U14 National Champions

TBSHS Team win the Cup

Date published: Mon 19 Oct 2020   Author: HLH/PHJ   Category: News   Share: Share on facebookShare on TwitterShare on MySpaceShare by Email

U14 National Champions

The journey to the final seems to of started a long time ago when we travelled away to Thurstable College over a year ago on 15th October. We got off to a great start after a bye in round 1 winning 8-3 with 5 goals from Ben Smith laying something of a marker for the matches to come. The third round saw us travel to Bexley to play against Stationers’ Crown Wood Academy, which was a bit of an eye-opener for the boys as the opposition showed a lack of discipline as we ran out 7-4 winners with a hat-trick from Smith and a brace by Joe Nardelli. Icknield was the next opponent and was the first of our two home fixtures on the road to the final and this was a comfortable 5-1 win with a brace of goals from Captain George Hoddle and Jack Taylor, with Ben Smith once again getting on the scoresheet. The draw was less than favorable for our next two matches as we were drawn away to Samuel Whitbread in Bedford, which we navigated through with a strong performance after being 2-1 down at half-time we ran out 6-3 winners with another two goals from Ben Smith but the pick of the goals was a strike from Lewis Ellmore who lobbed the keeper from just inside the oppositions half. We travelled to Ravens Wood in Bromley and put in a strong performance against a physical side with another goal-fest as both Ben Smith and Finn Slater scored two goals each. The match in the last 32 was a home draw against a strong Kingsdale school who had several academy players and one who represented England at U15 level. The players worked exceptionally hard and should superb resilience as they came from behind twice to take the game in to extra-time and ultimately penalties. Jayden Peglar was the hero of the day as he saved two penalty kicks and saw us safely through to the quarter-finals with a 4-2 win. Once again the computer wasn’t kind to us in the draw as we were drawn away to St Peter’s College in Gloucester, which proved to be our final game before lockdown. This was another opportunity for us to demonstrate our attacking prowess as we ran out 5-2 winners with a brace from Joe Nardelli and goals from Smith, Hoddle and Cameron Ayre. Nearly a year after our first match in the competition we arranged the semi-final with an away match to Hurstmere School in Sidcup. After a fairly even first half the opposition threw everything at us during the second half and we defended resolutely with excellent organization and discipline from the back four of Tristain Haupt, Jimmy Tye, Lewis Ellmore and Shaye Willats. Hurstmere very nearly scored from a corner but Jayden Peglar managed to change direction quickly and tip the ball around the post. With a minute to go TBSHS cleared their lines and the ball broke to Ben Smith who showed his pace to beat his marker and fired his only shot of the game in to the top corner leaving the goalkeeper helpless. In the final few minutes TBSHS survived a further scare as with the kast kick of the match Hurstmere rattled the post but the final beckoned.

It was a quick turn around with the final taking place on Wednesday 14th October at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, the former training ground for the England football team. The final was against Turton School from Bolton who had conceded only 4 goals in reaching the final. TBSHS started quickly and within a 4 minute spell had 7 corners and applying lots of pressure to the Turton goal. Twice they came close to scoring but George Hoddle and Joe Nardelli forced the keeper in to some excellent saves. Eventually the pressure told as Jack Walker whipped a corner in to the 6 yard box and Joe Nardelli rose well to head TBSHS in to the lead. The game then ebbed and flowed with Jayden Peglar producing an outstanding save to keep TBSHS in the lead going in to half-time. The second half had limited chances as both teams battled hard to get a foot hold in the match and it wasn’t until the ball fell to George Hoddle who slid an excellent pass in to Ben Smith to round the goalkeeper who brought him down to win a penalty. Joe Nardelli stepped up very calmly and slotted the ball to the keepers left as he moved right. TBSHS were looking comfortable until the referee saw something nobody else did and with 3 minutes to play awarded Turton a penalty which was duly converted. This led to a nervous final few minutes which wasn’t helped when man of the match Joe Nardelli decided to kick the ball away after an offside decision was given against him and the referee showed him his second yellow card. Fortunately TBSHS were able to hold out and became National Champions.

Peter Harris Head of PE and Manager said “I’m so proud of the players, they have worked hard and improved as a team throughout the competition acting on the feedback provided. The lockdown slowed the momentum but they put in a phenomenal performance in the semi-final demonstrating a superb resilience and competitive spirit to see themselves in to the final and deserved winners”.