Wednesday 6th December 2017
Following a game to forget, the QEGS Sixth Form 1st XI travelled the short distance to their temporary “home ground” on the Horncastle playing fields for their 7th game of the season and their last fixture before the New Year. With 3 wins and 3 losses this campaign, the burgundy boys have shown a respectable start to the season after being promoted to the A-league, but still Mr Cope and the players know that there is more for this team yet to prove. Consistency would be the final piece of the puzzle that will allow for this squad to go on to challenge for the top spot. Thankfully, after a minor injury scare, county goalkeeper Scott Jenkins was fit to play, although neither defenders Ollie Haskins or Tom Caswell were available. So with Mr Cope’s choices reduced, a 12 man squad was selected.
A fairly poor and uneventful first half followed the referee’s first blow on the whistle, with weak distribution and a lack of movement from every player wearing the QEGS badge. With Boston dominating possession the home side struggled to get any clear chances on the counter attack, which caused problems and invited unnecessary pressure onto the defence. The opposition had only 2 or 3 talented players that were causing genuine threats to QEGS’ goal, so this slow start into the game was going unpunished. Suddenly one of the dangerous players picked up a loose ball in midfield and took a powerful shot from about 25 yards out. Travelling on a very straight flight path directly towards the top left corner everyone stood in awe at what looked to be a magnificent goal. Jenkins had other ideas though, springing into the air to intercept the ball with two strong hands and bringing it into his chest before dropping to the floor.
Keeping it at 0-0, this sparked some energy into the QEGS team which provided good chances for Kenneally-Forrester to give them the lead. After rounding the goalkeeper and staring down an open net a goal seemed guaranteed. Painfully, he, along with his teammates, watched the ball sail over the crossbar. A head in hands moment, but a goal is never too far away from the striker, so everyone knew another chance would occur. After leading several attacks at the away goal and still with no luck, Jordan felt obliged to finally open the scoring in a calm fashion converting a ball delivered accurately along the deck from Littleworth with a clinical first-time finish.
Half-time. After a good little spell towards the end of the first half QEGS were in a position to go and win the game comfortably, having learned the weaknesses that they can attack to bring Boston down. Although it seemed shaky at times the defence had clearly put in a decent performance to keep everything out up until now, with credit to Dean for dropping into full-back, a position he hasn't played before. With reinforcements ready to get involved though, he was able to get back on the wing in a position much more familiar. Robinson made way for Cooke, who went straight into right full-back and Lindsey dropped into Robinson’s position, allowing Dean to play on the left.
A much stronger faster start to the second half was owed to Mr Cope and all the players didn't disappoint. High pressure, winning tackles, getting their heads up and finding passes all on display within the first 5 minutes. It wasn't long before Kenneally-Forrester finally got his goal, but it came in a manor quite strange. Not knowing a lot about it, a defender cleared a ball delivered into the centre of the box, no further than the knee of the striker. The deflection proceeded to loop over the helpless goalkeeper into the top right corner for QEGS’ second of the match and his second of the season.
With plenty of time remaining the home side were only just getting started. A corner was awarded on the left after a good save by Boston’s goalkeeper, who was already having a much harder game this half, Lindsey walked over to take it. The visitors organised themselves ready for the delivery into the box, but to their surprise the ball was played on the floor to the corner of the box where the unmarked Jordan roamed freely. A smooth roll of the ball past the first defender towards the by-line opened his options up and the one that shone through was the far side-netting. He took another touch with his wand of a right foot, to better his angle, before casting the ball into the far corner with stupendous curl.
QEGS were dominating the match and the game looked like it was now a question of “how many?” To assure more goals, Mr Cope substituted Robinson back on for Dean, now playing in his more favoured position on the wing. Quickly he received the ball and with a bit of trickery turned and ran past the full back, driving straight into the area. He took on the shot from the left of goal with his left foot, aiming across goal to the far right. The goalkeeper got a small touch onto the ball which added unwanted height to the shot, however it still looked goal bound. But as it dropped it kissed the top of the woodwork and unluckily went over.
The attacks were now flowing thick and fast with a fourth goal looming. An overlapping run on the right hand side saw Cooke, who had been enjoying his new found position, receive the ball out wide. He dug out a cross to the goal hungry attackers, which Gowshall received at the back post and played across into the feet of Robinson about 10 yards out. Unable to take on a shot first time he shifted the ball onto his left foot and took another touch past the defender out to the by-line. Taking on the shot at the tight angle he did well to beat the goalkeeper, but once again the woodwork came to Boston’s rescue.
Trying more and more inventive ways to get another, Lindsey took a corner that intentionally cleared all the players in the box with a pin-point pass to the captain waiting at the edge of the area. He hit the shot on the volley and although it was very well controlled, the shot was low and easy for the goalkeeper to smother. Despite save after save in the match, keeping the deficit at 3, Gowshall was still on the prowl for double figures this season. Having scored for 5 consecutive matches previous to the game, it was no surprise to Mr Cope and the rest of the team to see him bag another from within the 6 yard area and to then further push his tally to a staggering 11 goals in 7 games with QEGS’ fifth, placing the cherry on the top.
An easy victory in the end, with 5 goals and a clean sheet making a suitable early Christmas present for Mr Cope. A marvellous performance to end a year of fantastic football for the QEGS Sixth Form 1st XI. May the winning form continue into the New Year!
Man of the Match: Max Gowshall
Match report by Ben Robinson