Eltham College vs Reigate Grammar School
The 1st XI got their season back on track with an excellent win away at Reigate. The boys needed to bounce back after a tough game against Felsted School last week. Early possession and quick ball pace saw the team slot into the game very quickly, and several entries into the area saw them test the meet three times. Finally, Ash gave Eltham the lead, only for Archie to double the lead five minutes later with a neat finish. Eltham enjoyed the majority of possession, but Reigate did not give up as the game became more attritional as time wore on. Eltham held fast for a 2-1 win – a magnificent performance by all.
The 3rd XI started the season off with an impressive victory against Reigate. With some last-minute hauling together and changes, Eltham headed to battle with star player Charlie, taken from the twos. With songs sung on route and blood pumping, the team were ready. The match set off to a promising start, with two early goals for Eltham, and the team continued their dominance throughout. Ed performed some impressive saves to keep the momentum flowing from James’ early goals. Charlie was strong, playing out from the back, and set the boys on their way to an impressive victory – the first win of the season. The wheels are well and truly rolling for the 3rd X1, and the team look forward to playing Trinity next.
Having had their match against Kent College cancelled last weekend due to a frozen pitch, the U15As were eager to get back into the swing of regular fixtures. A slightly later than planned arrival at Reigate meant the pre-match preparations were rushed and, consequently, the team were unable to assert themselves early on in the game. Conceding a short corner inside the first few minutes led to Reigate taking the lead, as a wayward flick from the top was directed goalward by their player running in from the right of the D. However, Eltham immediately kicked into gear, seemingly finally awoken from their lengthy coach journey. Neat interplay down the right, through a marauding Lewis and Freddie, led to a well-taken goal at the far post from Eltham’s tap-in specialist, Frank. ‘They all count the same’ said Frank in his post-match interview. Eltham kept up the pressure and took the lead as Ludo converted Eltham’s first short corner with an accurate and powerful drag flick, which was ruthlessly and coldly dispatched into the bottom corner. Eltham controlled the game into the half time break, with Niall enjoying some neat link-up play on the left flank. Eltham continued to dominate possession in the second half, stretching their lead five minutes into the second half, when Freddie slotted home a loose ball in the Reigate D following a fast break on the counter-attack. Eltham looked in control but weathered a tricky final 10 minutes as their captain Uriel received a two-minute sin bin, and the side invited pressure on themselves through giving the ball away too cheaply and conceding possession to Reigate. Man of the Match was a tricky decision, but Ollie just about takes it, run close by Ludo and Freddie.
The U15Bs tasted defeat for the first time this season against Reigate on Saturday morning. A slightly delayed bus meant the team were under pressure from the get-go, with only five minutes to prepare. Eltham was caught cold early on, going 1-0 down and struggled to get into the game. Two further goals saw Eltham go into the break three down. A few honest words at half time saw the boys rally and start showing what they were capable of in the second half. Chris managed to tuck one home, but Eltham did concede once more chasing the game. Yuxuan in goal was outstanding all game, keeping the team just about within reach of Reigate. A 1-1 second half was a fairer reflection of the two sides than the 4-1 final scoreline; however the team knows they didn’t turn up in the first half.
The U14As continued their impressive start to this year with a 3-0 win against Reigate Grammar on Saturday morning. Eltham was able to move the ball well and pressurise Reigate, resulting in a dominant win. Will Stone was once again outstanding in goal, producing three fantastic saves. Next up for the U14A team is Sir Roger Manwood GS in the cup on Thursday.
The U14Bs may reflect on missed opportunities this week. In truth, it was the visitors who played the superior hockey; a stronger passing game with a willingness to shift the ball out to the wider spaces. Eltham’s commitment and running were superb throughout; however, the team did not put together enough passages of possession to make the most of their attacking strengths.
The U13A team did not start well in their match against Reigate. Sloppy passing, lack of aggression in defence and almost zero energy. This led to the team being 2-0 down at half time and a very animated talk from Mr Giles. The team were asked for a big heart, plenty of energy and belief that the deficit could be reversed. The plan was to hit Reigate hard in the first two minutes and score a goal. In one minute, Eltham scored two great goals and completely shifted the way the match had played out in the first half. Eltham went on to completely dominate the game and finish worthy 5-2 winners. Stand out performance this week was Harry in defence, solid first touch, tackling and distribution.
The game started a little slower than the boys would have liked, and Reigate Grammar seized the opportunity to score within the first minute. It was a wake-up call, and Eltham managed to claw back two goals before the break. The half-time talk was simple – pass the ball hard, play wide and pass early — no room for half-stepping. The second half was Eltham all day. Great team play, excellent use of the pitch and there was nothing the opposition threw at the boys that they were not able to manage. Eltham added six goals in the second half and finished the game 8-2. A fantastic result for a team that played together so well. Special mention to Xavier, who scored five goals and Zach for his full pitch run and then slotting one in the top right-hand corner.
The U13Cs did not have the strongest start, with Reigate putting them under the pump very quickly. Eltham conceded two goals after a poor performance in the first half – not working as a team and playing their own individual game. After a big chat at half time, the second half was much stronger, and Eltham was now playing as a team. When the squad got their heads up to make accurate passes and used the width and depth of the field, they really started to look like a threat. Ben scored Eltham’s first goal in the first five minutes, which picked up some of the momentum. Ben scored again, just before the 10-minute mark, making it 2-2, putting Eltham in a strong position. Unfortunately, Eltham could not get another in the net and Reigate scored their third goal, to end the game at 2-3.
The U13Ds started strong on the defence, by holding the ball quite well at the back and also tackling the ball outside the D when Reigate attacked. The defence managed without a goalkeeper, however, after seeing off few attacks from Reigate, the midfield and forwards started to combine well and scored three goals in quick succession, going into half-time with a decent 3-0 lead. The second half was filled with fine midfield play, with both Toby and Benedict combining very well to give Eltham the advantage, and some excellent finishing from Matthew extended the lead and Eltham finished with a comfortable 5-1 win.
The U12As got off to a slow start, going 1-0 down early in the game. The boys’ heads did not drop, and they pushed on and started to play some great hockey. Olly made some great saves, although rarely called into action. The final scoreline was 5-1 to Eltham, although this score does not flatter the strong performance from the Year 7 boys.
The U12Bs started off pretty slow in the first half, losing possession consistently through the middle of the pitch and gifting few counter attacks to the opponent’s forward line – Reigate capitalised on this and scored a fine shot past Eltham’s goalkeeper. In the second half, Eltham created a lot of attacks and was solid in the midfield but Reigate, again, scored off a break. Persistent pressing from Eltham’s forwards and midfield ended in a goal for Eltham, and the boys continued to push hard towards the end; however they could not equalise and the game ended in a 1-2 loss.
The U12C team had a bit of a slow start in their game against Reigate on Friday afternoon. Although they were able to apply good pressure to overturn the ball, their positioning on the pitch and lack of power behind shots on goal meant the team were 2-0 down at half-time. After a team talk and a bit of morale boost, the Cs came back fighting. Within a two minute period, they had scored twice, bringing the score up to 2-2. Jermaine made some excellent runs and Alex had a fantastic shot from the top of the D that secured Eltham’s second goal. George made some brilliant saves, however a slight error in defending meant Reigate were able to get a rebound shot in goal, bringing the final score to a 2-3 loss. It was a competitive game where the score could have gone either way. Player of the match was Jermaine.