Churchill Academy seal spot in Premier League Schools' Cup last eight after shootout
PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 February 2019
Churchill Academy's under-16 boys booked their place in the quarter-finals of the ESFA Premier League Schools' Cup with a penalty shoot-out win over Downlands Community School.
The squad of 16 had done superbly well to reach the last 16 of a competition that started with 528 schools and expected a tough test against their rivals from Brighton, Sussex.
A hard-fought tie developed, with Churchill taking the lead when O. Wynn slotted in at the near post after good build-up play from B. Merrfield and D. Morris.
But the visitors began to play wih more confidence and turned the tie on its head by scoring twice to go 2-1 up.
With only 10 minutes remaining, Churchill were on the back foot, but they forced a corner and saw T. Lawrence and B. Wheeler rise higher than anyone else to share a header that found the net to force extra time.
With a crowd of over 200 pupils, teachers and parents watching on, chances were missed at both ends before the final whistle signalled penalties.
Lawrence, H. Searle, Merrifield and Wynn netted the first four spot-kicks for Churchill, before J. Bibspoole saved the fourth effort from Downlands.
That gave Morris the chance to settle the outcome and send Churchill through, which he duly did by slotting into the corner of the net to launch wild celebrations.
Coach and head of PE Mr Hayne said: “Everyone at the school is incredibly proud of the whole squad.
“As a team they’ve trained hard, learned and improved so much since starting out in year seven. To have reached the last eight in the country is a phenomenal achievement and we hope our successful run continues.”
The quarter-final is to be played in the next two weeks and sees Churchill drawn away to either a school from Leicestershire or Northants.
R2: Churchill 5 Millfield School (Mid-Somerset) 3
R3: Crispin School Academy (Mid-Somerset) scr Churchill Academy w/o.
R4: Oasis Academy John Williams (Bristol & South Glos) 0 Churchill Academy 2.
R5: Churchill Academy 6 Norton Hill Academy (Bath) 1.
R6: St Peter’s CofE School (Exeter & East Devon) 1 Churchill Academy 2.
R7: Churchill Academy 2 Downlands Community School (Mid-Sussex) 2 (5-4 on pens).
QF: Thomas Esley Community College (South Leics) or Campion School (South Northants) v Churchill Academy.