Toot Hill 3 Chilwell School 2
On Tuesday afternoon, Chilwell under 13's put on truly gutsy display in the South Notts Quarter Final football match away vs last year's finalists, Toot Hill.
With 1 last minute player withdrawal and 3 injuries during the game, the hail, wind, rain, and a determined Toot Hill midfield could not stop The Swans, in the end it took a contentious, last minute goal to do that.
Chilwell twice battled back from a goal down, conceding early in the first half, with Isaac Mcleod making an outrageous goal line clearance in what looked like an inevitable 2nd goal to keep things at 1-0, Chilwell regained control of the game (following 2 first half substitutions due to injury) and brought things back to 1-1 at half time with a goal from Alfie Whitehead.
In the second half, in what was a fiercely competitive, but completely sporting fixture throughout, Toot Hill scored against the run of play with an unstoppable long range effort.
And in a gruelling, scrappy 2nd half, with another Chilwell injury and 2-1 down, the boys kept working, still finding ways to play some neat flowing football and showed their dynamism as individuals through various enforced reorganisations, kept going in freezing conditions, and with 5 minutes on the clock, finally equalised with a superb long range free kick from their outstanding captain Alfie Whitehead.
Jubilant, looking forward suddenly to a well earned extra time, and with the game back under control, Toot Hill somehow broke the lines and with the ball seemingly under the goalkeepers control in what felt like an innocuous situation, the ball broke free and, credit to the opposition forward who chased it down and was able to finish, but the goal, although contentious as it was (arguably the goalkeeper had two hands on the ball...which was difficult to judge without VAR in wet conditions) did not define the performance.
This was an outstanding display from every player, with everything that was thrown at the team, they kept playing, kept improving and needed just a little more luck on the day to get over the line.
In the end, one team jubilant, the other distraught, but two very proud managers. If you are going to be knocked out of a cup, this is the way to do it and we wish Toot Hill well in the next round.
The Swans showed throughout this display that they can compete with the best teams in the cup and will no doubt be back next year to do just that.
Player(s) of the match: Isaac Mcleod and Alfie Whitehead who both kept finding another level every time it was needed in the game.