On Saturday, 24th September the U11 football team competed in the Forest School Open Day Football Tournament. Twelve teams contested the trophy and we were drawn in a really tough group comprising Chigwell A, Forest A, St Edmund’s, St Paul’s Cathedral and Woodford Prep B.
Our morning started with nil–nil draws against the last two sides, despite having most of the ball and some clear opportunities to score. Against Chigwell A, a defensive mistake in the first ten seconds resulted in a goal. Our heads dropped, we conceded two penalties and a host of chances resulting in a score-line of Avon House 0 – Chigwell A 5.
Drastic times call for drastic measures: a tactical change by Mr Bowers made the side more solid, especially at set pieces and restarts, and our more direct approach saw a 2-0 defeat against St Edmund’s.
Our last group match against Forest A was really heartening and proved a very tense affair. We lost 1-0 to a strong home side, who eventually emerged as runners-up in the whole tournament.
The first four sides in both groups went into the knock-out competition at the quarter-final phase with Avon House entering the Plate trophy for the remaining schools.
In the semi-finals a thunderous goal from Sheni was enough to see off Forest B and clinch a berth in the final, a rematch against our local rivals, Woodford Green Prep (B). The traffic was one-way with the’’ Red School’’ goal enjoying a charmed life and Adam even hitting the post from the half-way line!
The scoreless match meant five minutes of extra time and, with our captain and goalkeeper Harry, a virtual spectator, Avon House laid siege to the opposing goal with parents and staff alike willing the ball to go in.
With ten seconds to go, yet another corner, and from the left Benyamin swung in a ball to the near post. The ball broke loose and, thankfully, Sheni swivelled smartly to drill it into the net. Cue an outbreak of hysteria and jubilation from the throng behind the goal. In truth this celebration was probably one of relief borne out of avoiding a dreaded penalty shoot-out !
Well done to the whole squad who thoroughly deserved their medals and win bonuses of Yorkie bars. Many thanks to all who came and supported so fervently – it really does help !