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  • Notts U16 Boys suffer narrow defeat in National ESFA Inter County Final against Hampshire at Stoke City's ground - see Main Menu

Individual School Reports

The National Academy U13G 3 v 2 Newminster Middle School U13G

The Year 8 Girls football team from The National Academy (Hucknall) continued their challenge in the English Schools FA U13 PlayStation 9-a-side Schools Cup as they took on Newminster Middle School from Newcastle in the quarter-finals of the competition.

The match proved to be a fantastic and exciting watch, befitting of two teams in the last eight in the country. Straight from the kick-off there was a flurry of goalmouth activity with both teams having attempts on goals and some near misses. Newminster broke the deadlock within the first five minutes of the half and held this lead going into half time.

National regrouped in the second half and deservedly equalised as Charlotte Lee broke through the Newminster defence to score. However, immediately from the kick off, a fantastic solo effort from one of the Newminster girls out them back in front as they retook the lead. Digging deep and working as a solid team unit, the home side pushed for an equaliser which arrived courtesy of a stunning free kick into the top corner from Millie Thorley. The visiting keeper had no chance and the game was finely poised at 2-2 as the lottery of penalties loomed on the horizon….

However, with just five minutes to go, the two National goal scorers combined, with Thorley turning provider as her inviting cross was placed neatly home by Lee for her second of the afternoon, putting the home side 3-2 in front. Newminster battled bravely to get back into the game but some resolute defending in a tense finale saw National through at the final whistle, with the realisation that the team have reached the last four in the entire country!

The team’s coach, Maranda Hall, said, “It is a huge achievement and all of the staff involved with this group of players are so, so proud. Both teams were a real credit to their academy and school, showing determination, commitment and real passion. We want to thank the girls from Newminster for a superb game and we wish them all the very best for the rest of their season, together with thanking all of the staff and parents from both sides who came to support the teams.”

The draw for the semi-finals takes place on 26th February - all at the academy are rooting for the girls as they continue on this incredible run !

Nottinghamshire U16 Boys 2 v 1 South Yorkshire U16 Boys

Nottinghamshire Under 16 Boys representative squad extended their excellent run in the ESFA Inter County national knock out competition by beating South Yorkshire at Rainworth MW FC to reach the semi-finals with a typically committed and determined display.

On an excellent pitch, considering how the snow had arrived the previous night, a very cold but still evening provided ideal conditions for the tie. South Yorkshire began the game in the same way that we have become accustomed to seeing Nottinghamshire adopt – a very high tempo and tight pressing of the opposition. This probably unsettled the home side in the early stages and it was no real surprise when the visitors took the lead on twenty one minutes with a powerful header from a corner with the Notts defence failing to pick up and mark the scorer.

Nottinghamshire forced their way back into the game and had the better of the exchanges in the last fifteen minutes of the half but still went in at the interval 1-0 down.

The second half, however, was a completely different picture with Notts back to their usual selves taking control of the game and their confidence was further boosted by the award of a penalty soon after the break. Ben Rafferty’s powerful run down the left hand touchline before cutting in to round the fullback on the byline brought a clear foul from the South Yorkshire defender and Ross McParland stepped up to lash the ball home. A second Nottinghamshire goal always looked likely and it was McParland again who forced his way into the penalty area, this time from the right and past the defender, to rifle in a fierce shot from a fairly acute angle.

South Yorkshire did not provide the same threat as they had done in the opening period and although Notts keeper Broadley did well to push a shot onto his left hand post mid way through the half and the visitors did hit the outside of the post late on, Notts held on for a deserved 2-1 victory.

They must now wait to learn their opponents in the semi-finals.

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