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
During September & October the under 15 netball team have been competing in the Coastal Netball League. They have played 6 games & remain undefeated:
Beat Banovallum 53 - 2
Beat Skegness Grammar 31 - 6
Beat QEGS Alford 18 - 9
Beat John Spendluffe 40 - 3
Beat Barnes Wallis 32 - 12
Beat King Edwards, Spilsby 51 - 3
6 games, 6 wins, scoring 225 goals in total & only conceding 35 goals.
13 players from years 9 & 10 contributed to the wins & we now have to wait for the final against the Wolds league winners, which will be either KEVIGS, Louth or Caistor Grammar.
Lincoln College vs QEGS Sixth Form 1st XI, Wednesday 1st November 2017
Two games down, one win and a difficult season ahead. After a well deserved half-term break the QEGS Sixth Form 1st XI were back in action on Wednesday afternoon. On the road again, away at Lincoln College, the team were looking to build on their home victory against The Deepings School. With only room for 12 on the minibus and Alden Midmer being unavailable meant Mr Cope’s squad was unchanged apart from the absence of Hugo Finley.
QEGS started the first half from kick off with beautifully worked passing play involving almost every member of the team, transporting the ball into the opposition penalty area, not allowing for a single Lincoln player to touch the ball within the first two minutes, leading to a shot from Kenneally-Forrester that was blocked for a corner kick . This positive start was exactly what the team needed and a couple of chances were created early on using this momentum, but nothing would break through for the visitors. Don’t be mistaken though, Lincoln were not going to be dominated by this away team and got themselves out of first gear, creating a few chances of their own. Unfortunately for them goalkeeper Jenkins was at the ready to guard his netting and the game at this point looked like there was perhaps going to be plenty of goals at both ends.
With about 15 minutes gone Lincoln made a breakthrough. A simple goal at the near post from about 6 yards, played low and hard into the box by the home side’s winger, who had battled the ball back off the defence before it had rolled out for a QEGS throw-in, which should've been dealt with and sent into row Z before he had the chance. A shot to their own foot. With a few heads already beginning to drop, the boys now needed to dig a little deeper to get themselves back in the game. After the restart, the strike force were having no more joy when they finally got the ball, than the back four was, who were being relentlessly bombarded with Lincoln attacks. Reliably, Benton was a commanding presence, marshalling his fellow defenders in keeping everything out that home team had to throw at them.
When each Lincoln attack died down QEGS persistently used the full-backs as outlets to play out from the defence and into midfield. The best chance of the half came through this, with Jenkins beginning the attack by rolling out from his hands to Robinson who obliged to the call of Lindsey providing width on the left flank to get the ball up to the half way line. A quick pass into Gowshall just inside of him, allowed him to turn and run at the defence. After having travelled a good 25 yards he laid the ball to into Kenneally-Forrester, in a good shooting position, just left of goal. A poor shot made the chance look lost, but Gowshall was alert to run onto the loose ball that the defence had yet to deal with and the Lincoln goalkeeper was ready to pick the ball out of his net. The sound of the crossbar echoed across the field to his delight, leaving the number nine with his hands in his head, unable to convert this time.
The referee blew for half time and the team made their way over to Mr Cope. Acknowledging some good play during the half, Sir praised the boys, before making it clear that the performance was a little under par due to the large gaps between defence to midfield, and midfield to attack. This was creating more work for us and Sir encouraged the same team that showed up two weeks prior to show themselves once again in the second half. A quick substitution before the restart saw Oli Dean make way for George Littleworth, in hope to get the momentum back in QEGS’ favour. The teams were then ready to get back into action.
Starting positively once more, the away team got straight into the faces of their opponents, boxing them into their own half. The midfield looked completely different with Jenkins and Jordan putting in 110%, making transition from defence to attack look like a breeze. But the most noticeable change in performance suddenly came from Kenneally-Forrester, by not once failing to put pressure on the defence at any moment and who had a newfound hunger to get the ball to feet and drive at Lincoln with pace. The best the defenders could do to deal with it was to repeatedly put the ball out of play for a QEGS corner, which were consistently delivered into dangerous areas by the various takers. The tiring defence finally fell apart when Gowshall caught out one on the centre-backs in possession of the ball and took it past his partner before coolly slotting the ball into the bottom left corner with the inside of his left foot. QEGS were now back in the game.
Attack after attack, corner after corner the visiting side looked to take a deserved lead. But the chances grew gradually less and less and Lincoln began to slowly build themselves up again. The defence continued to remain solid though, Emerson doing a good job of man marking the loan striker and Haskins growing more confident on the ball, driving it forward with good distribution. A rare breakthrough switching from right to left turned the defence, but was dealt with comfortably for the home team’s first corner of the half. Delivered with speed at an awkward height to the edge of the 6 yard box, nobody could get the vital clearing touch as the ball bounced off bodies of both sides. Suddenly the ball sat up nicely for a loose Lincoln player to pick his spot between the helpless Jenkins and Jordan on the line and didn’t need to be asked twice to regain the lead. Downhearted once again QEGS only had a few minutes to try to turn this game around once more, an attacking substitution of Dean for Robinson would hopefully make that happen.
Another corner for QEGS led to another chance for the visiting team. The ball was delivered and cleared, but Lindsey unexpectedly came out with a volley on the edge of the box. Destined for the top right corner, eyes lit up across the field. Only to be shut in despair when they saw the ball comically blocked by the face of Jenkins, who was unable to move himself away from the flight of the ball in time. The moment summed up the game for the boys. So close, but not close enough.
Before the full-time whistle could be blown by the referee there was one more attack left inside the home side. As the ball was launched forward to their striker, Jenkins had no choice but to come and meet him as he charged into the box. Able to get a hand on the ball, but unable to remove the danger, he pushed it into the path of another loose striker following in. Who gratefully tapped the ball into the unguarded goal for 3-1.
A disappointing result once again. Similarly to that of the first game, a slow first half and tough luck in the second meant the boys couldn't kill the game off when it was in their favour. But one to learn from nonetheless. The QEGS Sixth Form 1st XI will look to defend their 100% home record next week.
Man of the Match: Jamie Jordan
Top Goal scorers 2017/18:
3 – Max Gowshall
1 – Oli Dean
1 – George Littleworth
1 – Jamie Jenkins
Match report by Ben Robinson
QEGS Sixth Form 1st XI vs The Deeping School, Wednesday 18th October 2017
The return of the football season for the QEGS Sixth Form 1st XI, newly promoted to the A-League, didn’t bring everything they’d hoped for, opening with a 4-2 loss away at Spalding Grammar School. But make no mistake, the performance did show glimpses of a side that has good potential to challenge in this league. A win against The Deepings School in their first home match of the season would show that the team isn't just in the league to make up the numbers and give them the confidence boost they needed off the back of the first defeat.
QEGS started on the front foot, applying lots of pressure to the Deeping defence. Some half-chances were created by the creativity of the midfield and the determination of the strike force, but ultimately Deeping held tight and some good goalkeeping kept them well in the game. At periods QEGS started to look a bit stretched and a couple of balls over top caught out the defence too easily, but with a bit of luck on their side in the form of county goalkeeper Scott Jenkins, never amounted to anything. The wake up call was acknowledged by the QEGS defence and any further questions Deeping had to ask were duly answered.
Both teams went into the break having not scored a goal and a lot more to prove. The signs of a promising team full of goals and fantastic football were still showing, but still no rewards for the performance so far. Mr Cope herded the team over at half-time and gave the players some words of wisdom to take into the second half, sending out the same eleven to continue to throw everything they had at the visiting side. A winning mentality was needed by all the players, more character and more confidence. This was what was going to push QEGS over the line.
The second half began exactly how the first half ended, with QEGS striving for an opening goal. Deeping’s cracks were finally starting to show with every run, cross and shot the boys had towards their goal and their frustration was illustrated when the trickery of Jamie Jordan won a free kick in the attacking half, to which one of the Deeping players responded by kicking the ball directly at the midfielder lying innocently on the floor. Aggravated to say the least, this spurred him on to make a few poor decisions and some late tackles, causing the first substitution of the game. Having played well, Jordan made way for George Littleworth and with him came a change in formation. Mr Cope’s confidence in the defensive performance from the back four meant Littleworth would be positioned as a striker alongside Max Gowshall to really overpower the opposition.
The extra man proved too difficult to deal with for Deeping as Gowshall dug out a shot from within 6 yards and with the help of a deflection the goalkeeper finally conceded his first goal of the game, giving the home team a well deserved 1-0 lead. The goal, celebrated by the wonderful Sixth Form support, sent an exhilarating positive energy through the spine of the team and having finally broken down the opposition QEGS were now loosening all the knots at will and a second goal followed shortly after. It was scored brilliantly by Oli Dean, showing great persistence at the bi-line to draw several players before finding a shot that squeezed through a gap at a tight angle from the left of goal, nestling in the far side-netting.
The reset of play saw winger Blake Kenneally-Forrester replace Alfie Lindsey to spark some innovation and keep up the momentum to finish the game off. His pace and close control created some small chances for a third goal, but defending to match kept him at bay. Surprisingly the game cooled down for the next ten minutes, with QEGS keeping possession comfortably in the opposition half and very few chances occurring for either team. The reality perhaps sinking into the Deeping players’ minds, there was no way back against this side that had finally clicked. Any belief remaining of a chance to get back in the match was then extinguished by the right foot of Gowshall, sweetly hitting home a volley from the edge of the box that travelled away from the goalkeeper and into the back of the net via the post.
With a good five to ten minutes remaining, a final substitution was to be made by Mr Cope and the greatly anticipated arrival of Hugo Finley to the field of play received a better response from the crowd than all three of the goals combined. Perhaps a little under-used in the final moments of the game, he was unable to get on the score sheet, but a performance on par with that of the rest of the squad showed that not only does this QEGS side have a reliable starting eleven, but also strength in depth.
A clean sheet, three goals, three points and a first victory of the season. Not a bad day’s work for the QEGS Sixth Form 1st XI.
Man of the Match: Max Gowshall
Top Goal scorers 2017/18:
2 - Max Gowshall
1 - Oli Dean
1 - George Littleworth
1 - Jamie Jenkins
Match report by Ben Robinson