Match Report
Radley College 5th XI vs  Abingdon School
On: Saturday, 02 Mar 2024
Venue: at Home

Not a game that was good for the nervous system! Abingdon were an inexperienced team - the opposition coach told me that for most of his team, it was their first match of the season. They were tenacious and courageous, however, with some particularly swift outlets higher up the pitch causing problems for the Radley defence, especially down our left, and led by two goals after 10 minutes. Radley's greater experience and footballing skillset began to tell, however, with our midfield reasserting itself and controlling the game.

By half-time, we had come back to 3-2, which still did not feel like a fair reflection of Radley's dominance. I told the boys that if they scored first, they would dominate the game. They did indeed score first and were in full control, but two breakaway goals from Abingdon, both the result of some indecisive defending yet again, saw the score at 4-4, with Abingdon having mustered only 5 shots on target all game.

Radley were frustrated with themselves, in a game where they must have had 70%+ possession, and began to swarm forward with greater determination and control. Several good shots were desperately blocked by the Abingdon defence but, at last, with 3 minutes to go, Hopton dipped a shoulder, dropped his marker, and let fly from just outside the penalty area. It was an unstoppable top corner shot, and a fine way to seal a game that ought to have been put to bed some time before.