The Schools’ Football Season got off to a frantic start in the month of September with over 1700 ESFA National Schools’ Cup fixtures being played.
The ESFA’s official photographer Garry Griffiths (353 Photography) has been attending as many of these fixtures as possible, capturing some special schools’ football moments, from last minute winners to penalty shootout heartbreak.
The report below provides a short report of each ESFA Schools’ Cup fixture from the ESFA’s official photographer 353 Photography.
JCB Academy 0-2 The de Ferrers Academy
ESFA U15 PlayStation Schools’ Cup for Boys
Our first game of the season saw us make the trip to Staffordshire to the JCB Academy as they took on the The de Ferrers Academy in opening round of the U15 PlayStation Schools’ Cup competition. The game was played at Hillfields, the home of Rochester FC, which is situated right next door to the academy and on a lovely afternoon it was the visitors who bagged a goal in each half, to claim a second round berth at the hands of their Staffordshire rivals.
Repton School 5-0 Brooke House College 2
ESFA U18 Super League
The following day, we covered our opening game of the ESFA U18 Super League season with Repton hosting Brooke House College 2 – a team with a number of players from their U16 side who won the ESFA U16 Schools’ Cup last season. They were however, no match for a strong Repton side, who took control of the game with two early goals before adding a third shortly after the break, to effectively put this opening group stage tie to bed.
Brook House College 2 improved as the game wore on, although clear chances to get back into the game were limited. It was Repton who added two further goals in the closing third of the game, the fifth an absolute screamer from the full-back, to win the game 5-0 and send a strong message to the rest of the group.
Bishop Ullathorne Catholic School 5-0 King’s High School
ESFA U15 PlayStation Schools’ Cup for Girls
The final game of the first week of action saw a trip over to Coventry on a bright Friday afternoon, for our first girls’ cup tie of the season. It was King’s High School who made the trip across Warwickshire to face Bishop Ullathorne in the first round. Despite a close first half with both teams looking dangerous and having chance to break the deadlock, it was the the home side who took control with two goals shortly before the break.
They added a third early in the second half with the final goal coming from the penalty spot, following a hand-ball and that sealed their spot in the second round.
Campion School 2-4 Stratford-Upon-Avon School
ESFA U14 PlayStation Schools’ Cup
The final week of September began with a trip back to Warwickshire as Campion School faced Stratford-upon-Avon School in the U14 PlayStation Schools’ Cup.
An excellent and competitive game of football swung towards the visitors, with two goals either side of the break giving them a seemingly comfortable passage into the next round. However, the hosts kept fighting and scored two late goals to make the ending a more tense affair than had appeared earlier in the half.
St Aloysius RC College 2-3 Fulham Boys’ School
ESFA U18 Schools’ Cup
We then took the train down to the Capital for our first London-based games of the season, with an excellent tie at St Aloysius with Fulham Boys School making the journey across London for an ESFA U18 Schools’ Cup round 1 fixture. The hosts took the lead early with a header from a corner, before the visitors pulled level with a penalty kick. A penalty for the hosts on the stroke of half-time had them back in the lead at 2-1 and they held that lead until very late in the game, albeit with Fulham missing a catalogue of chances to draw the tie level. Just when it seemed like the visitors might regret their missed opportunities, two late goals saw then turn an excellent cup tie on its head and move into round two.
Windsor Boys’ School 1-3 Weydon School
ESFA U14 PlayStation Schools’ Cup for B Teams
Next up we saw the Windsor Boys School host Weydon School in the ESFA U14 PlayStation Schools’ Cup for B Teams. The hosts conceded 3 goals in a 10 minute first half spell in what was otherwise a fairly even cup match.
However, the three goal spell midway through the opening half rocked the home side. They did manage to pull one back early in the second half from a corner but, try as they might, they couldn’t find that second goal to put pressure on the visitors.
Kirk Balk Academy 4-0 Serlby Park School
ESFA U15 PlayStation Schools’ Cup for Girls
We closed out the month with a two-game trip to the North, beginning in Yorkshire as Kirk Balk Academy hosted Serlby Park School in the ESFA U15 PlayStation Schools’ Cup for Girls. This was a close game, certainly in the opening half, as the teams went in level at 0-0 although clear-cut opportunities for either side to take the lead were limited.
However, a long-range free kick with almost the first action of the second half, put the hosts ahead and an almost identical effort doubled the lead shortly after with both goals giving the keeper no chance. As the visitors battled to find a route back into the game, they were hit with two late goals to put a harsh slant on the final result, albeit probably a deserved one for the hosts on the balance of play.
Loreto Grammar School 11-0 Whitworth Community High School
ESFA U14 PlayStation Schools’ Cup for Girls
Our final game of September saw us in the Manchester suburbs, as Loreto Grammar School hosted Whitworth Community High School in the ESFA U14 PlayStation Schools’ Cup for Girls with a comprehensive win for Loreto in truly awful weather.
With the rain sheeting down, the hosts took command of the game with an early flurry of goals and that continued in the second half. With the firepower in their side, they could be a side to watch going forward this season. A special mention to the Whitworth keeper who performed excellently throughout the opening half and made a number of excellent saves with their defence under pressure for most of the half.
A big thank you to 353 Photography for writing these reports and capturing so much ESFA Schools’ Cup action this month. If you would like 353 Photography to attend your ESFA Schools’ Cup fixture, please contact Jacob.Blades@schoolsfa.com.
The National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England.