Independent Schools Football Association Cup (last 16)
Match Report – St Mary’s College 4 vs. 3 Abbey Gate College (Chester)
By Year 11 student David Jones
An exhilarating tie between two quality footballing sides. Abbey gate opened the scoring after they had had a number of attempts stopped by the St Mary’s number one and eventual man of the match, Matthew Lea. Mary’s continued to dominate possession but with little clear opportunities right up until the break; going in 1-0 down. Early in the second half the away team extended their lead to two, at this stage looking comfortably in front. However, with a new found sense of capability and courage and with a long period of time elapsed the Crosby side plucked one goal back through their ‘on form’ striker Ben Blackburn to reduce the deficit to one with a strike off of the outside of the boot which was too hot for the goalkeeper to handle and was eventually tipped into the bottom corner with approximately five minutes to play. With the momentum and belief now on their side, Mary’s applied extra pressure on the offensive side of the game. After many opportunities, the home team broke through with an emphatic equaliser powerfully driven at the goalkeeper with no chance of preventing it from crossing the line after getting a hand to it from the other striking partner Tyler Alexander Arnold. This sent the home team and supporters into jubilant celebrations in the final minute of play.
This high tempo football continued into extra time with St Mary’s advancing to take the lead through a slotted effort which fell kindly to the feet of the captain Tom Owens but there was still twists in the tale yet. Abbey gate immediately drew level from a cross resulting in a firm side footed shot into the roof of the net to keep themselves in with a chance of winning the game. The teams came out in the second half and after a number of players suffering from cramp, (evidence of the high intensity of football) a penalty was awarded for a foul on Jack Dwyer and Ben Blackburn coolly converted the penalty kick straight down the middle. The remaining ten minutes, or so, were nail biting times with the opposition attacking and creating chances regularly. But the St Mary’s defence stood strong and remained resilient to hold on to their deserved victory, despite the excellent performance displayed by Abbey Gate. A great game to watch and to play in; a credit to the beautiful game!
For the ISFA website report, please click on the link below