The Harefield Academy 2 - Cardinal Heenan Sports College 1
On Tuesday 20th May, The Harefield Academy's Under 15 Football Team won the English Schools' Football Association Cup in an exciting final against Cardinal Heenan Sports College at Vicarage Road. They faced a team which included players who are on the books of clubs like Everton, Liverpool and Bolton and so this was never going to to be an easy task. However our boys could count on the massive support of The Harefield Academy supporters in the stands who were impossible to ignore with their banners, flags and enthusiastic chanting being lead by drumming from our samba band. Over 300 Harefield students and a majority of our staff turned up to support our boys in their quest for ultimate glory.
Our boys opened the scoring with only 15 minutes on the clock with a sweet goal by Harefield left back Oli Archer who finished off a move that included Gavin Massey and Chez Isaac. The goal lead to a tremendous outpouring of cheering and joy from the Harefield supporters. Other close scoring chances in the first half seemed to elude completion by Harefield with Gavin Massey putting a kick wide. Worse was to come however as Conor Roberts of Cardinal Heenan managed to capitilise on defensive mistakes and score at the 26 minute mark. Massey then missed another great opportunity and the game at the end of the first half was left tied. This meant that it was all on for the second half with the possibility of the game going either way and the Harefield supporters nervously knowing their team had to assert themselves to assure victory.
At the restart Harefield’s number 7, Joe Bennett had a couple of chances that he failed to capitalise on and this was made worse by a resurgent Cardinal Heenan team that started to look dominant with a lot of the game being played in the Harefield half. However Harefields defence held out with centre half Faisal Hemati key to this effort. As the game wore on both teams started using substitutes to gain fresh pairs of legs and then with just a few minutes to play Harefield made a break and what a break it was, with Harefield player Rosier going down the right flank and putting in a cross that saw substitute Ware dashing between two Cardinal Heenan defenders to head the ball past the goalkeeper. Needless to say the Harefield supporters and team erupted in a massive display of estatic celebration.
With only a few minutes to go Harefield just needed to hang in there and stop Cardinal Heenan from scoring. These long minutes passed in nail biting tension for the Harefield supporters as the Cardinal Heenan team desperately tried to score but made mistakes that relieved the pressure till that magical moment when the referee’s whistle sounded, resulting in a fantastic outpouring of joy and celebration yet again from the Harefield team and their supporters. The Harefield players danced and jumped across the field with joy, running up to the stands containing their supporters and indulging in antics to the amusement and joy of their supporters.
Then the moment of moments came with the award ceremony. Finally the Harefield boys had their hands on the prestigious ESFA Cup and more celebrations with their supporters ensued before the team went to change for a victory party which had been kindly put on by one of The Harefield Academy’s sponsors, the Grove Hotel. All in all this was a day to savour and one that will long remain in the memories of the Harefield players and supporters. Well done Harefield!
The Harefield Academy (4-5-1):
Irving;Thompson,Hemati,Fenwick,Archer,Bennett,Warburton,Isaac,Kasler,Rosier; Massey. Subs ( rolling): Ware,Deer,Stephens,Robinson.
Scorers: Archer, Ware
Cardinal Heenan Sports College (4-4-2): Nicholls; Prince,Burns,McGuiness,Smart; Rice, Charlesworth, Donegan, Cahill; Mc Gowan, Roberts. Subs ( rolling): Donnelly,Roberts, Hargreaves, Farrelly, Stulberg.
Scorer — Roberts
Referee — Mr P Watts