St John's School, Leatherhead Boys 1st XI vs Pangbourne College
On: Saturday, 18 Mar 2017
Venue: at Home
The 1st XI have been on a roll since half term and the improvement in their game has been such that they will not want the season to end. To finish with a convincing 3-0 win over Pangbourne is testament to their hard work and dedication and a fitting way to bid farewell to Messrs Kerslake and Smart.
After the frustration of not finishing the job against Seaford on Tuesday, the boys were determined to put in another strong display and this time they added the final touches with three excellent goals. Again, the opposition had no answer to the zonal press and the John's teamwork and structure remained superior throughout. Timpson slipped into central midfield with consummate ease and Ferguson was instrumental as ever by his side. Josh Smart stepped up well from centre back to pick of any Pangbourne attack and John's found a great platform from which to attack. In recent weeks, this attack has been driven on by the tireless running of Will Freeman and he has added skill to his game. It was a break from Freeman that led to the opening goal: sprinting half the length of the pitch, he outpaced the Pangbourne defence before squaring to Kiely waiting gleefully on the back post. But for a few mistraps, John's could have increased their lead but they had to wait until midway through the second period for Kiely's second. This was the move of the game as Ferguson bunted an expert pass infield to Timpson who deftly lifted the ball past his defender; the ball was slipped to Freeman who again squared to Kiely for a tap into the open net.
The two-goal lead was fully deserved but John's had to thank 'keeper Bulkeley who had previously made a fantastic save to deny the opposition striker running in one-on-one. This came after a five-minute lapse that gave Pangbourne hope but, once John's regained their composure, they took full control and the third goal followed sustained pressure. Laslett trapped a firm cross from Timpson before planting the ball past the stranded 'keeper.
By now Pangbourne were devoid of ideas and John's were equally happy with the clean sheet as with the three goals. Merry and Blair supported Smart well in defence and the whole team deserves credit for a noteworthy victory.