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  • ASHFIELD SCHOOL U14s WIN NATIONAL TITLE - see report in Main Menu & NOTTS U16 GIRLS WIN MIDLANDS TITLE

Individual School Reports

RUSHCLIFFE IN NATIONAL SEMI-FINALS BUT EXITS FOR GEORGE SPENCER, TOOT HILL AND BLUECOAT

Congratulations to Rushcliffe School who reached the semi-final of the English Schools’ F.A. Premier League Open Under 16 Cup with a 3-0 win over Oakwood Park Grammar School (Kent) last week. This is the competition in which schools can field as many players as they wish who attend the Academies of Football League and Premiership clubs. Since a number of Nottingham Forest Academy players have attended Rushcliffe during the past two seasons, they entered this competition rather than the 626 schools who entered the main national Under 16 event.

Rushcliffe made the long journey to Maidstone for their quarter final against a team that defeated Becket School (Wilford) in the semi-final of the ESFA Open Cup at Under 14 level in 2015 and won the national title in that season. Rushcliffe knew that they would face a tough time against a team that was also undefeated in a number of Cup competitions in the south of England this season.

After a long minibus journey, Rushcliife understandably made a slow start and Oakwood had a couple of early chances but could not take them. Rushcliffe gradually improved as they ‘took the journey out of their legs’ and also made chances but the game became a battle in midfield against a well organised Oakwood team. The first goal was always go to be important and near the end of the first half, Rushcliffe were awarded a free kick on the right. Lucas Sumner swung the ball in high and it eluded most of the players in the penalty box before heading straight toward Oakwood’s keeper. Under pressure from a number of players, he missed the ball and it dropped into goal giving the visitors a welcome lead.

At the beginning of the second half, Rushcliffe came into their own and started to dominate proceedings with some strong midfield play. Another set piece soon brought them a second goal as Sumner delivered from a corner and Riley Harbottle rose highest to head home at the far post. This was soon followed by a third as Arvin Appiah beat two defenders before cutting in from the right and hitting the ball into the top left hand corner.

Oakwood did not give up without a fight and pressed strongly as the game neared its end but Rushcliffe’s organisation was crucial and they well deserved their victory which set up a home semi-final against the winners of the quarter-final tie between Ravens Wood School (Bromley) and Churchdown School (Gloucester).

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With their Under 14 ‘B’ team having lost in their national competition the previous week, Toot Hill School from Bingham were hoping that their ‘A’ team would succeed when they travelled to Samuel Whitbread Academy in South Bedfordshire in the last 32 of the English Schools’ F.A.Play Station Under 14 Cup. The game started evenly on a 4G surface and it was the home side’s striker who attends the Luton Town Academy who made the early break through with a speculative shot from 20 yards which hit the crossbar before crossing the line. Another great finish from the same player made it 2-0 before some poor marking from a free kick saw Toot Hill concede again.

They continued to struggle against high pressing and another error in defence saw Samuel Whitbread go further ahead before captain Owen Sears 25 yard shot got a goal back for the Bingham school. Unfortunately, this was matched when the home side scored from a penalty on the strike of half time to give them a 5-1 lead.

Toot Hill began the second half more confidently and deserved their good fortune when an over-hit back pass from Samuel Whitbread evaded their keeper. Toot Hill were on top for the next ten minutes before a questionable penalty decision totally deflated the boys. Whitbread’s striker completed a classy hat-trick to make the final score 7-2.

Toot Hill admitted that the better team won comfortably but it was another good National Cup run from the group of players who reached the last 16 in Year 7 (Under 12) and Year 8 (Under 13) as well as the last 32 this time. Congratulations to all the players and staff involved.

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George Spencer Academy (Stapleford) reached the last 16 of the ESFA PlayStation Under 14 National Cup last season at which stage they lost 4-0 to Westfield School from Sheffield who went on to be losing finalists at that age group. This year they were again drawn away to Westfield and travelled to Yorkshire last week and once again lost 4-0. Westfield thus completed a hat-trick of victories over Nottinghamshire sides in the last three rounds; in Round 4, they defeated Carlton-l-Willows 4-3 and then in Round 5, Ellis Guilford (Basford) 1-0 before beating the weakened George Spencer squad. The Stapleford team played well, indeed the Team Manager felt they played better than last season. After a tight opening during which they had strong claims for a penalty, the first goal for Westfield came against the run of play, Westfield then took control and led 3-0 at half-time. George Spencer fought hard to the end against a very good side and their defeat was mainly due to individual mistakes as they faced only a handful of direct shots.

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The progress of all Nottinghamshire teams in national competitions can be followed on the Nottinghmshiare Schools’ F.A. website under NATIONAL COMPETITIONS. Below this heading is a sub menu with the heading ‘Find a School’. Follow the link and then go to the list of competitions.

ASHFIELD JOIN RUSHCLIFFE IN A NATIONAL SEMI-FINAL

Ashfield School’s Yyear 9 boys’ squad joined Rushcliffe School’s Under 16s in a national semi-final of an English Schools’ National Cup by defeating Huntingtion School from York 2-1 on Wednesday. In their case, it was in the ESFA Play Station Open Under 14 Cup in which schools are allowed to field as many players from professional club Academies as they wish.

Ashfield made a positive start and created some good early chances but the Huntington keeper showed why he has been picked up by Leeds United with several good saves. Huntington took the lead after 30 minutes when a good run down the right and cross by one striker was converted by his partner.

The visitors kept their lead until the interval but Ashfield soon equalised when captain Sam Geeves delivered a fantastic cross that was followed by an equally fine header from Tyreace Palmer who met the ball just ahead of the keeper. Ashfield were now on the front foot and went ahead when Brandon Keeling picked up the ball and fired a left foot shot just over the head of the keeper into the net.

Ashfield had a few chances to settle the game but their 2-1 win was enough to go into the semi-finals

BLUECOAT UNDER 13 GIRLS

The Bluecoat Girls went into their game in the last 32 of English Schools’ F.A. PlayStation 9-a-side Cup on the back of an 8 match unbeaten run in both League and other Cup competitions when they met Brockington College from South Leicestershire. They started the game slowly and a rare lapse in concentration in defence saw them concede an early goal but they gradually got into their stride, drawing level through an Eniola Folorunso goal. Three minutes later a great run from inside her own half from Summer Reece ended in a second goal to put Bluecoat into a 2-1 lead. However, Brockington equalised just before the break with a brilliantly worked set piece.

Early in the second period, Bluecoat again went ahead again thanks to a rocket shot from Annelise Daniel but the ‘see-saw’ pattern of the game continued with a well worked goal by Brockington in the 40th minute which made the score 3-3. Both sides continued to look better in attack than defence and it was Bluecoat who went ahead again through Asante Khamula, Bluecoat’s player of the match.

This encouraged Brockington to change formation into an even more attacking mode and despite some good defending by the home side, they could not stop the visitors’ equaliser scored by their captain by a great strike into the top corner. This took the game into extra time.

The same player scored a similar goal to put her side into a 5-4 lead from a free kick awarded on the edge of the penalty area which was the signal for Bluecoat in turn to change their formation to press for a leveller but in the last minute, Brockington broke away to settle a very exciting game 6-4 and progress to the last 16 of the competition.

The Bluecoat girls represented the school and the county very strongly and on another day could have won the tie which was a fine advert for girls’ football.

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