Boarding Schools Cup
Marlborough 3 Charterhouse 6
Charterhouse has passed from the ridiculous to the sublime in a matter of days. On Saturday 5th February, they suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of an outstanding Cranleigh team and yet, four days later, they soared through to the semi-finals of the Surrey Championships with victories over Reed’s and RGS Guildford. The recovery was completed on Thursday 10th when they travelled to Marlborough and defeated a very strong Marlborough team in the quarter final of the Boarding Schools Cup.
It was a magnificent match with chances being created constantly at both ends of the pitch and, if the goalkeepers had not been right at the top of their game, either side could have scored ten. Marlborough had two highly skilful forwards who created havoc in the Charterhouse defence every time they had the ball and earned a whole series of short corners. Charterhouse matched them with the mazy running of Charlie Kimmins and the more direct approach of Tim Downes.
It was Marlborough who opened the scoring after ten minutes. Yet another dazzling dribble and shot brought a fine save from Josh Doble in the Charterhouse goal but there was nothing he could do about the rebound which fell kindly to a Marlborough stick.
The Charterhouse response was swift and determined. Fergus Imrie scored from a well worked short corner routine; Kimmins broke away, fed James Robin, and the latter’s cross from the right was nudged into the net by Downes. Following this, Tom Hobkinson picked up the ball on the left side of the field, ran across the circle and fired an unerring shot into the bottom corner. Suddenly, the Charterhouse team were 3-1 ahead and threatening to take complete command. They might well have extended their lead had it not been for some excellent goalkeeping from the Marlborough netman. Equally, Marlborough posed their own threats at the other end and only Doble stood between them and a second goal before half-time.
At the break, the game was clearly still in the balance but it looked as though things might go Charterhouse’s way when Marlborough lost a player to a yellow card and then a goal to one of Imrie’s drag-flicks. At 4-1, the game should surely have been over but Marlborough had other ideas and they attacked with passion. Charterhouse, still bruised by a recovery last week from a similar position by St George’s, began to look vulnerable and the inevitable happened. Marlborough scored a second goal when another Doble save fell to a home stick and then a third when their excellent German playmaker dribbled his way along the by-line and scored a goal of breath-taking quality.
The momentum was all one way now but, somehow, the visitors managed to stem the tide and, as time was running out, they scored a fifth through Imrie and then sealed the victory with a sixth from Downes. The margin of victory flattered the visitors a little for it had been a pulsating match between two very even sides. However, in the end, Charterhouse probably deserved their win for using the pitch to better effect and being just a little more clinical in their finishing. They can now look forward to the semi-final draw and dreams of further glory.