete the second half with no subs. Immediately, the 2nd XI were playing good football and they were nearly level. Tom Davison skipped around a couple of Harrow defenders and put a quality ball into the box. The keeper spilled it and Lewis Catto couldn't adjust his feet to strike the ball and two oncoming defenders cleared it away. A few minutes later, a Lewis Catto free-kick was not dealt with by the defence and St John's came close again. Unfortunately, and against the run of play, Harrow doubled their lead. Their two stand-outs combined and the Gilbertson was lobbed; despite getting his hand to it, it his the back of the net. This did not deter the spirits of St John's. Debutant, Joe Witt, held off the opposition and played a great pass into Sam Serfozo. A perfect first touch evaded the defender as he cut inside and struck the ball. a slight deflection saw the ball loop over the keeper, but a wonderful save saw the ball being tipped onto the bar, for the second time in the game. The game finished 2-0 and praise must be given to the 2nd XI who worked diligently as a team from start to finish. Man of the match was Abel Lamaj, who put in a stellar performance on his return to the second team. A point to prove? - probably.