Latest News - 2 April 2014
There was no ‘hangover’ from Nottinghamshire Schools’ Under 16 Girls’ squad after they had become National Champions following their 1-0 win over Essex in the final. In their next match, in the Midland Counties Federation eastern group, they beat Lincolnshire 3-1 at Collingham on Wednesday. Nottinghamshire were generally on top in the early stages but did not create many clear openings although Alina Tebbutt and Kelsie James went close. After 34 minutes, however, a fine through pass put Ellie Brazil free and although she had a lot to do, she cleverly beat a defender and the keeper to give Notts the lead.
Another fine run from Brazil down the left saw her clear of the Lincolnshire defence and with some more clever footwork, she laid on a simple chance from which Kelsie James made no mistake to give the Nottinghamshire side a 2-0 lead.
After the break, Zoe Gretton shot just wide and substitute Alana Crawford forced a good save from the competent Emily Batty in the Lincolnshire goal. Notts continued to control the game with Molly Higgins and Esme Crosby outstanding in midfield and Crawford had a couple more chances where the ball did not quite run in her favour. Notts made it 3-0 when Brazil netted her second goal of the evening but substitutions made the game less fluent as it drifted towards the end. Nottinghamshire’s defence was caught sleeping and open when Lincolnshire’s Kate Williams was left clear through the middle and rolled the ball past Olivia Walker.
This raised Lincolnshire’s hopes of a late comeback as they had managed in November in the first match between the sides but Notts held firm with Cala Thornton outstanding in a characteristic determined display at left back.
This victory gave Nottinghamshire 7 points in the mini-league and they have qualified for Midlands semi-final but whether they are home or away will depend on the result of Wednesday’s game against Derbyshire at Collingham (kick-off 7.15 p.m.)
Two Nottinghamshire Cup Finals will be played at the Poplars Sports Ground in Burton Joyce. These are the Under 14 Active Sports Shield for Girls which sees West Bridgford taking on Fernwood School. This game will follow the West Bridgford Colts Under 12 Cup in which West Bridgford are also involved and in which they will meet East Leake Academy with a 4.30 p.m. kick-off. The Under 14 game will follow the conclusion of the first match.
In the Nottinghamshire Schools’ boys’ competitions, the two semi-finals in the Under 19 John Fox Cup were completed last week . Arnold Hill Academy, losing finalists last season, have again reached the final with a 2-0 victory at Ashfield School and in the other game Toot Hill Academy (Bingham) were also 2-0 winners against George Spencer Academy (Stapleford). This final will be played after Easter.
Toot Hill Academy have also reached the final of the Under 12 (Year 7) Reprotec Cup thanks to a 2-0 win over Rushcliffe Academy and now await the winners of the game between West Bridgford and Quarrydale (Sutton). In the George Abbott Shield for Small Primary Schools, former winners Trowell lost 3-0 to Leverton Academy (Bassetlaw) who thus take their place in the final. Their opponents will be the winners of the other semi-final between Haggonfields (Bassetlaw) and the holders Lambley. This game is fixed for 30th April so the final will be played in early May.
Three City sides were in action at the weekend. The U15s played Doncaster at home and the match proved to be a good deal closer than the fixture at Doncaster in November. On that occasion Doncaster went ahead early but Nottingham won 4-1 with a Jassi Singh hat trick. This time Nottingham went behind late in the first half when a stiff breeze proved difficult to battle against and a drying pitch made playing conditions quite difficult for both sides but the City outfit must consider themselves lucky as Doncaster hit the frame of the goal three times in the half. After the interval the dangerous Doncaster forwards hit the bar once again but Nottingham equalized ten minutes into the half when Pierce Bird (Nottingham Academy) got his head to a Ryan Korol (Big Wood) free kick. With the breeze Nottingham were doing most of the attacking but Doncaster always looked dangerous and went ahead again with ten minutes to go. Fortunately for Nottingham Zac Newbury (Ellis Guilford) was on form and burst through the middle five minutes from time to beat the keeper to the ball and roll it in for a 2-2 draw.
Also playing at home were Nottingham U11s who are going well this season. They played Sheffield in the latest of their West Yorkshire League games. The format played in this league is usually three twenty minute periods. The first twenty was very close between two equally competent sides with defenders on both teams playing particularly well. The second twenty was very similar with both teams attacking well but unable to make the break- through. In the final third of the match the pattern continued but five minutes from the end a through ball was played to Jack Sherlock (Fernwood School) who picked his spot and placed the ball past the Sheffield Keeper into the bottom right hand corner for a hard fought 1-0 victory for Nottingham.
The U13s meanwhile were playing away at Wakefield also in the West Yorkshire League. The game was even for about twenty minutes with both teams creating chances and Wakefield went ahead after twenty minutes. Nottingham equalized shortly afterwards through Tighe Duffy (Trinity School) to make it 1-1 at half time. In the second half Nottingham soon went ahead through John Woods (Trinity) and were reasonably comfortable but conceded two late goals in the last six minutes to lose 3-2 in an evenly contested match.
During last week the City secondary schools played their knock out cup finals at the University’s Highfields Sports Ground. On Tuesday the U16 contest was between Farnborough and Bluecoat schools. This resulted in a convincing 5-0 win for Bluecoat to take the cup deservedly. At the same time the U15 final was between Trinity and Nottingham Academy. Trinity went ahead after twelve minutes but the Academy equalized through a headed goal from a corner to give a 1-1 half time scoreline. However an injury to a Trinity centre back in the first half meant the team had to reorganize and this may have had a bearing on the outcome as Nottingham Academy scored two second half goals to win comfortably 3-1.
On Thursday three more knock out finals were played. At U14 level Nottingham Academy took on Nottingham Emmanuel and in a thriller of a match the sides finished 4-4 at full time. Extra time brought two further goals for the Academy to bring them victory in a hard fought game. Ellis Guilford School won the U13 final 3-1 against Bluecoat. Another very even game was played at U12 level between Bluecoat and Nottingham Academy, which ended all square at 2-2. Extra time could not separate the two sides who shared the cup.