Match Report - 09 Sep 2017, Old Wykehamist Football Club 2nd XI beat Old Alleynians II
OWFC START SEASON WITH A BANG
Old Alleynians 1-4 Old Wykehamist 2s
Team: James Gray, Zac Tiplady, Harry Underwood, Al Hardiman, Rob Selwyn, Rupert Mercer, Tom Goulding, George Hobhouse, James Gheerbrant, John Hunter Wilson, Theo McWhirter, Sam Donald, Ben McCleery
The O-Dubs hit the ground running on Saturday as the 2s won 4-1 against the Old Alleynians 2s in a classic rear-guard wind-up.
The first competitive game of the season saw plenty of regulars and a few newcomers go 2-0 up by half-time (with the help of a penalty save from James Gray), before running away with it to 4-0 with not long to go.
Alleyns enjoyed perhaps 70-80% of the possession, but as is their wont, the Dubs sat back, allowed them to spray it around luxuriously in the middle of the pitch, refusing to be penetrated where it hurt - the danger zone.
Zach Tiplady and Rob Selwyn fought tirelessly at the back, helped by the experience of Al Hardiman and Mule “Harry” Underwood, restricting Alleyns to very few clear cut chances despite their possession.
Sam Donald, fresh from fitness camp in Croatia, was clinical up top, scoring twice in the first half from similar positions with both his right and left feet.
James Gray saved a penalty in the first half and the defensive barracks were set up early in the 2nd half, as the Dubs players cleverly slowed the game down to frustrate Alleyns. Ben McCleery’s heinously long throws proved decisive on the first day of the 2016 season in an away win at Cholms, and once again they proved deadly, although it was not clear if Rupert Mercer headed it over the keeper, or rather the ball simply hit Mercer’s forehead and bounced into the goal. (Mercer, post-game: “What’s the difference?”)
3-0 became 4-0 as a defensive calamity allowed Donald to tap into an empty net. George Hobhouse making his OWs debut was a crucial cog in the defensive operation of midfield, and a late penalty - nearly missed again by the same striker - did little to remove the gloss from a fine opening day win.
Old Alleynians II 1 - 4 Old Wykehamist Football Club 2nd XI ()