England U15 Schoolgirls bring home the John Read Trophy 2020 after a 2 -1 win in Dublin
The England U15 Schoolgirls returned home with one more piece of luggage than they left with on Friday as they edged a tough encounter with the Republic of Ireland to claim the John Read Trophy.
The impressive venue at Abbotstown welcomed both sides and although it was a bright afternoon England kicked off facing a strong wind which has been the theme for their recent warm up fixtures!
That, however, did not prevent them taking an early lead when Poppy Pritchard struck to put England ahead inside the opening 5 minutes.
The visitors were looking strong and determined but the Irish worked their way back on top and levelled when a long cross into the box found its way to Ellie Long and she converted to tie the scores at 1-1.
In what was a hard fought and entertaining encounter there were chances for both sides to re-take the lead before half time but neither keeper were seriously tested although Sophia Poor in the England goal did well to deal with a couple of wind affected crosses into the box.
The second half started in much the same vein and it was England who grabbed what proved to be the winning goal.
Rebecca Ferguson picked up the ball just outside the box and unleashed a tremendous shot into the top corner to give the home keeper no chance and give England a 2-1 lead.
Despite playing against a strong wind the Irish pressed forward in search of the equaliser and Aimee Flood had to dive to her left to keep out a goal bound shot shortly after.
England had penalty claims waved away midway through the second half but Ferguson’s strike proved to be decisive as the England defence held firm to deny their hosts a chance to equalise.
All that was left was for skipper Mikayla Wildgoose to lift the trophy and find a space for it on the plane ride home.
Next up for the girls is the six team Bob Docherty Cup which will kick-off in mid April and will be staged at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire.
Match report and photos courtesy of 353 Photography
The National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England.