3s unfortunate not to claim at least a point on opening day
- September 4th 2021, Harrow School 4G Astro, 1pm
- Division 4
- Referee: Rich Barnard
- Weather: Cloudy
- Pitch: Astroturf
|No.||Starting XI||Goals||Yellow & Red Cards||Subs On/Off|
|4||Ed Nicholson (c)|
The OHAFC 3rd XI were highly unfortunate not to earn at least a point from an excellent performance at home to the Old Shirburnians in their Division Four opener on the Harrow School astroturf. A young side containing two debutants up front pushed their opponents all the way, succumbing only to a controversial penalty just before half-time. The Blues missed several excellent chances to earn a point, skipper Ed Nicholson twice just missing the target from set-pieces.
It was a frustrating way for the OHAFC 3s to begin their 2021/22 season, with a number of excellent individual performances providing some form of consolation. Shirburnians enjoyed an excellent early spell last season, winning their first five matches prior to the cancellation of the remaining games. Sure enough, they started quickly on the Harrow astroturf, putting the hosts under some early pressure. The Harrow back four coped well, although keeper Tom Mitchell was forced to make a couple of smart saves to keep the scores level.
But the home side gradually grew into the game, spurred on by the tireless Will Monroe and Olly Roberts in midfield. It was the skipper who twice came within inches of opening the side's account for the season, heading just over from a corner before firing just wide from a free-kick. Debutant Jake Speed then saw an effort saved.
With half-time approaching the critical moment of the match arrived, James Cullimore committing a foul inside the box and referee Rich Barnard pointed to the spot. Although the first effort scraped over the line via the inside of the post, the kick had to be retaken, several players encroaching inside the box. Second time around the effort was more confident and the Blues went in at the break 1-0 down.
The hosts continued to press in the second half, withstanding some early pressure before dominating the closing stages. Somehow the equaliser failed to materialise. Again set-pieces saw the Blues come close, whislt Charlie Dunn provided a constant threat with a series of lung-bursting runs forwards from left-back. Cameron Mahal missed the final chance of the game, the visitors holding on for a barely-deserved point.
Despite the defeat, the 3s can take plenty of heart from the display and look forwards with some confidence to the remainder of the season.