National ESFA Competitions
Becket School U16 Girls 10 v 3 Ormskirk School U16 Girls
Sophie Newlove who netted twice for the County U16 side the night before at Collingham made it four goals in less than 24 hours when she helped Becket School (Wilford) reach the last four of the English Schools’ F.A. Under 16 Girls Cup as they trounced Ormskirk School (Lancashire) 10-3 in Thursday’s quarter-final. In a near gale force wind blowing at an angle across the pitch, Newlove started by laying on the first goal for Annie Lyons
Becket with the wind giving them some advantage in the first half completely dominated, adding another six goals before the break as they pressurised a defence that lacked a strong central defensive pairing, leaving their keeper frequently exposed. Becket’s central striker, Shermara McCoy-Virgo took full advantage to complete a hat-trick although two of her efforts simply required her to roll the ball into an empty net with the goalkeeper beaten.
Becket’s other first, half goals came from Alina Tebbutt and two from the outstanding Ashleigh Plumtre, including one from near half way which was fine strike even though wind assisted. Ormskirk scored a consolation effort with the last kick of the half. Plumtre made it 8-1 after Ormskirk had twice come close before two late efforts from Newlove sandwiched between two breakaway goals from the visitors which epitomised their gallant efforts made the final score 10-3.
Becket are a generally well balanced side with good support for the outstanding Ashleigh Plumtre whose skill, vision, passing ability and shooting power were evident from first to last. In the semi-final, they will be away to either Laurence Jackson School (Redcar and Cleveland) or King James’ School (Harrogate and Craven) where they will hope to become the first girls’ side to reach a national final since Trinity School's U13 Boys won the E.S.F.A. Minute Maid Cup in 2008-2009 season.
Arnold Hill Academy U15 Girls 5 v 2 Gedling E-Act Academy U15 Girls
Unfortunately two Nottinghamshire teams met in the last 16 of the E.S.F.A.Under 15 National Cup and one, inevitably, had to be knocked out. The unlucky side was Sherwood e-Act Academy who lost 5-2 to Arnold Hill who thus progressed to Round 7. Laura Meyrick almost gave Arnold the lead in the first minute but the same player soon put them ahead, weaving her way past three defenders and rolling the ball past the keeper with outside of her foot.
Arnold Hill increased their lead when Bethan Bough met a chip from Molly Clifford after the latter’s fine run almost half the length of the field. Sherwood, led by Charlotte Steggles and Tiffany Elliott fought back well but Natalie Archer made some superb saves and on the stroke of half-time, Emma Crosby chipped the Sherwood keeper from the right to put Arnold 3-0 ahead at half time.
Sherwood soon got on top in the second half and deservedly reduced the deficit through Elliott who outpaced the Arnold defence. The next goal looked like being crucial and it was Meyrick who scored it with a shot from outside the box which the goalkeeper reached but could not stop.
Although Sherwood netted again to make the score 4-2, it was Arnold who had the last word when Molly Clifford tapped in a fifth after a good cross and thus reached the quarter-finals of the competition which had an original entry of 379 teams nationwide. It was significant, however, that the Arnold team voted their goalkeeper, Natlie Archer as ‘Girl of the Game’ They will now be at home to Madeley Academy (Shropshire).
The Arnold Hill Academy Under 15 Girls Squad