Match Report
Shiplake College 3rd XI vs  Reading School
On: Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019
Venue: at Home

The 3rd XIs played their final home match of the season against a very talented and well-organized team from Reading School. Reading School had the better of us in the midfield and our strikers were themselves being given one of the longest 35 minutes they have had all season by the very physical Reading School defenders. With our first-choice goalkeeper, Ben Ferguson, away on rugby sevens duty, Josh Gibson stepped into the role and made a couple of great saves which allowed us to go into half time at 0-0. It was a fair score given that we had not posed enough of a threat to the Reading goal.

In the second half, we abandoned the 4-4-2 formation for 4-5-1 with Josh Gibson joining Alfie Rigby and Luke Mullin in central midfield. This change was to prove fruitful as Alfie Rigby floated a free kick into the back post for Josh to guide into the goal. Shortly after that, Alfie Rigby was at it again, playing a delightful through ball to Max Bunting who coolly slotted the ball past the Reading goalkeeper. With a two-goal cushion, we relaxed into the game and created a few more chances. Joe Durcan, Luke Mullin, Jack Powell, and Alfie Rigby all came close to extending our lead.

Against the run of play, Reading scored from a corner to make the final fifteen minutes of the game nervy: 'squeaky bum time'. The Shiplake team faced the challenge head-on and dominated possession for the rest of the game. Alfie Rigby completed a hattrick of assists when his corner-kick found Josh Gibson at the back post for his second goal of the match.

Special mention to Harry Holmes who put in a solid performance in LB in the first half and then made some good saves in goal with both his feet and hands in the second half. Men of the match were Alfie Rigby (3 assists), Josh Gibson (2 great saves in goal and 2 goals) and Luke Mullin (another 'Ngolo Kante-esque' performance).

Thank you to all the parents who came to support us and we look forward to our final match of the season away at Magdalen College on Saturday.