Match Report
Shiplake College Boys-U16A vs  Gillotts School
On: Thursday, 07 Mar 2019
Venue: at Home

Last Thursday, Mr. Ebun-Cole was set the difficult task of picking just eleven Y11s from a talented bunch of players to face local rivals, Gillotts. Three Y10s, Nathan McCarthy, Tom Carpenter, and Archie Arnold, were also added to the squad due to their precocious talents on the pitch.

Fyn Brown was appointed goalkeeper and captain and chose to repay the manager’s faith in him by kicking the ball straight at his face during the warm-up. He has since apologised.

Perhaps, it was unsurprising that we made a slow start to the game given that we had to wait a long time for our opponents who were 25 minutes late. Gillott’s had the better of the opening 20 minutes, hitting the upright on one occasion and dictating the game. We were not a match for them in the midfield but thankfully, the defensive quadruplet of Josh Gibson, Matt Healy, Josh Hazell, and Will Sharp were able to repel them time and time again. Halfway through the half, Josh Gibson was moved to partner Nathan McCarthy in the central midfield and soon the tide was turned in our favour. Luke Theodorou is known for being lethal in dead ball situations so it was no surprise to see a few mobile phones out in great anticipation when we were awarded a free kick just outside the Gillott’s penalty box. On this occasion, the keeper was untroubled as the ball sailed over the top. We finished the half in control and went into half-time all square at 0- 0.

After an inspirational team talk from Mr Ebun-cole and assistant manager, James Burgess, the boys came out fighting and battled the conditions well. Due to a lapse in concentration, we conceded to Gillotts making the score 1-0. If anything, this helped us improve our performance with some nice link-up play between Josh Gibson, Luke Theodorou, and Nathan McCarthy. Josh Gibson then made the score 1-1 with a 35-yard free-kick which sailed over the keeper’s head and into the back of the net. With the score now levelled, our confidence grew and we continued to play much more of the match in the Gillotts’ half. The second goal was another free-kick but this time from the opposite side. Sam Redding stepped up and just as Josh had done earlier, he too scored directly from the free kick. In the dying minutes of the game, Fyn Brown stood up tall to block a shot from the Gillott forward. Gillott had one last chance to equalise but their forward fired wide. A hard fought victory which delighted the players and the home fans. We can take a lot away from this game as a team as we were playing together for the first time against a talented Gillott’s team. We look forward to the rematch in a couple of weeks. Men of the match were Josh Gibson and Nathan McCarthy.