Match Report
Radley College 3rd XI vs  Harrow School Boys-U18D
On: Thursday, 25 Jan 2024
Venue: Away

Rather a lacklustre start on a spongy, 'slopey' and bumpy away pitch saw Harrow control possession in the first half. Despite this, Archie Ruddy and Hector Wade started with high energy working openings on left wing and Ruddy struck the opening goal with an excellent shot to the keeper's left from the edge of the area. We then gifted far too much space to the Harrow front players who eventually (inevitably) found the target twice.

The second half was far better from Radley! We played with much more urgency going forward with Ruddy and Wade combining well to create regular opportunities. Our equaliser was a thing of power and beauty: Hector Vickers drove forward from left back and, with great options left (Ruddy) and centre (Rogers-Thomas), picked out Wade who controlled instantly and swept the ball firmly into the corner. 'Game on' at 2-2!

Unfortunately, we had a couple of sleepy patches defensively which allowed Harrow to regain the initiative to go 4-2 up. But this just uncorked a magnificent team effort for the final quarter, with several glorious opportunities created from both wings. Ruddy was particularly unlucky to hit the far post with a fierce shot. Switching to a 'back 3' latterly, therefore nearly paid off, as the defence managed the dangerous Harrow front line with Barlow's athleticism and Waller's timing of the tackle and clearance. Sadly we did not take these chances and so finished frustrated not to have at least managed a draw. But against strong opposition at this level of football (just like the Premiership!), you have to concentrate with commitment and take your chances or you'll get punished!