Sussex suffer heartbreak in English Schools FA’s Inter-County Trophy

The Sussex County Schools Football Association's under-14s. Below: Ryan Simmons in action
The Sussex County Schools Football Association's under-14s. Below: Ryan Simmons in action

SUSSEX County Schools Football Association’s under-14s suffered cup final heartbreak as they were beat 3-1 by Essex in the final of the English Schools Football Association’s Inter-County Trophy.

Staged at Reading’s state-of-the-art Madejski Stadium, Sussex were made to pay for a slow start in the first half as their opponents accelerated into a 3-0 half-time lead.

Sussex emerged from the tunnel a different team in the second half and took the game to their opponents.

Henri Wilder pulled a goal back as they looked to turn it around and force a penalty shootout.

However, despite dominating the play, they were unable to find the net and breach the opposition’s stubborn defence.

Despite the defeat and the end to their gallant cup run, the team had a day to remember as they not only had the opportunity to play on the pitch at a professional stadium, but also had their pre-match team talk in the dressing room.

As well as this, the boys were given a post-match pick-me-up talk by Tottenham star Danny Rose.

The final was part of the PlayStation Schools’ Cup Festival, which was the culmination of this season’s exciting partnership between PlayStation and the ESFA.

Fifteen finals from U12-U15 secondary school age groups, featuring both boys’ and girls’ teams, took place across three days at the home of the Championship side.

The partnership between PlayStation and the ESFA has been set up to provide a boost to grassroots football and help increase the engagement in competitive football for secondary school age categories.

A host of PlayStation Schools’ Cup competitions have been staged in the 2013/14 season and have involved nearly 2,000 schools and 100,000 participants.

To find out more about the project, log on to the website: www.playstationschoolscup.com or www.facebook.com/playstationschoolscup