It was with great excitement that a team comprising of six Prep VI and three Prep V students set off for the Manchester City academy to represent the school in their under 11s 7-a-side tournament. With the Mancunian Way behaving, we got their in good time and were well prepared for our first game against Kings Chester. Although they started the stronger, it was Bridgewater who caused the first real chance when a shot from Imran Balogun was cleared off the line. Davide Cervellione put us in front with a close range net buster (our ears were nearly burst by the proud Mrs. Cervellione who was accompanying us), but Kings managed a late equaliser to leave the final score at 1-1.
Our second game was against Hale. Against the run of play, they went 1-0 up but then, as Mr. Suter kept tally, it was all one way and we had no less than ten shots at their goal – one from Charlie Gray was reminiscent of Geoff Hurst’s second in the 1966 World Cup final. It cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and down – sadly, there was no Russian linesman to rule in our favour as their keeper safely gathered it. However, a last minute Davide cross was turned into his own net by one of the Hale players as the final whistle was being blown. 1-1 again. We would rue those missed chances later.
Our third game was against Bolton, and a tightly contested game saw few opportunities and a final score of 0-0. One incident stands out – a Charlie Gray shot hit the post, bounced up on to the crossbar and rolled along the top of it, before dropping on the other side of the goal where a follow up shot hit the post again!
Our final group game was against Moor Allerton. Once again, there were a flurry of missed chances – Charlie hit the post, a tantalising cross was missed by three attackers who must have had their eyes closed, the keeper made a fine save and once again we hit the crossbar. Completely against the run of play, they scored but parity was quickly restored when Sam Townson steered the ball home, and Charlie made the final score 2-1 to Bridgewater.
There followed an agonising wait to see if we had qualified as best runners-up for the semi finals. Kings Macc and Bridgewater both finished on the same number of points – but their goal difference was better than ours and so they went through to the semis. Disappointing, but the boys can take full credit from the fact that they finished unbeaten and how they can from behind in two matches to pull off a result.
Squad: Sunyul Koo, Charlie Gray, Samuel Townson, Oliver Ainsworth, Davide Cervellione, Imran Balogun, Youness El Hamdani, Lousi Rees, Hayden Sackfield.