Burnley’s Johann Berg Gudmundsson meets Blessed Trinity pupils and players ahead of ESFA Boys Under 15 PlayStation Schools’ Cup match
The opening Tie of Round (TOTR) roadshow of the 2018/19 season takes us to Lancashire for a ESFA Boys Under 15 PlayStation Schools’ Cup match-up between Blessed Trinity RCC (Burnley) and St Bede’s RC High School (Blackburn & Darwen). Before the match kicked off, the the pupils at Blessed Trinity were treated to a special guest appearance from current Icelandic International, Premier League and Burnley FC professional footballer Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
A the start of the day Gudmundsson hosted a Q&A session with students where he explained the importance of a good work ethic when pursuing a successful career in football and sports:
“My best advice is to train extra hard, train more than any of the others, play a lot of football, or whichever sport, and just work harder than anyone else”
— Blessed Trinity RCC (@BTRCCinfo) November 1, 2018
Blessed Trinity RCC vs St Bede’s RCSH
After all the Q&A and FIFA 19 activities we headed to match where Gudmundsson met up and greeted both teams before the kick-off. Once the game had started it was obvious to see we were in for a highly competitive affair, with most of the early exchanges being a battle for possession in the midfield.
When the opening 10 minutes had settled, Blessed Trinity were managing to press St Bede’s back into their defensive third, probing patiently for an opening to exploit. However, this pattern of play seemed to suit St Bede’s because after winning possession back they were finding some joy countering down the left. It was these counter plays that opened up the scoring with Kian Whalley cutting in from the left on to his right foot and curling one into top right corner to give St Bede’s a 0-1 lead at half-time.
The Blessed Trinity lads gathered themselves and came out for the second half with a point to prove, again pressing St Bede’s back and after being brought down from a terrific burst into the penalty box Blessed Trinity had the chance to equalise –
But the St Bede’s captain Ellis Litherland had other ideas getting down and across quickly to make an excellent save from an accurately placed shot!
Despite the penalty save, Blessed Trinity kept on battling and when a swinging corner wasn’t dealt with, the Blessed Trinity boys scrambled the ball in to level the game at 1-1.
The equaliser looked to be just the wake-up call St Bede’s needed as a they quickly won a free kick that was initially saved but, with an alert play from Kian Whalley, restored St Bede’s lead, also getting Kian his second of the day as he pounced on the loose ball.
Being late in the game with the score still 1-2, Blessed Trinity pushed everyone forward in pursuit of the equaliser but St Bede’s broke away well and won a corner, which resulted in a thunderous Harry Turnbull header to make it 1-3 to St Bede’s, sealing a fantastic win.
All credit must go to both teams for making it a fantastically competitive match! St Bede’s progress into round 3 of the competition and will face the winner of either Our Lady’s RC High School (Manchester) or Canon Slade CoFE School (Bolton).
A huge thanks to Blessed Trinity RCC for being brilliant competitors and hosts of this seasons first Tie of the Round event!
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By ESFA Rob