Four-goal Everett sinks Wellingtonians

Old Harrovians 3rd XI
6 : 3
Old Wellingtonians 1st XI
  • September 23rd 2023, Philathletic Ground, 10:30am
  • Division 4
  • Referee: Kacper Ignatiuk
  • Weather: Sunny, calm
  • Pitch: Good
No. Starting XI Goals Yellow & Red Cards Subs On/Off
1 Jake Speed
2 Michael Brooks 75'
3 Joss Awdry (c)
4 Simon Nicholson
5 Alex Kenderdine-Davies 70'
6 Tobi Adebayo 75'
7 Charlie Lupton
8 Luke Berry 70'
9 Alvin Adefarasin 65'
10 Alfie Hayes 39', 88' 70'
11 Freddie Everett 4', 10', 66', 85' 75'
12 Jordan Holmes 30'
13 Hugo Morrell-Roberts 55'
14 Khalil Baoku 55'

The OHAFC 3rd Xi belatedly opened their 2023/24 Division Four campaign with an encouraging 6-3 win over the Old Wellingtonians on the Hill. Star of the show was striker Freddie Everett who bagged himself four goals and immediately shot to the top of the fledgling OHAFC scoring charts. Everett was ably assisted by wide man Alfie Hayes, who scored the Blues’ other two goals and made two for his teammate. The win extends the 3s’ unbeaten run over their opponents to six matches, following the first ever meeting between the sides in October 2020.

New skipper Joss Awdry, fresh from sweeping the board at the 3s’ award ceremony at the end of last season, was able to name a strong squad of fourteen for the first fixture of the season, even given the absence of the other two members of the captaincy triumvirate Tom Mitchell and Olly Roberts. Luke Berry returned to his habitual spot following an excellent performance on loan to the 1s last weekend, Charlie Lupton was making his first 3s League appearance since January and there was a debut for Jordan Holmes, one of three subs alongside Hugo Morell-Roberts and Khalil Baoku – whose superb form last season was cruelly cut short by injury.

In pristine conditions on the lower Phil pitch, and under warm autumnal skies, the 3s began brightly, spraying the ball around with confidence and imposing themselves early on the Wellingtonians. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Luke Berry was at the heart of much that was good about the home side in the opening quarter of the match and he provided the impetus for the first goal inside five minutes, freeing Alvin Adefarasin to the goal line to square for Everett to open his account for the day. Five minutes later Everett grabbed his, and Harrow’s, second, this time converting a low cross from Alfie Hayes.

But the Wellingtonians failed to read the script and, somewhat remarkably, found themselves level with two goals in quick succession. With no first-choice goalkeeper available, Jake Speed had generously volunteered to don the gloves. But his inexperience in the position showed as hesitancy in claiming a loose ball allowed the visitors’ striker to pounce before a long free-kick into the box was powerfully headed home by the leaping centre-back.

The Blues needed to reset and skipper Awdry rang the changes on the half-hour mark, bringing on all three substitutes. The switch appeared to galvanise the hosts and they regained the lead shortly before the break when Michael Brooks advanced down the left, leaving the Wellington right-back grasping at his coat tails. The resulting cross into the box was expertly finished by Hayes, the OHAFC back in front at 3-2.

Further changes followed at half-time, with Jordan Holmes coming on for his first appearance in an OHAFC shirt. The two sides traded goals after the break, the Wellingtonians taking advantage of Speed’s uncertainty at another free-kick to bundle the ball in from close range, but the Blues regained the advantage with twenty-five minutes remaining, Everett completing his hat-trick with a clinical finish following good work down the left from the debutant.

There was still all to play for in this entertaining game, with the Wellingtonians giving as good as they got in a desperate bid to claim a first ever victory over the OHAFC. Speed was forced into an excellent save, tipping a fierce shot over the bar and immediately earning a shower of praise from his teammates. Further pressure ensued but the men in blue held firm.

Speed’s intervention proved critical to the outcome of the game as the Blues then snatched two goals inside the final five minutes to finally confirm the destination of the points. With the substitutes once more being rotated, fresher legs proved critical in the closing stages, Hayes providing another low cross for Everett to score from, before Hayes completed an excellent afternoon’s work when he headed in Berry’s driven cross with a stooping header.

This was an excellent, hard-fought victory for the Blues, who now travel to a new venue – the City of London Academy in Bermondsey - for match number two against the Old King’s Scholars.