The 1st XI continued their preparation for the 2015 season with the annual friendly match against the Brighton College Old Boys on Wednesday evening. Returning from their New Year's pre-season camp at Manchester City's Academy training facility, they were keen to put what they had learnt into practice under the floodlights at Whitehawk FC. The Old Boys had brought down a strong team, featuring two past 1st XI captains (Ben Hornby and Harry Herbert) and players who graduated from the College over the last 6 years.
The 1st XI started well, moving the ball quickly and using the space to their advantage. Rufus Saunders terrorised the OB defence and came close on a number of occasions. Henry Bolland delivered some superb balls from the left (which really should have been capitalised on) and Captain Jack Witt and Billie Westhead gave little ground in the centre of the park. The 1st XI were at their best when playing patient football and building attacks from goalkeeper Tom Walker. They looked dangerous down the left-hand-side in particular with Alfie Laurence, Henry Bolland and Rufus Saunders linking up to good effect. Saunders missed one of the best chances of the half when he found himself on the end of a Bolland cross in the box but headed over. Some good efforts from outside the box (notably from Jack Witt and Henry Bolland) were either well-saved of just wide but certainly unnerved OB Jamie Thornely in goal. Will Davidson continued his run of form and was busy up front bringing people in the game and one sublime chest control in the box deserved a chance on goal.
The OBs started the second half strongly and Harry Herbert (now playing his football for Balham FC) shored things up at the back. Jonny Amies and Michael Chapman looked lively in the midfield and Louis Collard-Watson looked superb on the ball (if not a little out-of-shape off it!). The 1st XI defence of Will Ash, Dom Wood, Joe van Rietschoten and Alfie Laurence resisted well and Tom Walker was brought in to action on more than one occasion. The OBs got their first when a free-kicked was well-saved by Walker and Collard-Watson was on hand to slot home against the run of play. The second half saw new players take the field with the inclusion of Barry Chan, Seb Samrah, George Loder and Jack Neale all adding to the attack. Not even the arrival of Tom Anson in defence could stop the OBs second though as a mis-communication in defence left an open goal and Collard-Watson to again finish well. The 1st XI will not be too deterred after a strong performance ahead of their first SKIL game against Colfe's and enjoyed match teas with the Old Boys, who, enjoyed reminiscing about BC football days of old and trying to hid their jealousy at the new Real Madrid and Man City training camps. 1st XI 0 – 2 Old Boys
T Walker, A Laurence, W Ash, D Wood, J van Rietschoten, L Gray, J Witt (capt), B Westhead, H Bolland, W Davidson, R Saunders, B Chan, G Loder, J Neale, T Anson, H Tyrer, S Samrah.
Old Boys XI
J Thornely, J Proctor, F Jordan, J Lloyd, J Tydeman, B Hornby (capt)T Brazier, H Herbert, M Chapman, L Collard-Watson, H Tydeman, J Amies.