Charterhouse leave it late against ten-man Alleyn’s.
Wednesday 15th September will long be remembered as the day when Charterhouse fielded teams in football, hockey and cricket. For much of this match, however, it looked like being a day which Charterhouse would prefer to forget.
Charterhouse dominated possession from the outset and, with Fraser Payne pulling the strings in midfield, created a succession of chances all of which were spurned. With Alleyn’s providing only token resistance in the first half, Charterhouse produced football of the highest quality and might have scored half a dozen times. Unfortunately their finishing was as profligate as their build-up play was precise and the visitors’ goal remained intact until one minute before the break.
The deadlock was finally broken when Harry Lineker burst down the left flank, cut in on goal and pulled the ball back into the path of the on rushing Charlie Kimmins, who made no mistake from close range.
With the game now seemingly settled and with their opponents down to ten men following two unfortunate injuries, Charterhouse made wholesale changes at half-time in an attempt to find someone who had brought their shooting boots with them.
As so often happens hubris lay in wait and a different Alleyn’s team came out for the second period determined to make a fight of it. They equalised with their only significant shot of the match just three minutes into the second half and proceeded to give a display of passion and desire which stood in stark contrast to their first half performance.
Even so, Charterhouse created plenty of opportunities to regain the lead but a combination of good goalkeeping and desperate defending by their opponents and a growing lack of composure in front of goal by the home side meant that, as the clock ticked by, an unlikely draw became more and more of a possibility.
Just when it looked like Alleyn’s heroic efforts would earn them a draw, Charterhouse won yet another corner and Jack Ryder-Smith met Fraser Payne’s perfect delivery to head home from close range and win all three points for his team.
It would be hard to deny that Charterhouse deserved their victory but much credit must go to their opponents who gave their all in the second half and at least have the satisfaction of having made Charterhouse work very hard indeed for their win.