Match Report
Radley College 3rd XI vs  Wellington College
On: Saturday, 09 Mar 2024
Venue: at Home

With a pitch in top condition, weather conditions settled and clear, the Radley S3s finally had a chance to play some quality football against a strong and very capable Wellington side. The team fought hard from the off and despite a couple of dangerous attacks from Wellington, Radley enjoyed a greater share of the ball, linking to form some incisive play. After a couple of promising opening attacks Wade and Ruddy caused havoc on the left side of the pitch and Wade turned the game at 8 min with a brilliant hit left foot shot from the edge of the area that left the keeper with no chance. Deram, Coke and Appleton, put the MRJ training magic to good use with overlapping ‘curving’ runs that looked dangerous. Deram had the measure of his man on the right side of the pitch, and after one particularly magnificent tackle in the 16th minute he delivered an incredible long range ball that Ruddy controlled with his usual aplomb, before unleashing a super strike that hit the underside of the cross bar and into the back of the net for 2-0. This started a purple patch including a second Ruddy goal at 17 min, before Waller got on the end of a beautiful delivery from a Campion penalty nestling the ball past the keeper with a premiership quality header on the edge of the area. 19 minutes … 4-0 Radley, against a decent Wellington side. Some of the best football of the season.

Into the second half Radley with a gentle breeze behind them (more on that later) started strongly and it was only 3 minutes before Campion used his perfect timing to strike a ball low past the keeper to take it to 5-0. The scoring then slowed, the game became a little scrappier, but with some occasional patches of excellent play. Wellington to their credit kept the pressure on and scored a couple of late breakaway goals, against the general run of play. Jacobs redeemed himself for a yellow card earned earlier in the second half with a cannon shot from 40 yards that smashed into the crossbar – a crowd favourite - the keeper had no chance, but it deflected away. Wallace in a rare Saturday outing played some excellent football, held up strongly against the oppo, producing some of his trademark crisp and precise passing, before being rewarded with the 6th Radley goal in the 37th minute of the half. In the dying minutes the match had one further twist. As Wellington kicked off post-Wallace goal, the match ended with an extraordinary ‘Beckham-esque’ goal, after the ball was passed behind the centre circle where the Wellington striker punched the ball high, into the wind towards the Radley goal, catching Pilkington off his line, and the wind dropping it just under the crossbar. 6-3 final score.

Captain Campion roamed and controlled throughout, spending as much energy on his uplifting chat as he did chasing the ball and controlling the match with his trademark composure. His MotM was Toby Waller for another excellent performance as part of a very strong and organised defence today