Makeshift 1s destroyed by Foresters

Old Harrovians 1st XI
0 : 8
Old Foresters 1st XI
  • February 25th 2023, Philathletic Ground, 10:30am
  • Division 1
  • Referee: Stephen Bodell
  • Weather: Cloudy, breezy
  • Pitch: Fair
No. Starting XI Goals Yellow & Red Cards Subs On/Off
1 Tom Mitchell
2 Jamie Jordache
3 Ed Beecham (c)
4 Morgan Ward
5 Kyri Pittalis
6 David Lederman 65'
7 Murray Barr
8 Alexi Pittalis
9 Geoff Taunton-Collins
10 Fabian Dobree
11 Ciaran Jordan

A makeshift OHAFC 1st XI side suffered a humiliating 8-0 defeat at home to Division One leaders the Old Foresters on Saturday morning. Despite not having played since the end of January, availability from the 1s’ squad was awful, with only five regulars making the trip up to the Hill. The rest of the bare eleven was filled by 2s and 3s players, with the result that from the first whistle the home side were thoroughly outclassed. The defeat drops the Blues down to eighth in the table, but in a relatively secure spot, with Lancing already relegated and the Old Berkhamstedians trailing by five points with only three games remaining.

Despite the absence of any pressing need for points, the lack of availability from the 1st XI squad was particularly shocking, especially considering the side hadn’t played for four weeks. Vice-captain Ed Beecham, skipper for the day in the absence of Dan Firoozan, sorted his men as best he could, with a relatively solid back four of himself, Morgan Ward, Jamie Jordache and Kyri Pittalis – these days featuring out of goal as much as he is between the posts. Lederman, Barr and Alexi Pittalis provided plenty of experience in central midfield, with an attacking trio of 2s skipper Geoff Taunton-Collins, Fabian Dobree and Ciaran Jordan charged with hurting the Forest back four. The plan was to push high up the pitch and stay as compact as possible in an effort to force the visitors out wide.

But hopes of a competitive first half were blown apart from the first whistle. The ball was passed back to the Forest centre-back, he fired a perfect seventy yard ball over the top to the right winger, who collected the pass in stride, carried the ball into the box and calmly tucked his shot inside Tom Mitchell’s near post.

This set the pattern for the majority of the half, with the long balls from the back causing continuous problems for a Harrow back four pushed right up onto the halfway line. The concession of further goals was inevitable, with the visitors scoring three more from a variety of situations prior to half-time. The home side threatened on a couple of occasions, Ciaran Jordan twice firing wide from promising positions, but the superior pace and athleticism of the visitors proved too much and the scoreline was a fair reflection of the gap in class.

The second half, perhaps unsurprisingly, saw the home side compete slightly better with their opponents, with the visitors aware that the points were already safely in the bag. A fifth goal early in the half extended the lead, but it wasn’t until the final twenty minutes, with Lederman having left to go and provide support to the 3s down in Kingston, that the Foresters strode clear, scoring three more times to complete the rout.

This was an afternoon best quickly forgotten for the OHAFC, who must surely be aiming higher in the remaining four games of the season, beginning with the trip to bottom side Lancing this coming Saturday.