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ESFA Match Report- A Shrewsbury cup tie special!

A lovely autumnal afternoon in Shrewsbury as we took advantage of two games in the historic market town in one afternoon. 

Travelling by train we walked the relatively short distance over to Shrewsbury to kick-off the days action, enjoying a coffee with a former Shrewsbury School pupil still supporting his school in his 70’s! 

Shrewsbury had already beaten a Stafford & District school in the opening round of the competition with a narrow win over Sir Graham Balfour High School and made it two from two with what the scoreline suggests was an easy win over Blessed William Howard School. 

The final score of 8-2 was harsh on the visitors who were very much in the game at half time trailing by just 2-1. 

A flurry of late goals put a glossy look to the scoreline although the home side were worthy winners on the day with doubles for Louis Crofts, Sam Jones and Ed Pirdeaux with Ed Clark and Elijah England also on target. 

We then made the walk over the River Severn and across the town to Belvidere School where the visitors were Smestow Sschool from Wolverhampton. 

This was a classic cup tie with both sides up for the battle although the visitors will have been surprised to go 1-0 down after looking the most likely to open the scoring early on. 

Despite levelling the game up later in the half they went behind 3-1 early in the second half despite being on the front foot for long spells. 

They pulled a goal back to reduce the arrears shortly after but were unable to add an equaliser that would have taken the game to extra time. Kieran Smith grabbed a brace and Kieran Griffiths the others as the hosts edged an excellent cup tie 3-2 despite missing a late penalty.

A big thank you to ThreeFiveThree photography for attending the games! If you want to see more great schools football images head over to their website here.

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#Throwback Thursday- ESFA Match Report Double header- ESFA Super League Knockout stages and ESFA U18 Girls Trophy

Following a recent spell of bad weather we were grateful that a break in the rain allowed us to make the trip to Millfield with two of their Under 18 sides in action on the same afternoon albeit with a slight clash with kick off times. 

Firstly the much anticipated Boys Super League tie with last season’s Under 18 Elite Cup holders Hartpury College making the journey south for a West Country derby. 

With many of the Hartpury players having been involved in the Gloucestershire FA representative side on Monday evening there was a concern they would start slow but the initial exchanges saw them on the front foot albeit creating few clear cut openings. 

However, once the home side took the lead midway through the opening half after getting on top the visitors were forced to chase the game and fell two behind shortly before the break. 

Despite plenty of effort from Hartpury they were unable to breach the Millfield back four and an excellent free-kick goal put the tie beyond doubt with a late 4th goal putting a harsh slant on the final score although a deserved win for Millfield.

We then made the dash across to the main campus to capture the Under 18 Girls tie with Cardinal Newman from Sussex with the scoreboard confirming they were 2-0 ahead on our arrival with the tie in the early stages of the second half. Newman were battling to find a way back into the tie and certainly had the opportunities to make the closing stages interesting but could not find a way through with their pushing forward leaving them vulnerable to the counter attack. 

There could have been goals at either end in the closing stages but it was Millfield who advanced to a semi final tie with Barking Abbey taking their goals scored tally to 41 for the competition in their 5 ties to date. 

A clean sheet for the home sides and nice to see some football played in sunshine with the pitches showing no sign of the recent wet weather.

A big thank you to ThreeFiveThree photography for attending the games! If you want to see more great schools football images head over to their website here.