NOTTINGHAM SFA NEWS
Nottingham Schools’ two senior sides met Leeds in two friendly matches at Highfields on Saturday in almost perfect playing conditions despite an early morning frost. In the Under 15 match, Nottingham defended very well throughout the match, especially as Leeds created the early pressure with sustained attacks. After ten minutes, Nottingham were able to threaten Leeds with their speed and wing play while the midfield and defence remained solid to keep the half-time score at 0-0. Few clear chances were created by either side.
The same pattern continued after the break with attacks at each end. Nottingham’s keeper, Ashlee Salt (Fernwood School) had to be alert but dealt confidently with whatever came his way although he did need help on one occasion when midfield player Will Hart (Nottingham High) headed off the line.
As the game became ‘stretched’, Nottingham created several chances and it was Leeds’ turn to clear off the line following a Tyrique Richards (Bluecoat Academy) shot which had the visiting keeper stranded. Despite some near misses, the game finished 0-0 which reflected two well matched teams who attacked repeatedly but lacked a cutting edge.
The City Under 14 side had a more sobering experience losing 5-0 to a slick Leeds side. This result does not tell the whole story as the Nottingham side were well in control for the first 20 minutes and could well have gone ahead.
Gradually, the Leeds side took over and began to dominate, taking a 2-0 half time lead. After the break, Leeds side took full control as the City side began to fade and were not helped when their central midfield player and captain, Riley Parton suffered a badly cut leg which required hospital treatment. Leeds scored three more goals in the second half to win comfortably 5-0.
The final qualifying round of the Under 11 5-a-side competition organised by the City Schools’ Association in collaboration with Notts County’s Football in the Community Department took place at Ellis Guilford School on Tuesday. The teams played each other on a league basis with Milford (Clifton) winning with 11 points from their matches and Robert Shaw finishing second with nine.
Unlike the two previous preliminary rounds, relatively few goals were scored either because of the cold conditions or because of resolute defending. The highest score of the evening came from Middleton School who defeated Robert Shaw 3-0 which did not stop the latter qualifying with Milford for the finals which will take place at the same venue.
The other qualifiers from the previous weeks were Fernwood, Old Basford, Seagrave and Nottingham High School’s Junior section, all with hopes of progress to one of the Football Leagues’ Community competitions as winners of the overall tournament.