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Football season off to a flying start

January 21st, 2019

From the Captain of Football:

After returning to school earlier than many schools, only 3 Monmouth sides were involved in fixtures on the first Saturday back. Pre-season training sessions in the holidays paid off as all Monmouth sides came away with positive results against RGS Worcester. The Under 15 A’s were faced by a strong RGS side providing a tight game which finished with a rare 0-0.

Due to the Under 16’s not having a game, the 2nd team was made up of a mixture of 2nd team and Under 16 players. Monmouth started brightly and Rory was able to convert from the penalty spot to put the home side ahead. Only minutes later and Rory had his second after a delightful pass from Frankie. Despite Monmouth’s dominance, a scrappy goal was conceded just before half time putting the game back into balance. A tighter second half saw less chances and a dramatic penalty save from Adam saw the game finish 2-1 to Monmouth, a solid start to the season.

The 1st XI were confident going into the game, however an injury to goalkeeper Harry in the rugby season meant Nathan, a usual midfielder, would be hoping to utilise his wicket keeping ability on the football pitch. After a cagey start, a lofted free kick from Adam was met by Joe and the ball looped over the keeper and into the net to put us 1-0 up. We were then able to attack down the wings, creating numerous chances yet we were unable to capitalise. With the score 1-0 at half time, lots of work was still to be done. A quick start from Monmouth saw a low cross from myself make its way through to Harry G who struck it sweetly on the half volley to put Monmouth 2 up. However, a lapse in concentration saw RGS bundle it over the line to make it 2-1. Monmouth bounced back superbly to restore the 2 goal lead with an impressive swivel and shot from 5th former Sam and despite a late deflected goal from RGS, Monmouth were able to see out the game 3-2 after some clever time wasting. An impressive display from all with lots of positives to take into the first block fixture of the season.

The first block fixture of the season was against Wycliffe with Monmouth scoring an incredible 40 goals in 7 fixtures. The Under 14 B team played brilliantly to win 15-0 at home whilst the A team also played extremely well to come away 5-1 victors. Away from home, the Under 15 B side also ran riot in front of goal as they were victorious 10-0 and the A team emerged 4-1 winners. However, the Under 16 side were challenged with the task of taking on Wycliffe’s 1st team and were unfortunate to lose 5-1, their first ever loss as a team. In the upper school, the 3rd XI were extremely unlucky to lose 2-1, conceding a last minute goal away from home. The 2nd XI put in a great team performance to win 4-0 with Sam scoring a brace, one of them an outstanding volley.

The 1st XI travelled away to Shrewsbury, one of the top footballing schools in the country. We started on the back foot as Shrewsbury created numerous chances, but were unable to convert. After some strong defending, we broke on the counter attack and the ball found its way to Adam who unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner from around 35 yards, sparking some memorable celebrations. We defended the rest of the first half bravely with big blocks preventing Shrewsbury from equalising. We headed into half time 1-0 to the good. However, Shrewsbury blasted out of the blocks to score an equaliser from a corner only a matter of minutes after the restart. The second half proved to be a half of few chances for either side and solid defending from Yann, Josh and Alex meant we were able to see out the game to draw 1-1 a very respectable score line.

After an impressive set of results against Wycliffe, all teams were faced with strong opposition in Sherborne school. Away from home the Under 14 B’s were unlucky to lose 5-1 whilst the A team were able to win 5-3 in a high scoring game. The Under 16’s suffered a narrow defeat 2-1 with the absence of Frankie Souto to the 1st XI not helping their cause. The 3rd XI came across a strong Sherborne side and were defeated 6-0 respectably. At home, the Under 15 B’s maintained their good form to put in an impressive performance to win 4-1. However, the Under 15 A’s were unfortunate to lose 3-2 in a tightly contested game.

The 2nd XI were looking to carry on their good form after a convincing win last week. However, after a slow start they found themselves 1-0 down. After upping the pressure, Monmouth were then able to play some good football which saw them score a well worked equaliser and some individual skill from Rory saw Monmouth take the lead going into half time. The second half would prove to be an extremely frustrating half with Monmouth hitting the woodwork 3 times. Sherborne were able to capitalise on Monmouth’s frustration and scored two late goals to inflict the 2nd XI’s first defeat of the season in a 3-2 loss.

Confidence was high going into the game for the 1st XI after a great team performance last week to get a result against one of the top sides in the country. Despite this, we were slow to start and quickly found ourselves under pressure which saw Sherborne take an early lead. After settling into the game, chances started to be created and a diagonal ball caused problems for the Sherborne defence which resulted in the ball finding its way to Year 11 Seb who tapped home his first of the season. Following this, a similar pass saw a chance emerge for Monmouth but a block on the line kept the scores level. To add to our frustration Sherborne were able to take the lead once again with a good finish from their striker meaning we were behind at half time. We started the second half brightly and a good run from Samue saw him fouled inside the box and a penalty was given. In a tense moment I was able to calmly convert the penalty levelling the scores once again. However, Sherborne seemed to find an extra gear as the second half went on and a controversial goal was given against us meaning we trailed 3-2. As tired legs began to kick in we pushed for an equaliser leaving us open at the back and Sherborne were able to score late on to finish the game 4-2. A strong start to the season from all the sides, but with some room for improvement, we look forward to Clifton next weekend.

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