Match reports by Mr Mason, Head of Sport.

The Year 11 boys football team continues their unbeaten year with notable victories in the U16 English Schools FA national and county cups. The national cup quarter final saw us drawn with Gordon’s School from Woking, Surrey. Gordon’s, a strong sporting school with national reputation, arrived and right from the whistle looked well organised and by far the toughest opponent we had faced in this year’s impressive national cup run.
It would be down to our Midfield trio of Ford, Voller-Hooper and Tanton to establish a foothold in the centre of the park to ensure the defence received the protection they needed and the attack the ammunition they required to trouble the Gordon’s goal. Tanton took a lead in his usual combative and direct manner and got involved with his opponents with passion, determination and wonderful skill to win the ball back when needed and then drive at the heart of the Gordon’s defence. His example inspired the others and we started to take a foothold in the game.
Melbourne and Mendonca started to make inroads into the Gordon’s defence and the game started to swing our way. It was a matter of time until we scored and although we didn’t trouble the score sheet in the first half we struck early in the second to take a deserved lead. A ball was swung to the near post to be met with a bullet header from Mendonca and the lead had be taken much to the excitement and jubilation of a large and vocal academy crowd, which has been with the team every step of the way.
That goal spurred the boys to greater confidence and very soon we were 3-0 up with another from Mendonca and a goal from goal poacher Melbourne to make it 3-0. Until now it has to be said that the academy defence had put in a faultless performance with Jenkins, Budge and Priestley imperious, strong and calm with whatever had been thrown at them, with Hyam between the sticks not having a lot to do other than shout loudly and effectively as Gordons approached his goal.
With 15 to go there was a drop in concentration levels with a 25 yarder deceiving Hyam and dropping just in under the bar. Whereas in the previous round panic stations ensued, this time round we had learnt from our mistakes and control was re taken with strong ball possession and use of our wingbacks Jewell and Ward to widen the play and keep Gordon’s at arms length to the final whistle.
This victory sees us progress to the semi final and we remain the only school in the south of England involved. Following on from that victory the boys dispatched a strong Clevedon School side 5-0 to set up a quarter final game against Nailsea School. Stars of that match were Richardson with two well taken goals and Celeste with a heart thumping wing back performance.