Old Boys FC Defeat School XI
OKC beat School 1st XI 3-2
Goals by Moir, McElligott, Tilles
Man of the Match: Alex Nathanson
The Old Boys came into the annual match against the School full of confidence, not having lost a game since October and boasting a strong record in this fixture over the past 5 years. Despite missing a few regular first teamers, the Old Boys were able to field a strong 12 man squad to combat the energy and enthusiasm of a School team made up primarily of boys from the Upper 6th.
The game started at a high pace, with both teams looking to get in behind their opponents and quickly turning defence into attack. The Old Boys used their extra experience to control possession slightly better, creating a number of chances without ever really testing the 1st XI goalkeeper, who also produced some great saves on the odd occasion he was called into action. Alex Angel and Tom McElligott looked particularly dangerous, while Jonny Corbett and Mikey Tilles showed some excellent touches and linked the play up nicely at times. The high tempo meant that the game became increasingly stretched during the first half however, and the Old Boy’s make-shift back four found themselves scrambling to clear their lines on more than one occasion – a warning for what was to come.
The two sides went into half-time all square, where the Old Boys decided to press hire up the field and agreed to show a little more confidence in their ability and their attempts to keep the ball, a move that worked well for the first 15 minutes. Eventually the dead-lock was broken when the excellent Alex Nathanson retrieved the ball from a corner and whipped in a delicious cross with his ‘weaker’ left foot, which was headed in superbly by Alex Moir.
The Old Boys looked to assert themselves and build on their lead, however credit must go to the School, who responded magnificently to going behind. Firstly, poor marking from a corner allowed them to equalise with a bullet header (disappointing considering the difference in size between the two sides…) before the School’s start player (Ali Marshall I believe) made the most of a fortunate break to burst into the area and curl a fantastic shot into the top corner, giving them a deserved 2-1 lead with about 20 minutes to go.
By this stage the game was being played at an almost frantic pace, with much of the discipline and decision making that has served the Old Boys so well this year out of the window. The OBs’ pressed for an equaliser, and the School looked to counter quickly and directly. It was ‘schoolboy football’ at it’s finest…!! Eventually the scores were tied at 2-2 when Jonny Corbett slipped a magnificent ball (Jonny actually congratulated himself, out loud, immediately after playing the pass) through to Tom McElligott, who powered his finish into the corner. Alex Angel then picked the ball up in the middle of the park and played a through ball to Mikey Tilles, who showed excellent composure to beat the keeper and to give the Old Boys the lead with 5 minutes left to go.
That was how it finished, with the Old Boys just about protecting their excellent record in this fixture. We’d like to take this chance to thank both Liam Kane (Director of Sport) and Mark Culverhouse (1stXI Coach) for helping us to arrange the match and for their support of the Old Boys Football Club in general. Best of luck to the School 1st XI who will embark on a tour of Argentina and Brazil this summer also, we look forward to seeing you next season and hopefully welcoming many of you into our ranks in the future.
SQUAD: Andy Tyler (‘01), Charles Root (‘04), Alex Moir (‘03), Nick Perry (Capt/’03), Maz Tappuni (‘05), James Badgett (‘99), Alex Angel (‘10), Jonny Corbett (’02), RamonSelvakumaran (’09), Alex Nathanson (’99), Tom McElligott (’10), Mikey Tilles (’02)