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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.

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ESFA Match Report- PlayStation F.C. Schools’ U14 Cup for Boys- St Mary’s RC High School v Whitecross Hereford High School

Today we look back to an early round of the Boys Under 14 Cup with a Herefordshire derby in October as St Mary’s RC High School and Whitecross Hereford battled the elements in a competitive tie that went down to the wire. 

Having taken the train to Hereford we made the walk to St Mary’s in pouring rain with the prospect of seeing the game called off on arrival very much at the front of our minds but the pitch was in excellent condition considering the heavy rain and the game got underway as planned. 

The home side took an early lead only for Whitecross to draw level shortly after through Jacob Bray and it looked like we could be in for a downpouring of goals as well as rain. 

In fact, that completed the scoring in normal time despite the best efforts of both sides to grab a winner with a close range header for the visitors very late on in extra time the closest the deadlock came to being broken but the ball sailed over the bar much with a gaping goal at their mercy. 

And so to a penalty shoot out with Harrison Bentley and Ollie Lloyd on target for the visitors as they edged a place in round 3. Credit to both sides for an entertaining cup tie despite the weather, all that remained was to embark on the soggy journey home to the Midlands!

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.