The Last 32 & an England Trial

TBSHS U18 Football Team are down to the last 32 in the country

Date published: Tue 5 Dec 2017   Author: HLH/PJH   Category: News   Share: Share on facebookShare on TwitterShare on MySpaceShare by Email

The Bishop’s Stortford High School 1st XI have had a fantastic start to the football season as they have a 100% win record in both the County and National Cup. In the National Cup they are currently in the last 32 in the country following an excellent run of games against St John’s Senior School (8-0), Sandringham School (4-0) and Richard Hale (2-0).

Samuel Whitbread Academy was a tough away draw to a school with a football academy attached to their 6th form but one that the boys relished as it would be a good test. It was a cold and windy day which made for quite a cagey match with neither team taking too many risks in defence and quite a few passes going astray. TBSHS started the brighter of the two teams but were unable to carve out any real goal scoring opportunities until George Jefferies struck a right footed free-kick from 30 yards out which cannoned off the crossbar and brought the game to life as Nick Randall followed up with an effort that the keeper could only tip over the bar. From the resultant TBSHS corner Samuel Whitbread cleared the ball and broke quickly on the 25 minute mark, the defence was caught a little cold and as the opposition burst forward a miss timed tackle led to a two versus one situation and Samuel Whitbread took full advantage to fire past a diving Will Skingley in goal to take the lead. This gave the game a much needed lift but put TBSHS on to the back foot as Samuel Whitbread came forward looking to double their lead and had several half chances before the break.

Half-time was a much needed break for Dave Sadler (Head of Football) and Pete Harris (Head of PE) to reorganise and provide instructions for the second half. The second half started far better for TBSHS and they played the majority of it in the oppositions half but were still unable to create a clear goal scoring opportunity with Olly Miles having several chances that were charged down and Ethan Barton being denied with a last ditch tackle. The break through finally came when Callum Taylor who had worked tirelessly upfront was brought down from behind about 25 yards from goal and Olly Miles stepped up to whip the ball around the wall and into the bottom corner. This was the much needed boost that the team needed and the pressure continued to be piled on to Samuel Whitbread as the two TBSHS wingers Sam Law and George Jefferies attacked at every opportunity. With 15 minutes to go the introduction of Elliot Long provided to be inspired as he jinked down the left wing before standing the ball up to the back post for Olly Miles to power a header past the Samuel Whitbread goalkeeper for TBSHS to take the lead. Samuel Whitbread showed great character as this proved a catalyst for 10 minutes of sustained attacking play from them as they hunted down the equaliser, which nearly came from a shot that smashed off the bar as Will Skingley watched on stranded. TBSHS managed the game well into the final few minutes killing the game off with good use of the ball in the wide positions and cleverly earning free-kicks as Callum Taylor and Olly Miles continued to impress with their hold-up play. The TBSHS back four of Adam Crowther, Alec Chappell, Coby Miles and Connor La Plain maintained their discipline and concentration until the final whistle to ensure that TBSHS progressed into the later stages of the competition.

Dave Sadler commented “The way the boys listened and responded at half time showed a great deal about their character, resilience and a willingness to take on board feedback to get a result from this difficult match. They are a very talented group of players who are extremely coachable, and have developed a great team spirit and togetherness. I am excited to see how far they can progress in both competitions”.


For Adam Crowther making it into the last 32 of the National Cup was the icing on the cake for a fantastic couple of weeks for him as he has been selected to attend a 3 day trial for the U18 England Schoolboy team. Following two seasons of outstanding county performances and being selected as captain, he along with Ethan Barton were selected to represent the South East of England in a match versus the South West being watched by the England selectors. Adam continued his fine vein of form and was picked out to make it into the last 32 players for a selection process that will see him have three days at Lilleshall in which he is aiming to make it into the final squad of 16 players. Adam has grasped this opportunity and is training hard to improve his overall game to give himself the best chance possible after Christmas.

Peter Harris believes that “The commitment that Adam has shown towards his football will stand him in good stead for the trial and we all wish Adam Crowther the best of luck in his England trial.”