The Causeway School’s u13 football team is celebrating national glory after winning the English Schools’ FA Under 13 PlayStation Small Schools’ Trophy.
Staged in a carnival atmosphere at Reading FC’s state-of-the-art Madejski Stadium, The Causeway School got their hands on the trophy after a 3-2 success against Clitheroe Royal Grammar School.
Despite starting on the front foot, Causeway found themselves behind when CRGS took the lead with their first real attempt on goal as a bouncing effort from Archie Aspinwall found the back of the net via the upright.
They were not behind for long, and levelled with arguably the Goal of the Festival. Fully 35 yards from goal, Max Thomson struck a venomous free kick into the top corner with the goalkeeper only able to watch and admire it.
Not to be outdone by his teammate, Ben Overton then produced a moment of magic.
CRGS were caught on the counter attack and in a three-on-three situation, Overton curled an exquisite shot from 20 yards into the bottom corner.
After going into the break 2-1 up, Causeway consolidated their position early in the second half with CRGS defender Gil Stanton handled a goal-bound shout in the penalty area.
He escaped a sending-off but the punishment was compounded by Thompson who buried the resulting penalty.
CRGS made it a nervy last 10 minutes as right-back Louis Salter marauded forward to tee up striker Joshua Loan Clarke who finished well.
However they were unable to find a leveller and it was Causeway, who got their hands on the trophy.
The final was part of the PlayStation Schools’ Cup Festival, which was the culmination of another season of the exciting grassroots partnership between PlayStation and the ESFA. Some 15 national football finals from U12 to U15 secondary school age groups, featuring boys’ and girls’ teams, took place across three days.
Representatives from both PlayStation and the ESFA were on hand to present the trophy and medals to Causeway School, who celebrated their success in front of friends, family and fellow pupils.
As well as getting their hands on the trophy, 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 have their pre-match team talk in the dressing room.
The partnership between PlayStation and the English Schools’ FA (ESFA) kicked off in September 2013 and as well as providing a boost to grassroots football, it has helped increase the engagement in competitive football for secondary school age categories.
A total of 20 PlayStation Schools’ Cup competitions have been staged in the 2015-16 season and have involved over 2,000 schools and 150,000 participants.
More information about the project is available on www.playstationschoolscup.com and www.facebook.com/playstationschoolscup. Or via the PlayStation Schools’ Cup and ESFA Twitter pages - @PSSchoolsCup and @SchoolsFootball.
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