St John's School, Leatherhead Boys 1st XI vs Hurstpierpoint College
On: Saturday, 07 Jan 2017
The boys started the season with a good win against Hurst's 2nd XI. As 2nd XI's often are, Hurst were athletic but a little rough around the edges and it took some time for St John's to let their technical superiority come to the fore. The first half saw Hurst start well but once St John's fixed their structure and started passing the ball, the began to dominate possession.
Clear chances were few and far between in the first half as John's appeared somewhat shot-shy and Hurst managed to break up play but in the second period, the Eagles found more confidence and created numerous opportunities. Kiely looked the main threat and it was he who opened the scoring with a ferocious strike into the top netting. This was followed by good efforts from Kerslake and Penfold that flew just wide. Ferguson and Penfold were starting to run the midfield well and Nico Orr worked well to regain possession and launch attack from the right. Eventually, though, it was a move on the right side that led to the second and decisive goal with Sam King volleying neatly into the corner.
From there, John's looked in no trouble as Hurst ran out of ideas. Josh Smart was wholly solid at centre back and snuffed out any sign of danger and Merry, Blair and Laslett grew into their defensive roles. This was always going to be a learning experience after so little training but by the end of the game the team's structure looked sound and players were starting to link cohesively. We move on to play 1st teams who will, no doubt, provide greater challenges, but there is much promise in this young group of players and we will head into next week with confidence.