News stories from the School and Old Suttonian communities
The first half was played at a ferocious pace, with Foundation working the first opportunity of the game, seeing Ben Watkins (2020 C) firing narrowly wide in the first minute after fine work by Foundation left wing back Mr Sealy.
Not to be outdone, SVS manufactured a wonderful opening of their own. An attempted pass down the SVS left was intercepted by centre back Heston King, who then laid the ball off to Dan Odling in the middle of midfield. The SVS skipper showed his class by threading a defence splitting through ball to Jamie Coates. As the midfielder bore down on goal, SVS Foundation centre back George Baker (2020 M) did well to get a toe to the ball just as Coates pulled the trigger, with the ball cannoning back off the bar.
The frantic nature of the match continued with Foundation next to rue a missed opening moments later. After a classy tackle by centre back Oliver Aylett, Foundation broke through right wing back Sam Knighton, who proceeded to play a delightful long pass out of defence towards Watkins in the final third. The only thing better than the pass was the first-time control of the SVS Foundation striker, who brought the ball down majestically before shooting firmly towards goal with his next touch. Luckily for SVS, goalkeeper Sam Foss produced an instinctive save, getting a strong right hand to the ball.
That missed chance did not prove too costly, as Foundation made the breakthrough a few minutes later. A quick long throw from Knighton, released SVS Foundation centre forward Max Lindsay down the right channel. As King came across to block the run, both players became tangled, with King falling to the ground. With SVS calling for a free kick in vain, Lindsay calmly slotted passed the onrushing Foss.
If the circumstances around the opening goal were fortunate for SVS Foundation, the second was solely down to skill, with both SVS Foundation wing backs combining expertly. A loose ball out of defence was collected by Sealy who took one touch before swinging in an enchanting ball to his fellow wing back Knighton, who’s first touch took him around Foss and allowed him to calmly slot into the empty net.
Before SVS even had chance to take stock, they were almost left facing a three-goal deficit. Dayo Oyerinde’s long goal kick allowed Watkins to expertly break through the SVS offside trap, who’s exquisite first-time lob careered off the top of the bar.
This proved to be the wakeup call that SVS needed. Driven forwards by George Sturges and Odling in midfield with Fraser Cox and Josh Fawell upfront, SVS started to wrestle control away from SVS Foundation. This almost immediately produced a goal when Fawell’s cross could only be parried into the path of Sturges, who’s effort was blocked brilliantly by the outstretched leg of Oyerinde. The threat was not over though, with SVS right back Matthew Hall firing past Oyerinde, only for his goal bound effort to be blocked by Aylett on the line.
With the momentum well and truly with them, SVS pushed hard for a goal. Only a last-ditch tackle stopped Fawell weaving his way clear of the SVS Foundation defence. This was only a short reprieve though with Fawell running through on goal a few minutes later, placing a composed finish beyond Oyerinde.
At this point SVS Foundation resembled a boxer desperately clinging on to the ropes trying to see it through to the end of the round. The defensive block which had seemed so secure for the first part of the half, was now clearly stretched and porous. SVS sensed an opportunity to complete a marvellous turnaround before half time and pressed relentlessly forwards and they did not have to wait long to draw parity with SVS Foundation. SVS winger Toby Butler played a pass through to Fawell, who had skilfully dropped between the lines. As he turned on the ball the danger seemed limited, but Fawell had other ideas, playing a beautiful through ball with the outside of his left boot, finding the advancing Hall in the area who shot passed a despairing lunge from the SVS Foundation keeper to take the teams in level at half time.
The second half continued in the same end to end fashion of the previous 45 minutes, with SVS Foundation midfielder Arthur Genders (2020 F) clearing at the back post to save a certain goal, whilst up the other end Hall was lucky not to give away a penalty with a challenge on Watkins.
The penalty decision invigorated SVS Foundation XI who enjoyed their best spell since taking a two goal lead and were unlucky not to go ahead once again with excellent efforts from both Sealy and Watkins blocked by the resolute SVS defence.
This period of superiority was brought to an abrupt end as SVS took the lead for the first time in the game in the 74th minute. As SVS Foundation naively and incorrectly waited for a throw in to be called, Odling continued advancing down the right channel playing a wonderful square ball into the feet of SVS striker Isaac Forknall. The forward showed that the exceptional goal he scored in the Intra-Sixth Form Cup match in midweek was not a one-off, casually placing the ball under Oyerinde into the net.
Now that time and the score line was against them, SVS Foundation manager Mr Evans rolled the dice by pushing Mikey Summers (2022 F) into a more advanced role, switching from a back three to a more conventional four. This switch almost had an immediate effect, with Summers’ drive being deflected narrowly wide by SVS defender Quoc Dam.
SVS Foundation were not to be denied though, as a quick corner routine from Lindsay found midfielder Mr Downs free on the angle of the penalty area, who whipped a curling shot into the top right corner of the SVS goal.
With penalties beckoning, both teams pushed to find a decisive goal in the remaining time. SVS thought they had secured the win with Butler’s rasping shot from the edge of the area sailing within inches of the upright. Sadly for SVS, a comeback win was to be denied. The influential Knighton won the ball in midfield and played it beyond the SVS defence, allowing Watkins to use his explosive pace to take the ball passed Foss and secure the win for the SVS Foundation XI.
At the final whistle, both teams came together to congratulate one another for a truly gripping encounter. With the wonderful support of friends, family, and colleagues on the touch line, it was a special event to be a part of, showcasing the magnificent caring ethos we are quite rightly proud of at SVS. Even through the adversity of losing members of this community over the years, we are able to draw strength from this beautiful spirit and this is something we will always cherish.
A match tea was then enjoyed in TC's and we were delighted to welcome back Daisy Fenton (2020 C) and Sam Fenton (2023 C) to present the SVS Foundation XI Captain, Arthur Genders, with the new Jack Fenton and Jack Howe Memorial Trophy.
Special thanks must go to Mr Metcalfe for his first class refereeing at a moment’s notice, the brilliant organisational abilities of Mrs Finley, Mr Radford and Mrs Evenden, and Mr Evans for his tactical masterclass on the touch line.
SVS 1st XI - Samuel Foss, Liam Kirk, Matthew Hall, Heston King, Jamie Coates, Quoc Dam, Fraser Cox, George Sturges, Joshua Fawell, Daniel Odling, George Edwards, Isaac Forknall and Toby Butler.
SVS Foundation XI - Oyedayo Oyerinde, Mr T Sealy, George Baker (2020 M), Michael Summers (2022 F), Oliver Aylett, Finnian O’Keefe (2021 M), Sam Knighton, Mr J Downs, Arthur Genders (2020 F), Max Lindsay, Ben Watkins (2020 C), Oliver Barr, Henry Kyd and Callum Baker.