ESFA National Finals – Captains Report | Surbiton High School
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ESFA National Finals – Captains Report 

Posted: 13th June 2024

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U12 – Surbiton High School 4-2 St Joseph’s RC Academy 

Surbiton High School triumphed 4-2 over St Joseph’s in the girls’ ESFA National Final at West Bromwich Albion (The Hawthorns). Surbiton took an early lead inside the first 5 minutes through Heywood, but we found ourselves trailing 2-1 at halftime. Following our halftime team talk, we started the second half quickly and a turning point came when Mason won a penalty, having been played through by a brilliant pass from Davies, and confidently converted it to the bottom left of the goal to level the score. Despite the scoreline being level, we were in control and later added two more goals through Mason and Heywood to secure our victory. Surbiton’s relentless second-half performance ensured that we lifted the cup. The win was a fitting end to a memorable and hard-fought campaign for Surbiton, winning the National Cup and Surrey Cup. 

U13B – Surbiton High School 1-3 Horizon Community College 

The feeling when we saw the stadium and realised that in just a few short hours we would be playing there, was like nothing we had ever felt before. We were surrounded by an incredible, supportive football community. As we stepped out of the tunnel, it was a proud moment that we experienced together as a team. The echoes of applause from everyone who had supported us along our journey to the final rang around the stadium. We stood on the centre circle, hearts pounding. The whistle blew to signal kick-off and then the game began. It was a tense start for both teams, both trying to find their way into the game.

Then at around the 25-minute mark, Horizon counter-attacked and managed to slot it into the back of the net. Surbiton 0, Horizon 1. Despite this, no one’s head dropped and everyone kept going. It stayed with this scoreline until the whistle blew for halftime, and both teams headed for the dressing room to receive tactical words from their coaches. Then at around 50 minutes, a few substitutions were made for each side. Then around 10 minutes later, Horizon scored their second.

A few minutes went by until Atherton scored an amazing Surbiton goal. From an amazing pass by Wildman, she drove towards the goal and slotted it in the corner with a brilliant strike. Hope spread to all the players. However, almost immediately Horizon got their third, earning their striker a hat trick. After a tense last few minutes, the full-time whistle went. Surbiton players dropped to their floor having given it everything, however, it just wasn’t our day. We collected our medals proudly, knowing we had given everything and we were so proud to get to the final at West Brom and all the challenges we had overcome. We hope to return next year to lift the trophy! 

U15B – Surbiton High School 3-1 Thomas Telford School 

We had a rocky start when we went 1-0 down 10 minutes into the match due to an uncharacteristic mistake from our keeper, Joyce. We tried to ignore that and had a very close chance 5 minutes later which was cleared off the line by the opposition. Two minutes later, we equalised which improved our team morale.

After a clearance from our keeper, we managed to quickly attack with Combe and Elliott to lead the attack, we then went 2-1 up, but we didn’t let this get to our heads. After halftime, 65 minutes in we scored with a great run from Warren and Smith was there to finish it. This made the team grow in confidence which helped with our game management. The match ended with a 3-1 win to us, and Joyce won the ‘player of the match’ even after her mistake at the start of the game as she kept her head up and played incredibly well. 

 

U15A – Surbiton High School 5-1 South Hunsley School 

For many of the team it was not the first time at the Finals, for some it was the 3rd or 5th visit and for a few their first, just one more game to be champions. The familiarity helped to keep us grounded, we knew the opponent South Hunsley (who we would be playing for the 4th time, and 3rd in the ESFA finals) was a strong team. South Hunsley have always started the games well.

However, we had the perfect start to the game, pressing and winning the ball high up the pitch with Jackson probing the full-back, a couple of passes to the other side of the area Warren found Williams Everett in space who hit her shot into the roof of the net for an early goal. A second quickly followed as Warren swung in a cross for Crone to poke past the keeper, 2-0 in under 5 minutes! South Hunsley managed to get in the game but struggled to create or get past the excellent Bradley, Reynolds, Leach and Brewer in defence. Finn put Crone through with a perfectly weighted through ball that Crone latched onto, taking on the keeper and finishing from a tight angle to make it 3-0 just before the half ended. South Hunsley came out fighting and they drew a goal back early with a long-range free kick.

I found Crone with a ball over the top, the goalie could only watch as the ball fell to Finn who slotted her shot from outside the area for 4-1. We started to dominate, and again after a short corner Warren managed to weave her way into the box and the ball found its way to Hardy who shot powerfully the first time to make the final score 5-1. National Champions for the 3rd season in a row!

 

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