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May 7, 2013

ESFA National Cup

Walkwood reach National Final

St Thomas More Catholic School 1 Walkwood Middle School 3

Walkwood Middle School’s Year 8 football team have made history by becoming the first middle school team in Worcestershire to ever reach the final of the ESFA National U13 Schools’ Cup.  The team travelled to the North East to play St. Thomas More Catholic School at Newcastle United F.C’s training headquarters. 

In brilliant sunshine, on a pristine surface the game got off to a frenetic start with chances being created at either end.  The hosts began to take control of the first half and it was no surprise when the impressive McCallum ran onto a fine through ball, which he dispatched low and hard shooting past Jack Davis, the Walkwood goalkeeper.   In fact it could have been far worse for Walkwood, if it was not for Davis who pulled off a brilliant diving save to deny Walters, just before the interval. 

After the break Walkwood stepped it up a gear and quickly demonstrated why they had won 8 games previously in the competition.  Talisman Matt Smith was fouled around 35 yards from goal; he duly picked himself up and smashed in a stunning equaliser from the resulting free kick. The game was clearly swinging in Walkwood’s direction. Despite close attention Jack Turner began to exploit spaces within the hosts defence, Chris Dyson rolled up his sleeves along with Ben Thomas and Jack Cole in the midfield area.  Jack Nicholls began to run tirelessly down the right hand flank, causing further problems for the hosts.  Turner was extremely unlucky when his shot was saved and from Dyson’s driven corner from the left hand side, the ball smashed against a St. Thomas More defender and into the goal.  Walkwood had gone in front, but it was no more than they deserved.   The defence superbly marshalled by Duggan were in no mood to concede any further goals. 

Walkwood began to pick off their opponents at will as they chased the game. Poxon replaced the industrious Cole and he made an instant impact threading a series of clever passes in behind the tired St Thomas More defenders.  The impressive Dyson weaved his way into the box and found himself with only the keeper to beat; with nerves of steel he coolly stroked the ball into the net.  Nicholls had a great chance to make it 4 -1, but was denied by the goalkeeper. 

It was a brave, determined and spirited display by the Walkwood team who received a standing ovation from their large contingent of travelling supporters. 

Walkwood will now fly the flag for Redditch and Worcestershire when they meet Northampton School for Boys at Chesterfield F.C on Monday 20th May 2013 kick off 2.30 pm.