Charterhouse 1 St Bede’s 2
Saturday 18th September saw Charterhouse suffer their first defeat against another school. Visitors, St Bede’s, had beaten Charterhouse on penalties in the semi-final of the ISFA Six-a-side competition only a fortnight previously and it was clear from the outset that the two schools were well matched.
In the end it came down to who could take their chances. For the first twenty-five minutes most of the chances fell to the home side. Harry Lineker brought a fine save from the visiting goalkeeper as early as the third minute with a close range header; in the tenth minute Ed Strang had a header cleared off the line; and then after twenty-five minutes Ed Mole was denied twice from close range. At the other end a well-timed tackle from Alec McClean denied the visitors a shooting chance, but they were not denied for long as a well-placed through ball was laid back into the path of one of the St Bede’s midfield and his shot from the edge of the penalty area was deflected past Olly Plummer and nestled neatly in the corner of his net. Encouraged by their success, St Bede’s pressed for a second goal and only sharp reactions from Plummer kept the score down to 0-1 at half-time.
Charterhouse were obliged to change their formation after the break when Fraser Payne pulled a groin muscle and McClean took over from him in midfield. Though this changed the balance of the side somewhat it brought greater combativeness to the midfield and Charterhouse lost none of the momentum which they had begun to develop.
Lineker made a fine run along the touchline and pulled the ball back to Mole whose shot from close range was again blocked. Then, on the hour mark, Charterhouse fell for the sucker punch as St Bede’s fed their tricky centre forward and, though his shot from close in was well saved by Plummer, he was first to the rebound and managed to force the ball home.
Charterhouse responded with customary vigour and Lineker in particular made a series of dangerous runs, but could not apply the finishing touch. It was by no means one-way traffic for St Bede’s constantly tried to hit Charterhouse on the break and the game flowed from end to end. The home side’s efforts were finally rewarded when Tim Downes flicked on a Charlie Kimmins throw and Lineker was on hand to drive the ball home.
It was a case of too little, too late, however, and St Bede’s held on comfortably to take a deserved victory. On the day they had been sharper, quicker to the ball and more composed when in possession. In response Charterhouse had offered full blooded effort but know that they need a little more guile if they are to beat teams of this calibre. They have two weeks now in which to lick their wounds before the trip to Lancing at the start of October.