Whatever Mr Cumberland and Mr Cain say in the half time talks, it should be recorded and sold as ‘Motivational Speeches to Inspire!’ as our
magnificent Year 10 Football Team reach the last eight teams, out of 664 starting teams, in the national English Schools Football Association Cup!
With crucial goals coming in the final minutes of the second half of normal time and extra-time, we should praise the ‘never say die’ attitude and team spirit of the Year 10 team, along with the support of two teachers who are walking on clouds right now!
The Year 10 team played their ‘last 16’ match against Beauchamp College in Leicester. The game was extremely tight at the start, with the Beauchamp team starting much stronger than the Felixstowe sideBeauchamp are a very good team with some outstanding individuals which include professional football team Academy players. They put us under a lot of pressure and we struggled to play our normal football.
The Felixstowe team were grateful to goalkeeper Adam Hart for making some phenomenal saves to keep us in the game, including three ‘one on ones’. The Beauchamp pressure paid off for as they finally took the lead in the first half. Although we started to come back into the game at the end of the half, the score line remained 1-0 until half time.
After a good team talk which focussed on all the positives from the first half, the Academy side started the second half much brighter and created a lot of chances. Daniel Horton and Matthew Hazell asserted themselves in the middle and started to dictate play. Callum Fratel came on at half time and made an instant impact setting up Farron Leggett-Gage who only narrowly missed scoring. Luke Barnes, back in midfield after playing in goal for the last round, worked tirelessly on the other wing and created many opportunities for us. Vincent Ramilloza, on as a sub for Luke during the second half, worked very hard to try and bring us back into the game.
Beauchamp College continued to attack us and put us under pressure with their two very good strikers, but Lewis Hutchings, Luke Slater, Ieuan Turner and Kieran Dolan played extremely well making some fantastic tackles to keep the score 1-0. The Academy side did secure a penalty during the second half after Charlie Brown was taken out in the box, but unfortunately the keeper chose the correct direction of the ball and jumped to his left to save the shot. This is how it stayed for the rest of the second half, with both teams playing flowing, attacking football.
Then, with three minutes left to play, we were awarded a free kick. Daniel Horton took the free kick and fired in a brilliant shot which the keeper just got his hands to, but he didn’t secure the ball. With a goal mouth scramble the ball eventually flicked up and Callum Fratel was at the back post to header in to make the scoreline 1-1!
The team, Academy staff, Student Media Team photographers and subs all went crazy as the constant pressure on the Beauchamp goal finally paid off!
The drama continued into Extra Time and provided spectators with an eventful 30 minutes! Hearts were in throats when in the first half of Extra Time Beauchamp College gained a penalty! However, Adam Hart made an amazing save, diving to his right and tipped the ball onto the post which was followed up by our alert defence to clear the danger! This was a game changing moment for the Academy side as it kept us in the game and gave the team a motivational lift.
The score line remainder 1-1 at half time of Extra Time…
Andy Warhol is quoted as saying that ‘everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes’. Well, for the Academy side this was their 15 minutes! We started the second half very strongly and with only a minute on the clock Charlie Brown made a fantastic run into the box to get himself into a great position - but was fouled.
The Referee immediately pointed to the spot to award us our second penalty of the game. Team Captain Daniel Horton stepped up to take the penalty this time and confidently slotted home to make the score line 2-1 with only eight minutes remaining.
As you might expect from a quality side, Beauchamp College were immediately pressing the Academy defence very hard in search of their equaliser, and we relied on everybody to work as hard as they could to block any shot. With under four minutes left on the clock, the Academy side played a ball over the top for Charlie Brown to chase. Charlie shot at goal, but the Beauchamp goalie just beat him to punch the ball clear – but it fell beautifully for Farron Leggett-Gage, who was around 25 yards out, to confidently chip the ‘keeper to secure the Academy’s third and final goal!
Final score 3-1!
The Year 10 side have done fantastic to reach the QUARTER FINALs of the National Cup, making them last 8 out of 664 schools to enter this competition. What makes this progress so much greater is that we are coming up against schools much bigger than ourselves, with extremely talented players - and we are matching them, and beating them every time.
Mr Cain and Mr Cumberland are ‘so happy, proud and honoured to be with this team’. Both of them praise repeatedly ‘the whole squad’s positive attitude stands out to us. They never give up, they encourage each other and when we win could not be any more respectful to officials and the other team.’ The whole Academy community is proud of their achievement.
The Quarter Final is to be played in Felixstowe against a team from Canterbury on Monday 9 March!