Match Report
Shiplake College 3rd XI vs  St Edward's School, Oxford
On: Saturday, 09 Mar 2019
Venue: at Home

We headed into Saturday's game against Saint Edward's School, Oxford, with a depleted squad but confidence was high and the players were looking forward to getting a lot of game time as there was only one substitute available. The team has been working on simplifying their play and encouraged to play short, quick and early passes. However, on too many occasions, players were either over-playing or panicking and playing one-touch passes over the top when they would have been better served to take a touch before measuring the pass. On one occasion, a first-time pass over the top from Alfie Rigby did find Joe Durcan who steadied himself before calmly stroking the ball into the far corner of the net. The second goal was scored by Toby Head after some good hassling by Max Bunting. The ball was heading into the goal but would have been cleared by the Saint Edward's defender so Toby Head made sure. In the last minute of the first half, Josh Hazell's unfortunate slip allowed the Saint Edward's winger to play a nicely weighted pass into the striker who managed to fend off two tackles from Archie Buchanan and Matt Healy before slamming the ball passed loanee goalkeeper, Tom Mythen. Heads were down at half-time but after the team talk, the players went back out for the second half in a new 3-5-2 formation. This was so that substitute, Luke Mullin, could play in his preferred position of CM. Well done to the boys for trying out this more complicated and new formation. Luke Mullin brought solidity to the midfield by winning countless headers and tackles and restarting play. Max Bunting kept up his run of scoring in every game so far this season when he ran onto a ball and lifted it over the head of the on-rushing goalkeeper. After going 3-1 up, we reverted to the traditional and more familiar 4-4-2 and enjoyed lengthy spells in the opposition half. Jack Powell made many positive drives down the right-hand side, exchanging passes with the midfielders and putting dangerous balls into the box. The best goal was effectively the last kick of the match. Toby Head battled for the ball on the edge of the box with two defenders, then held off the third before curling the ball into the top right-hand corner of the goal. YOU JUST DON'T SAVE THOSE!!! A big thank you to all the parents, relatives and dog walkers who came to watch the match and we hope to see you all on Wednesday when we take on The Forest School in Winnersh in our penultimate league match.