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Last week the Eton First XI played Queen’s Park Rangers under-18 team. This promised to be an enticing encounter for the Eton First XI, who were pitted against the full strength QPR U18s – and although the match finished with Eton defeated by a single goal, it was a resolute display from the boys and an indicator of the potential success that could be in the offing for the squad this season.

The QPR boys enjoyed large spells of possession, with the First XI working to hold their defensive shape and break at speed once possession was regained. Eton remained composed at the back and pressed tirelessly throughout, and their commitment to their defensive structure was vindicated when a QPR goal was ruled out for a tight offside call, after a scramble in the box from a corner. However, the persistence of the QPR players finally payed off when the deadlock was broken on the hour mark, with the QPR winger producing a moment of individual excellence to skip past Eton challenges and stroke a shot into the far corner. Eton stayed resilient in search of the equaliser, with some more heroic defending preventing the QPR boys from sealing the win.

It was a seemingly insurmountable task for the Eton boys, with a string of talent among the QPR boys on display throughout the match. However, it was a brilliant event to participate in for those involved, and a testing game of football for both sides. The First XI can walk away from the game with many positives – they executed their game plan to frustrate the QPR boys throughout the match due to their brilliant defensive display, and were almost able to sneak a draw, with the Eton boys unfortunately unable to convert their chances. This was a promising start to the season, and it is imperative that the boys must build on this if they are to achieve great things during the term.

GJP and Shaun Johnson JDM