Hartpury Junior Football Academy book place in ECFA National Cup Final
The Hartpury Junior Football Academy beat determined rivals Myerscough College by a single goal in the ECFA National Cup Semi-final, played at Lilleshall National Sports Centre. The weather was beautiful with the pitch in great condition, which as always suited Hartpury’s style of attractive passing football. In the opening minutes it was Hartpury who settled the quickest, retaining possession of the ball, creating passages of forward play. However Myerscough defended well as a team, which made it difficult for Hartpury to create a clear cut chance. On the 14th minute, disaster struck for Hartpury’s top goal scoring forward; Jack Wood. Closing down play from the front, Wood over stretched whilst blocking a defenders clearance. Wood was in agony, with a suspected injured hamstring and he was substituted for Paul Fahy. The game continued with no team being able to get a firm grip on the game. It was a battle of the midfields, with no team able to create a clear chance. Jordan Turner and Paul Fahy both managed to find themselves space to shoot, however did not test the Myerscough goalkeeper. The first half ended a stalemate.
Half-time: Hartpury 0-0 Myerscough College
Hartpury needed to approach the second half differently to get something out of the game. Manager Paul Tassell made the decision to play more direct and with width, to force Myerscough to defend. This opened the game up, with both teams starting to create chances. Hartpury had the first clear cut chance of the game. Hartpury retrieved the ball back in their defensive third and hit Myerscough on the counter-attack. The Hartpury defence passed the ball to Lamin Sankoh, who beat the Myerscough midfielder and slipped a great ball to Jordan Turner. Turner beat the Myerscough defender with is pace, finding himself 1 v 1 with the goalkeeper. Turner rounded the goalkeeper and placed the ball towards the empty net. Turner would have scored if it wasn’t for a great defensive clearance from the recovering Myerscough defender. The next chance fell to Myerscough. The Myerscough attacker wriggled his way past defender James Pearson, only to be met by the onrushing Sam Filkins in goal. The attacker shot and Filkins sprawled himself in goal to keep the scores level. Fahy and Osbourne for Hartpury were finding joy down the flanks putting crosses into the box, but to no prevail. In the dying moments of the game, substitute Dan Thomson (on for Harry Osbourne) beat the Myerscough left back and put a ball into the box. Sankoh managed to find himself in space, heading the ball powerfully towards goal. A great save was produced by the Myerscough goalkeeper, which kept them in the game. The 90 minutes ended 0-0.
Full-time: Hartpury 0-0 Myerscough College
The first half of extra time started in the same manner as the 90 minutes ended. The game was open and end to end, with Hartpury having the better chances to take the lead. Hartpury again thought they had taken the lead, when Jordan Turner for the second time rounded the Myerscough goalkeeper, shooting towards goal. Nevertheless the Myerscough defenders’ did not give up, and for a second time the ball was cleared off the line. Next, it was Myerscough’s turn to have an effort on goal. Myerscough were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal. Their midfielder stepped up and bent the ball around Hartpury’s wall, but yet again in goal, Filkins made a smart stop to keep the scores level. The first half of extra time finished 0-0.
The second half of extra time commenced, with Hartpury looking the more dominate of the two teams. Hartpury still forced balls into the box, but the tired Myerscough defence stood firm. In the last 5 minutes of the game, Hartpury were awarded a free kick 20 yards from goal. Hartpury needed to hit the target knowing that this may be their last shot of the game. Defender Mitchell Gough stepped up to the task. The referee blew his whistle and Gough whipped the ball over the Myerscough wall, into the top right hand corner of the Myerscough goal. Gough deservedly ran off celebrating, knowing that he had scored the winning goal. Hartpury saw out the last couple of minutes, booking themselves a place in the ECFA National Cup Final.
AET: Hartpury 1-0 Myerscough College
HARTPURY: Filkins, Gough, Pearson, Poole, Thwaite, Sankoh, Hilton ©, Liddiard, Osbourne, Turner, Wood. Subs: Mace, Fahy, Thomson, Panting, Hopwood.
After a fantastic result with Hartpury beating Myerscough, Hartpury will now play Monkseaton High School on Wednesday 30th May, 14:00 kick off, in the ECFA National Cup Final. To book a place on the supporters coaches please sign up at the Sports Academy or Student Services. Coaches will be leaving Hartpury at 10am on the day of the match.