Year 10 boys - South Notts Academy 3-3 Chilwell School (South Notts 10-9 on penalties)
On a brisk Tuesday afternoon in October, a thriller took place in South Nottinghamshire. Chilwell went into the game with just 11 players and no subs, but they were not ready to roll over. The first half was full of tackles and the momentum was shifting with every loose ball.
The wall of Chilwell was holding strong, with Tom M doing his best Harry Potter impression. Being a wizard on the ball and sweeping up any ball that came over the backline like he had a broom.
Flanked by Harry M and Isaac McL in a stalwart back three, Chilwell were imperious in the first half.
Around 10 minutes before halftime, Toby K with the sun in his eyes unleashed a rocket of a shot from 20 yards out and it cannoned off the left post into the goal.
Chilwell were rewarded for their good start and even Mr K admitted: “I was fed up with the sun in my eyes, so I just hit it, didn’t even know it went in.”
The second half got underway and Chilwell’s energy levels hadn’t dropped, Zac M was pressing every loose ball like a young Jack Russell, whilst Alfie U wasn’t even contemplating letting the opposition win a second ball.
But South Notts started to settle into the game and began to test Alex M in the Chilwell goal.
However, it was Chilwell who struck against the run of play, Zac M pounced on a goalkeeping error to put the Swans 2-0 up. But before Mr Fendick could take all the credit for his “Fendick Football”, South Notts hit back straight from kick off.
Chilwell failed to switch on and South Notts’ number 7 slotted a low shot past Montgomery into the bottom left corner. Game on.
South Notts had all the momentum and with about 12 minutes left, they crafted a wonderful move, which culminated in a back heel lay-off, before a calm and composed finish into the bottom right corner. 2-2, level game.
But it would be silly to write the Chilwell boys off that easily. Captain Harry M rallied the lads and they battled back, pinging the ball around like Pep Guardiola’s 2008 Barcelona. It was Alfie U who stepped up and danced around 3 players before hitting a shot which had more curve than a country road. 3-2.
To quote Alfie: "It was probably the best goal I've scored in me life."
Against the odds, with no subs and a team ravaged by injuries, Chilwell were on the verge of something special. Yet, with virtually the last kick of the game, South Notts put a long throw into the box… A game of ping pong ensued, before South Notts poked the ball home. 3-3, heartbreak for Chilwell.
After 5 minutes of extra time, it was time for penalties. The shootout was tense, neither team wanted to budge. Year 9’s Kheone D stepped up to take Chilwell’s fourth penalty and blazed it over the bar, it all looked over.
You could hear a pin drop as their number five approached the penalty spot, as if the drama couldn’t get any higher, he skied it after a lengthy run-up. Relief for Chilwell.
Penalty after penalty and neither team was giving an inch. In a cruel twist of fate, it was George M who stepped and blazed his effort over the bar.
Such a tough defeat to take for the Year 10 lads, who put in one hell of a performance, all the players embraced George and whilst the Swans are out of the County Cup, the South Notts Cup is right around the corner.
Mr Bird’s Man of the Match: Isaac McL.