QEGS Sixth Form 1st XI vs Boston College, Wednesday 8th November 2017
Once again looking back on an away defeat in the previous game, the QEGS Sixth Form 1st XI were ready to defend their home turf and take 3 points against Boston College last Wednesday. Despite winning comfortably on the first team’s main pitch 3 weeks ago, it was deemed too dangerous to play on for following fixtures and so Mr Cope arranged for the so called ‘home match’ to be played on a pitch behind The Wong in Horncastle. A much better playing surface, but unfortunately the pitch was several yards smaller than the players were used to and this also meant less home support could come to watch and get behind the team. Changes to the squad were minimal and saw the return of Alden Midmer and the introduction of Tom Caswell in replacement for the injured Nick Benton.
Mr Cope’s side started as follows:
November brings along with it cold air and early sunsets, neither condition was desired for a football match. So as the first half kicked off QEGS had to play with the sunlight directly in their eyes, an annoying inconvenience, but nothing to excuse a poor performance and so the boys got straight to work battling hard from the first minute. The shortened pitch allowed for longer balls to be much more effective for both teams, so the defence quickly caught on and decided to sit deeper than usual so they weren't on the back foot all the time. Although this tactic occasionally allowed unnecessary pressure on the home side’s goal, giving Boston some chances to get ahead.
The game was very open early on and neither side looked better than the other, but after about fifteen minutes played and not for the first time this season Gowshall seemed to be the difference, scoring the opening goal with a right-footed shot from just inside the right-hand side of the box to the bottom left corner, giving QEGS the lead. A second shortly followed after for the home team. Controversially scored by Jamie Jenkins with a shot/pass (yet to be decided) across the 6 yard box that deflected off a retreating defender to go over the goal line.
Despite being ahead QEGS allowed the visitors to continue to be a threat. Not getting their heads up and making some poor decisions when in possession of the ball, they lost it in midfield and with Haskins drawn out with an attack Boston hit a long ball down their left flank. It was chased down by one of their midfielders and forced Emerson to come across to engage. An agile touch inside of him meant Midmer had to then come across to prevent a shot at goal, which bought enough time for Emerson to come to assist once more. The two both struggled to cleanly steal the ball off of the menacing midfielder as he skilfully broke free from the tussle. Still in possession he delicately flicked the ball over the defenders heads and hit a volley with the laces of his left boot, sailing the ball straight past the outstretched arm of Jenkins into the top right corner.
The half was wrapped up shortly after, with the score at 2-1, QEGS had let Boston back into the game. Mr Cope proceeded to repeat what the players already knew themselves. We can be better. The first half performance wasn't even half of the potential this side can achieve, so the stage was set for the second half and only the players could turn it into a show worth watching. Hopefully the talent of Lindsey and Caswell would turn on the big lights, as they were to be unused no more, replacing Midmer and Dean. Drinks on board, substitutions made and with the sun no longer in the eyes of the home side, the game was ready to be restarted.
A very positive response to Sir’s team talk left Boston finding themselves three goals down within the first two minutes of the second half, Gowshall to getting his second and QEGS’ third. A simple ball played between the centre-halves was poked with the toe of his right foot underneath and between the legs of the helpless goalkeeper. Nothing spectacular, but getting the job done. Just perhaps what the boys had been missing. With the visitors heads down it was time to bring the onslaught and finish the game off like they should've done in the first half.
On looking all of the goals Gowshall was bagging, his strike partner Kenneally-Forrester, yet to score this season, was not going to go second best and decided that perhaps it was time to get some of his own. So when another simple ball was played in behind the dying defence, he needed not to be asked twice before firing a shot with his deadly right foot from the right of goal into the bottom left corner to add another to the growing QEGS tally. One behind Gowshall, he found himself in the exact same position staring the goalkeeper down once again. He pulled the trigger. A touch from the goalkeeper was a worrying sight, but it was not enough to send it wide of the post and as the ball trickled towards the netting he was ready to celebrate his brace. Unsurprisingly to his despair, he found that the captain, Jenkins, was ready to claim his brace also and perilously watched the midfielder tap the ball into the open net to steal his glory just before the ball crossed the line.
Now with five to their name, the game was truly done and dusted. The ball had hardly left Boston’s half in the final fifteen minutes of the game and their players were only waiting for the final whistle. QEGS’ players on the other hand were all keen to get their name on the score sheet and no more so than Gowshall, who’s hunger for a hat-trick shone through as he received a pass from the left flank, opening his body to cut inside and curled a marvellous right-footed shot onto the post and into the back of the net to put the icing on the cake.
The final whistle blew. A shower of goals and a victory to maintain a 100% home record for the QEGS Sixth Form First XI this season. A job well done, building up confidence to go into the next game.
Man of the Match: Max Gowshall
Top Goal Scorers 2017/18:
6 - Max Gowshall
3 - Jamie Jenkins
1 - Blake Kenneally-Forrester
1 - George Littleworth
1 - Oli Dean
Match report by Ben Robinson