The Tonbridge Grammar School 6th form Boys’ football 1st XI had their first match of their season in a local derby against Tonbridge School.
Although the team’s first fixture was away, they adjusted to their surroundings quickly. In the early stages of the game the team were making the most of their physical advantage, winning many of the first balls and often coming away with the ball in the tackle. Jonny S (Captain), Tom M and Freddie W controlled the centre of midfield with neat passing and good anticipation whilst being supported on the flanks by Joe R and Tom S early on, Joe R made many good runs down the right side only to be slightly lacking quality with the final ball into the box. Later in the half chances came and went for TGS. Tom M did well to often find himself in space just outside the Tonbridge box but often slightly snatched at his chances. Goalkeeper Jacob B showed fantastic distribution and regularly found striker Shafiye A just beyond the halfway line. Ahmed was able to get the ball down well but then struggled to find the right ball to keep the attack going. That being said, the ball was often cleared from the Tonbridge School box with exposed defence, as they found it hard to deal with the long balls coming from Jacob B. Tonbridge School had a few of their own chances towards the end of the first half, with some quick and intelligent runs being made by their attacking midfielders. Centre-Backs Ollie B and Corey H were doing well in the tackle, winning many of the aerial balls but however struggling with the pace of the opposition at times. With support from their pacey fullbacks Thomas G and Frederic N they were able to quash many of the opposition chances without being caused too much trouble. They were also supported by a superb defensive midfield performance from Freddie who was fantastic at tracking back and making key tackles, as well as getting his head up and making good passes that allowed the team to build attacks going forward.
The second half began and the team knew that it was a winnable game and they just needed to take some of the chances that would eventually come their way. Second half substitution Alex K showed good commitment in the tackle, coming on for Joe R at left midfield and in the early stages of the first half made some good tackles and intelligent passes. As the game wore on both teams started showing more desire to win the game and the match became grittier and more competitive. Good passing from Jonny S often found Tom S and Ahmed and the TGS team started to look more and more dangerous going forward. Eventually though it was the captain Jonny S who got the goal that put TGS in the lead. A confident run from Jonny S bursting out of the midfield at pace, went past the defence on the left hand side of the pitch, finishing his chance well, curling it round the keeper. 1-0 up and TGS were looking good value for their lead.
With 10 minutes left, Tonbridge School started to come back into the game and made many a good run down the right hand side of the pitch. Patrick N, our sub at left back, was caught flat-footed and caught his man inside the box after being outpaced. A penalty was given and it looked as if TGS would pay for their missed chances. Tonbridge School’s penalty to clipped the post and out for a goal kick. Buoyed by this let-off, TGS played with more confidence. Corey H at centre back was winning everything in the air and organised the defence well, stealing the ball on regular occasions. With a strong defensive unit at the back TGS looked to make sure of the result and with only a couple of minutes left they did exactly that. Tom S put Tom M through down the right and he finished with a deft touch as the keeper was well beaten. The final whistle blew and TGS had their first win of the season. A fantastic result for the team and a great start to build on.
Result: TGS 2 – 0 Tonbridge School
Goals: Jonny S (C), Tom M
Man of the Match: Freddie