featured, Match Reports

Throwback Thursday- October Floodgates Open!

With the national cup draws for next season now live we take another look back to the 2019-2020 season when October provided an absolute goal feast on our travels.

What would end with a crazy 4 game multi train journey around England started relatively close to home with a Friday double header at Perton school in Wolverhampton with games against Priory School in both the U12 and U13 Small Schools Cup.

It was one win each at the final whistles with goals galore, Perton’s U12 side winning 7-1 while the attack minded Priory U13 team hit a dozen to win through to round two.

The goals showed no signs of drying up early the following week as Wolverhampton Grammar School and Wrekin College shared SIXTEEN goals in a crazy game with the Shropshire school winning 9-7 to progress in the U13 Small Schools Cup!

Then followed our first cup upset as Thomas Telford fell to St Peter’s Catholic School in Solihull, despite battling back from 4-1 down to get back in the tie at 4-3 it was the home side who held their nerve to edge into round two of the U16 Elite Cup.

That week ended with a drive to Rugby as Moulton School were the visitors to Harris CofE Academy and they returned to Northampton with a 2-0 win in a wet U12 round two matchup.

The weather had not improved much by Monday as a train ride to Hereford saw St Mary’s RC High School host crosstown rivals Whitecross in the U14 Boys competition with a penalty shoot-out needed to decide the winner after a tense 1-1 draw, the visitors taking the spoils 2-0 on spot-kicks.

The following day saw me walk to a cup tie just 3 miles or so away, Ormiston Forge and Kenilworth School going toe to toe in the U12 Boys Cup but the visitors put on a blistering display of attacking football in the opening half to take a 4-0 lead which they held for the remainder of the game.

A double header in Shrewsbury followed with Shrewsbury School winning 8-2 at home to Staffordshire’s Blessed William Howard School in the U14 Boys Cup and then a walk across the River Severn took us to Belvidere School as they held on for a 3-2 win at home to Smestow School in the U16 Boys.

Up next was a trip to Sandwell Academy in the U18 Boys Cup as they won 3-1 at home to Kingsmead School and move into round three and the following day we saw Madeley Academy overcome Whitecross Hereford in the Girls U14 Cup with a 5-1 win in the afternoon sunshine.

That Friday feeling came in the way of a soaking wet U13 Boys tie in Liverpool with the game in doubt due to heavy rain all afternoon but credit to both sides for putting on a show as Maricourt Catholic High School hit 9 on the road to defeat St Hilda’s CofE High School.

Monday morning saw us set off on the biggest trip so far as we headed for a 4 day, 4 game trip here, there and everywhere!

We kicked off with a train to London and in the shadow of the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament it was St John’s from Enfield who progressed in the U13 Small Schools Cup with a 6-0 win over a valiant Oasis Academy South Bank side who battled throughout against a tough opponent.

Then we had a long overnight train ride to Cornwall on the sleeper train although the carriage became a drying station for my clothes and camera gear as we trundled through the darkness!

Rain greeted our arrival into Penzance but the howling wind and rain could not prevent the Cape Cornwall and Plymouth School of Creative Arts tie taking place and it was the home side who progressed into the U15 Small Schools Cup on the back of a 4-0 win.

Back on the sleeper train to London we went and then onto Norwich next morning for a trip to Wymondham College and their U18 Boys Cup tie with Thurston Community College which ended in a 5-2 win for the home side and a place in round three.

Our final train ride of the month saw us venture into Lincolnshire with Carre’s Grammar School our destination as they hosted Healing Science Academy in round two of the U13 Boys Cup with the home side 7-0 winners courtesy of some excellent long range strikes that put them firmly in control in the opening half.

What a month, a staggering 16 games and 110 goals in total – this would be the biggest goals per game ratio of the whole season and only in the second month of matches and without doubt the most miles I have travelled in one month for schools football.

I can’t wait to get started again in September…!

A huge thank you to our official photographer Garry Griffiths for writing this report and travelling around the country to provide amazing coverage of schools football. If you would like to view or purchase any of the pictures in this report please contact ThreeFiveThree photography.


Flashback Friday

Ahead of the upcoming 2019/20 National Finals, our photographer takes a look back at some of the U12 Schools’ Cup action he’s encoutered over the last season

ESFA Under 12 Football – The Start of a School Football Journey

For many youngsters, the journey into national cup action representing their schools begins with our Under 12 competitions and this year we captured a number of memorable moments on route to the later stages.

Beginning in mid October we ventured to Harris CofE Academy in Rugby as they hosted Moulton School & Science College from Northampton on a damp Friday afternoon.

Despite winning away to a Northampton based school in the opening round, the hosts would exit the competition at round two as a goal in each half settled the tie in Moulton’s favour, the second goal coming from the penalty spot.

Just a few days later we made our shortest journey of the season with a walk to Ormiston Forge Academy in Cradley Heath as the welcomed Kenilworth School, again in the 2nd round of the U12 Boys Cup.

Having been delayed on route with motorway issues, the lads from Warwickshire saw no ill effect from their mini-bus adventure and won the game 4-0 with all the goals coming in a blistering display of attacking football.

The home side came close to reducing the arrears in the second half on a couple of occasions but were unable to mount a comeback.

Perhaps our most unfortunate U12 side were Bishop Ullathorne from Coventry who we first ventured out to see in the first week of December when they hosted Idsall School.

We took the train and bus although we would regret that decision after torrential rain meant a soggy journey home.

The game was played throughout the downpour and credit to both sets of players who seemed unhindered by the ever growing damp areas on the pitch – although the parents faced with muddy and wet kit may have had a different feeling on their return home!

Ullathorne were impressive 6-1 winners, although Idsall battled to the end and were happy to smile for the cameras at the end of the game – the kind of photo the kids will look back on when they are as old as me and try to remember who is who!

Just a fortnight later, and our last game before the Christmas break, saw us cover Bishop Ullathorne again as they faced a daunting trip to Thomas Telford.

Again the rain accompanied me on the Bishop Ullathorne boys journey although this would be its final destination, a narrow 2-1 defeat in an excellent cup tie with plenty of excitement and drama to take our minds off the weather.

All players embarking on their schools football journey at this age group probably don’t realise they are at the start of a number of years of fond memories from playing with their mates and representing their school and we look forward to seeing these players in the coming years!

Report and photographs courtesy of 353 Photography