St Bernard's Girls Lift Coca Cola Cup
Tuesday 31 May 2005By ESFA Office
St Bernard's celebrate at Villa Park
after winning the U13 Coca-Cola Cup for Girls
ESFA COCA-COLA U13 SCHOOLS' CUP FINAL GIRLS
St Bernard's (Essex) 2-1 West Bridgford (Notts)
Villa Park, Aston Villa FC
Friday 27 May 2005
Nottingham’s West Bridgford and St Bernard’s School from Westcliff-on-Sea faced off in the National Final of this season’s girls’ ‘Coca-Cola’ English Schools Cup at Villa Park! And notably it would be a clash between two pairs of sisters that would help dictate the destination of this year’s ESFA ‘Coca-Cola’ 13 Schools’ Cup for Girls.
Goalkeeper Phoebe Penfold and striker twin sister Sadie had been the backbone of the West Bridgford team as it progressed to the National Final of this competition. In the St Bernard’s team sisters Alice and Katharine Nutman had scored and helped setup the goals that guaranteed their passage to the final of a tournament that Sir Bobby Robson has hailed as “our FA Cup to the Kids.” The more dominant pair of sisters would surely influence the final outcome of the match!
The sides emerged from the tunnel into perfect footballing conditions – a flawless Premiership pitch, warm Birmingham sunshine and a lively atmosphere created by the boisterous travelling support.
As the match kicked off West Bridgford were playing towards the legendary Holte End. Indeed the side from Nottingham started the match brightly and dominated the opening exchanges. Their first opportunity came as star striker Sadie Penfold stole into the box and sent a powerful shot crashing into the right hand side netting. A second shot on goal from Penfold saw a comfortable save from St Bernard’s keeper Robyn Strauss.
It wasn’t long however, until St Bernard’s began to play their way into contention with some attractive passing football. Chances began to come their way – Alice Nutman was put through on goal but screwed her effort wide. Flo Amess helped maintain the St Bernard’s pressure by shrugging off a Rebecca Adamson tackle to break into the area, only to see her 12 yard shot saved by Phoebe Penfold in the West Bridgford goal.
25 minutes into the first half St Bernard’s broke the deadlock in spectacular fashion. The ball spun loose midway inside the West Bridgford half and Katharine Nutman, seeing Penfold off her line, sent a stunning 30 yard lob over the keeper’s outstretched arms into the back of the net. Another St Bernard’s opportunity quickly followed but Alice Nutman’s powerful shot was well saved by Penfold.
As half time approached West Bridgford engineered openings in the St Bernard’s defence. Firstly right midfielder Laura Smith put Sadie Penfold straight through on goal but she mishit her shot wide of the target. Smith then hit a great shot at goal but it was well saved by Strauss, and signalled the end of the first half.
St Bernard’s came roaring out the traps in the second half to double their lead. Katharine Nutman skilfully flicked the ball through from midfield to sister Alice who deftly knocked the ball past Phoebe Penfold in the West Bridgford goal and tapped the ball into the back of the net.
However, West Bridgford battled back in determined fashion and pulled a goal back with a clinical move. Laura Smith picked out Sadie Penfold with an accurate cross from the right wing. Penfold skilfully controlled the ball, turned and shot into the bottom left corner of the goal passed the despairing dive of Strauss to give the Nottingham side hope of a comeback.
As the half progressed, West Bridgford pressed forward more and more, looking for the elusive opening. They were dominating possession but finding it hard to break down the stubborn St Bernard’s defence.
They continued to push forward, leaving themselves exposed at the back. St Bernard’s tried to capitalise as a Katharine Nutman pass sent Flo Amess scampering towards goal but Rebecca Adamson managed to chase back to block her shot, with a helping hand from keeper Penfold.
As the match moved into the final minutes of regular time, on two occasions West Bridgford’s Reagan Bowering fired in shots from the edge of the area. But St Bernard’s keeper Strauss was more than up to the task.
The final whistle saw the Nutman sisters emerge triumphant in their sibling contest with the Penfolds and sparked ecstatic celebrations from St Bernard’s School!
The Westcliff-on-Sea side were promptly crowned the champions of Under 13 Girls’ Football in England as winners of the ‘Coca-Cola’ English Schools Cup.
Player of the Match: Laura Smith (West Bridgford)
St Bernard’s Team Coach – Carol Lamb
“The opposition would have been worthy winners as well, it is the hardest game we have had to play.
“I thought the opening goal was absolutely fantastic and set the tone of the game itself.”
“They came back at us after half time and made it really hard but I think our fitness had them and if need be I think we could have created another goal.”
“As a team they worked very hard. They know it’s every single person that counts, the person that closes the ball down, the person who takes all the knocks and we know our strengths and play to our strengths and all of the girls, as a team, appreciate that.”
Alice Nutman (St Bernard’s)
“It’s amazing really, to play in that stadium (Villa Park) and to score a goal where so many great players have scored is just amazing. To be the best team in England is fantastic.”
Katherine Nutman (St Bernard’s)
“Its amazing, especially with the fans, they are great fans.”
St Bernard’s Assistant Coach – Andy Nash
“Its just unbelievable, it’s just a dream at the moment. The girls were brilliant, I hope they are enjoying it as much as I am.”
“Coca-Cola put them up in a hotel last night and that alone was brilliant but to come to Aston Villa is absolutely brilliant, the girls are loving it! It’s something they will remember forever.”
West Bridgford School
1. Phoebe Penfold
2. Sadie Penfold
3. Holly Gascoigne
4. Laura Marsh
5. Elena Martin
6. Francine Wooley
7. Steph Morgan
8. Bethany Pigot
9. Rebecca Adamson
11. Regan Bowering
12. Jess Abrahams
14. Laura Smith
15. Zoe Shipley
16. Danielle Zambon
St Bernard’s School
1. Robyn Strauss
2. Ellie Carter
3. Becky Tyrie
4. Leah Darby
5. Daisy Asaman
6. Romain Hapkeywic
7. Katharine Nutman
8. Abigail Judge
9. Flo Amess
10. Amy Nash
11. Alice Nutman (C)
12. Heather Tyrie
14. Alice Hollebone