The first XI team had mixed first week back. A resounding 10-1 win in the Kent Cup saw hat tricks from Harvey Jagger and James Bush send the boys through to the quarter finals. The National cup game vs Alleyn’s was a slightly different story as the home side dominated us in the first half. At 0-3, the boys woke up and hit the post and had two shots cleared off the line. It could have been a different story, but the boys never gave up and continued to fight hard in the second half. Eventually Alleyn’s rankit worthy winners but the score line doesn’t tell the whole story.
The 2nd XI, consisting mainly of Year 11 students, put in a spirited performance on Saturday against a strong Alleyn’s School side. Alleyn’s School started the strongest and put Eltham under pressure from the start whistle moving the ball quickly and getting the ball into the Eltham D on numerous occasions. They eventually took the lead after 15 minutes, but Eltham soon equalised with good work down the right-hand side of the pitch by Archie Rowbotham and Cameron Slatter saw James Lambton forcing the ball over the line. The second half started like the first with Alleyns having all the possession and creating chances. Joe Bilsby made numerous outstanding saves and Luke Kemp and Rikin Parikh were excellent in defence making last-ditch tackles. Eltham slowly forced their way back into the match and started creating their own chances with Max Taylor and Karlo Jawo working hard in midfield but neither team were able to capitalise on several scoring chances at each end and the score remained at 1-1 for a well-deserved draw for both teams.
The Under 15A team opened their season in freakishly mild conditions against Alleyn’s at Honor Oak Park on Saturday. With the A team on Centre Court and the Bs on Court Number One, it was set to be a feast of hockey to send the travelling Eltham supporters (numbering ten) into a frenzy. The A team started the game extremely well, maintaining possession through the ever-present Alex Clout and building early pressure on the Alleyn’s D. Tom Gill was being offered far too much space on the left wing and his second marauding run of the game created a clever slip pass to Josh Hutchings who finished neatly at the near post to give the visitors an early lead. Alleyn’s then seemed to galvanise themselves and settle into the game, whilst Eltham started to see rustiness and errors creep into their game. Alleyn’s saw several breakaway attacks stifled, clearly seeking to wreak havoc on the counter-attack using their extremely quick right winger. The Eltham goalkeeper, Jack Ennis was called into action on a number of occasions, and Benjy Davis was doing a good job in dealing with Alleyns’ danger man. Eltham went into the break with a slender one-nil lead and sought to re-establish their dominance of possession. Gill was looking dangerous whenever he got the ball in space, and he earned Eltham their first short corner of the game just after the break which was duly converted by Josh Hutchings for his second. Eltham, now firmly in control of the game, made some positional switches and sought to add to their tally. Alex Macheath was having a strong game, and in the closing minutes of the game he drove into the circle, finding Josh Hutchings at the top of the D. Josh’s initial shot was blocked by the Alleyn’s goalie, but Josh seized upon the rebound and deftly lobbed the stranded keeper to complete his hat-trick in serious style. Jack Ennis made a couple of great late saves to keep his clean sheet. The game ended 3 nil to the boys in navy and gold; a strong start to the season against a decent Alleyn’s outfit.
The Under 15B started their season off with a strong team performance against Alleyn’s, we started off a bit rusty, but everything fell into place in the second half as we lead 2-0 for most of the game. Our first game came from a series of great passes which lead to an easy tap in on the post. A short lack of concentration led to an opposition short corner which they managed to convert in the last few seconds of the game, with the final score finishing 2-1 in Eltham’s favour. With our second goal coming from good instincts in the D, pouncing on the ball before the opposition defenders.
The Under 14 teams are a very strong group and trained very well in the previous term and it was a week to transfer what they had done in training to the actual game with two fixtures in the week.
The first fixture was against Langley Park School in a cup game the opponents were a strong outfit and it was a tight first few minutes, then we managed to score two excellent goals, one of which was an excellent pass from Ollie and a great finish from Lewis who dived and sent a shot through passed the goalkeeper. The second half was also a good display from the boys, midfielders; Theo, Ollie and Blue were solid throughout the game which was key in us holding onto the lead despite some good attacks from the opposition, the back Uriel was instrumental in guiding the team and did some timely interceptions.
The second fixture on Saturday began quite well, with some key players missing the others took the responsibility and played good hockey and scored the first goal in the first three minutes. There were some decent attacks from our opponents and they scored through a PC. The good thing about this team is they are always positive even when they concede and that made them attack relentlessly giving them a second goal, we then finished 3-2 at halftime through an amazing drag-flick from Ollie. In the second half, we had a few good attacks, but the opponents hit us on the break and made it 3-3. Overall a fine all-around performance from the entire squad.
This is a very strong year group with plenty of talent, Eltham got off to a great start against a very strong Alleyn’s team and was up 1-0. The pre-Christmas training paid off as we were able to contend with the opposition who had plenty of good players. Jamie Sears, as usual, was as tenacious as a pit bull, backed up by Charlie Dykes and Jacob McCarthy ran the midfield. We managed to go 2-0 up through Sears before conceding a goal. Eltham was 3-1 up after the first third. The middle third was hard fought, Matthew Chick added his normal energetic performance and played well. Maxence Augier de Cremiers and Boris Jones did well with Piers Newton Law to stop Alleyns scoring combined with the introduction of John Kay who completely solidified the defence. In the final third Noah Gibbons playing up a year group made save after save and kept Eltham in the game drawing many cheers from both Eltham and Alleyn’s parents. Although we conceded a second goal, a second goal from Jamie Sears followed by a goal from Charlie Dykes meant the boys earned a well but hard-earned a 4-2 win.
The Under 13B had a tough start to the season against a very good Alleyn’s side. All the boys worked extremely hard and despite the score, plenty of progress was made. Final score was a 4-0 loss.
The Under 12A did really well in their first match for the Senior School. Once again, the hard work in Junior School has paid off as we were able to prepare well during the week and also meant we were already aware of the hockey players available. Noah Gibbons was very steady in goal while Jake Wesseldine combined well with Akhil Venugopalan between them scored five goals. Wisseldene with an impressive hat trick. Tom Whatling and Toby Chick both impressed in defence while Dan Egan had a good debut in the midfield along with Ben Stringer. The surprise package was Zach Hopley who we knew was a nice player with potential, played like a seasoned pro and added considerably to the 5-2 victory. Promising times lie ahead for this squad.
The Under 12B had a fantastic start to the season with a 5-1 win. The boys played excellently as a team and were great from start to finish against a good Alleyn’s side.