St John's School, Leatherhead Boys 1st XI vs Lord Wandsworth College
On: Saturday, 04 Feb 2017
A disastrous first seven minutes left St John's 3-0 down in their first game back after two weeks without a game. The lack of match sharpness showed, especially against the first fully-fledged 1st XI we have played, as LWC were faster and stronger in every department for the first twenty minutes. The killer blow came when - just as John's were starting to find their feet - Anthony Kiely saw his back-hand strike tipped onto the bar; the ball ricocheted to the LWC left-back who launched a quick counter-attack which ended with the fourth goal. 4-0 rather than 3-1 and the game was all but gone for John's. Two more goals put Wandsworth six ahead as they capitalised ruthlessly on their visitors' mistakes and the game was on the brink of embarrassment.
However, the John's boys rallied and dug deep to show their pride. They pulled one back just before the break with a neat corner-move finished off by Nico Orr and then Kerslake hammered home an opportunist's strike to get back to 6-2. The second-half was an even affair as John's matched LWC physically and came to terms with the pace and intensity of 1st XI hockey. Will Freeman was tireless in his efforts and the younger lads stood up in the physical contest. LWC managed a seventh but to draw the second period 1-1 was a worthy effort and allowed the boys to walk off with their heads held high. They will have learnt much from the chastening defeat, not necessarily in terms of skill, but that you cannot play hockey unless you can match your opponent's intensity. They will have to do this from the off when they play KCS Wimbledon on Tuesday.