It was a great privilege to referee the annual Alex Wilson Football match again this year, especially as a number of younger players had joined the teams. This not only improved the speed and standard of play, but also made life a bit easier for the referee! All four of the Alex Wilson scholars played in the game and they all played their part in a fantastic spectacle on Senior.
The Blue team started the game on top and only a series of impressive saves from 1st XI goalkeeper and new Alex Wilson scholar, Lewis Evans, kept the Red team on level terms. Ollie Brown and Ben Freeman stood out for the Blues and their physical strength was too much for the Reds in the opening phase of the game. Even Lewis could do nothing about a wonder goal from Campbell Naylor to open the scoring. Campbell managed to gain possession in his opponents’ half and with quick feet unleashed an unstoppable chip into the roof of the net. It was a finish even Dennis Bergkamp would have been proud of!
At this stage, I expected the floodgates to open, but the Red team rallied and started to get back in the match with neat passing football. An intricate move led to an opportunity for Upper Sixth Wilson Scholar, Xavie Clarke, and he finished with real composure to level the scores at half time.
In the second half, the Red team seemed to have found their feet and their passing game gradually overcame the valiant Blues. Youth and skill slowly but surely got the better of strength and experience. A pinpoint pass from Jamie Whelan picked out Rory Griffiths in the inside left position and Rory finished with great skill, showing that he has lost none of his skills from his 1st XI days.
The match continued to an even contest, but the Reds continued to look the more likely team to score and Jamie Whelan sealed the game with a clever finish with about five minutes to go. Special mention must also go to Max Maclure, the first Alex Wilson Scholar, who captained the red team and made sure they were tight at the back.
We then retired to the Top of the Shop where a delightful post-match buffet was provided by the Foundation.
Well done to all players.