Last week saw the U14 girls from Eastwood Academy take on Marshall Park School in the semi-final of the Essex Cup. Having been knocked out of this competition last year by penalties, the Eastwood girls were determined to make amends. In the bitter cold the girls set up to compete against a very accomplished side from Romford. Both teams were clearly fired up for the contest and it was clear from the kick off that the game would be evenly matched.
With competitive battles across the pitch the deadlock was broken and Marshall Park scored just after 20 minutes. With the bulk of the battle taking place in midfield there were limited chances at either end and at half time Eastwood were training by one goal. As we changed ends and the whistle blew Eastwood found an extra gear and piled on the pressure and 10 minutes into the second half Ashleigh Searle stormed through the defence and slid the ball past the keeper 1-1!. With Shakeela Kemp dominating midfield and Megan Harley delivering from the left, the pendulum continued to swing in Eastwood favour. With missed chances and 7 minutes left it was looking like extra time was looming. Unfortunately an innocuous challenge meant that a player from the opposition went down clutching her ankle. After some deliberation it was clear that we had to call an ambulance to attend to the player. The game was temporarily postponed whilst we waited for the ambulance to arrive. At this point I would like to extend many thanks to Aarron Phillips who performed first aid on the player an awaited the arrival of the ambulance.
After more deliberation regarding abandoning the fixture, with the player on her way to hospital, it was decided we had just enough light to play the last 6 minutes of the game. The whistle blew for kick off and Eastwood continued to dominate across the pitch, with 2 minutes left, penalties were looming until a wonder strike from outside the box from Megan Harley saw the ball fly into the top right corner! GOAL!!
The final whistle blew after nearly a 3 hour football match and Eastwood Academy were in the final of the Essex Cup for the first time in the Schools history! The final is due to be played on the Tuesday 26th March against Greensward Academy.
Thanks again to all those who assisted in with the injured player, parents, Aarron and of course Mr Wheeler (who refereed for almost 3 hours).
The team was as follows:
Morgan Levin (c) , Holly Coughlan, Lois Curson, Ashleigh Searle, Chloe Taybor, Chloe Hawkins, Sasha Cornell, Gabby Pearson, Megan Harley, Shakeela Kemp, Lydia Weekly, Charlotte Elliott,Billie-May Holt
Player of the match – Shakeela Kemp