ESFA Boys’ U17 Schools’ Cup National Final: Match Report

Thursday 09 June 2016By ESFA Office

Last Updated:
22/06/2016 15:09:56

Harris Academy Chafford Hundred v Benton Park School

Wednesday 27 March saw two fantastic ESFA National Finals take place at Doncaster Rovers FC, with the day rounding off with the second match between Harris Academy Chafford Hundred (Thurrock SFA) and Benton Park School (Leeds SFA) in the ESFA Boys’ U17 Schools’ Cup National Final.

The first 10 minutes of the game was dominated by Benton Park with shots and great passing skills, which lead to them getting 3 corners. Christian Soda had the best chance after breaking through the defence but the keeper saved the shot with his feet.

Benton Park came close again only a minute later as the goal keeper came to claim the ball and missed, but was saved by a defender on the line.

Benton Park kept up the pressure after receiving a free kick just on the edge of the area. The ball was floated into the far post and an unmarked forward headed the ball with power but only for the keeper to make a save and push it over the bar and out for a corner.

After 20 minutes we saw Harris Academy get back into the game and the best chance of the match fell to them. The ball was crossed into the box and a shot at the far post saw the keeper make a low save, only for the deflection to fall perfectly for him to retrieve the loose ball.

Harris Academy were the team on top after that chance causing the Benton Park defenders to concentrate to keep the scores level.

With 10 minutes of the first half remaining Benton Park were trying to get themselves in front with 2 spectacular bicycle kicks but the keeper was in great position to make sure he had his goal covered.

Harris Academy broke on the counter attack down the centre of the pitch and lifted the ball over the rushing keeper, but the ball went just wide of the post.

A minute into added time in the first half and the Harris Academy captain made an excellent run from defence to take a solo effort up-field, shooting from outside the box with a tame effort which fell straight into the hands of the grateful goal keeper.

The teams went in for half time with the score level after a great half of attacking football from both sides.

During half time a huge amount of snow had fallen onto the pitch, meaning that a 45 minute delay had to be taken for officials to clear the snow off of the lines, an orange ball was at hand and the referee was happy for the game to resume.

Both teams early in the second half took time to get used to the new conditions as the ball did not roll well on the snowy pitch.

4 minutes in and we saw our first goal of the afternoon. Benton Park had got themselves in front with a strike from Josh McKiernon. The ball was not cleared by the defence and McKiernon slotted the ball into the bottom corner to put his side 1-0 up.

Matthew Stauton from Harris Academy had the next best chance of the half. The ball had dropped kindly for him after the Benton Park defence had tried to get rid of the ball, he stuck the ball but floated just over the bar.

Benton Park kept up the high pressure on the Harris goal with strong tackles and shots but nothing that troubled the goal keeper.

Half way into the second half and we saw a penalty awarded to Benton Park after the ball had struck a defender’s hand. Josh McKiernon stepped up for the penalty which he placed into the top left of goal to score his second goal of the game.

3 minutes after the second goal and Harris Academy hit the bar. Anderson took the ball on the inside and struck the ball first time but hits the bar to deny them their first goal.

After 3 minutes and a moment of madness stuck, Harris Academy had got their first goal. A corner had come in from the right and found its way into the near post. The last touch had come off of the goal keeper to give Harris Academy their goal.

The comeback was short lived as only 2 minutes later Benton Park were awarded another penalty, this time due to the goal keeper fouling the attacking player. Christian Soda stepped up to take this penalty which was hit into the bottom right to put his side 3-1 up and surely out of sight now.

Benton Park showed no signs of taking their foot off the gas as the woodwork was hit twice within seconds. The first was a strike from Pickles, this hit the post and then Josh McKiernon, now on a hat trick, hit the bar and was cleared.

With 4 minutes on the clock, Harris Academy score. Abraham Bankole scored from inside the area after the ball has been sent out wide to him. The ball was put under the keeper to get his team within 1 goal of taking the game to extra time.

The The board was still in the air indicating the added minutes when Harris Academy scored their equalising goal. Toby Aromolaran hits the ball after a break down the middle, he turns the ball in the middle and hits for the third goal.

The Benton Park team were shocked after the late 2 goals and saw the game out into extra time.

Both teams were unable to break down each other in the extra time period which saw the game go all the way to penalties.

Benton Park School took the game on penalties after Atkinson, Soda, Stein and McKiernon found the net.

Both teams were awarded with their medals and the trophy was lifted by the Benton Park Captain to crown them National Champions for the first time in Schools’ Football history.

Harris Academy Chafford Hundred

Liam Price, Evan Marlow, Kyle Brand, Jesse Amoh, Paul Nwanze, Toby Aromolaran (C), Abraham Bankrole, Matthew Staughton, Ayo Adeniyi, Kunle Oguntona, Tim Ogunrinde, Jordan Chim Kalunta, Jack Walker, Harry Smith, Afoloabi Anderson, Harry Manning.

Benton Park School

Sam Whittington, Simon Andre, Scott Stein, Myles Foley, Louis Squires, George Gomersal, Daniel Pickles, Jack Atkinson, Josh McKiernon, Scott Smith, Christian Soda, Ethan Young, Daniel Taylor, Ben Snowden.

Match Officials

Referee: Syd Nye

Assistant Referees: Steve Park & James Kavanagh

Fourth Official: Des Coulson

Photographs of the match are available thanks to 353 Photography and are available for purchase by clicking here.

Match DVDs including action replays and full match commentary are also available to purchase, courtesy of 247.TV here.

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