Match Report
Radley College 1st XI vs  Tonbridge School
On: Saturday, 27 Jan 2024
Venue: Away

The trip to Tonbridge is always a tough one and this was no exception. Looking for their first win Radley started fast, putting the Tonbridge back four under pressure. The midfield was a great contest, both sides working hard to create openings. Tonbridge were beginning to assert pressure on the Radley defence but they held firm. Good work from Freddie Blacker and Tom Payne turned the ball over just outside their own D and the pass out found Morgan Barnes. He then slid a delightful ball into the path of an inflight Toby Cook. Toby carried from just inside the opposition half, entered the D unchallenged, drew the keeper and coolly finished in the far corner. 1-0 Radley.

The next 10 minutes was all Radley, the ball was fired into the Tonbridge D and the resulting corners gave Radley their second. A slick routine gave Digby Eliot the chance to find Olly Southan, his deflection flew into the top corner. 2-0 Radley.

A reshuffle in defence after Tom Payne had to leave the field with an injury meant Freddie Blacker dropping into the back four. However with more pressure from half backs, Rory Tomlin and Rory Acheson-Gray they kept Tonbridge on the back foot. Pressure into the 25 led to Rory AG throwing the ball into the D, deflected by a Tonbridge player and brother Hugo AG touched in at the far post. 3-0 Radley.

Two minutes later and Tonbridge got one back, two unmarked players combined for the Tonbridge forward to finish smartly on the volley. 3-1 Radley. One minute before half time Radley conceded a corner and were punished with a good routine. Half time Radley 3-2 Tonbridge.

After such a goal fest in the first half, the second was always going to be tight. Both sides trying desperately to get the upper hand. The Radley players dug deep contesting for every ball, not allowing the Tonbridge side to settle and had two great opportunities to settle the game. Will Matthews struck the post from a corner and after Hugo AG set up Archie Durden Smith at the far post, only the slightest deflection from the defender prevented Archie from scoring. Jasper Tomes, Jamie Fletcher, Morgan Barnes and Will Matthews worked tirelessly in midfield against skilful Tonbridge opposition. A corner to Tonbridge on the final whistle looked like it might spoil the day but the shot went wide and Radley secured their first victory.

A performance of great heart, determination and team work.