U14 KENT SCHOOLS VS SUSSEX U14 – NATIONAL CUP SEMI-FINAL
9th February 2019
As we arrived at Canterbury we knew that a win was the only outcome that we wanted, we couldn’t bear to lose in the semi-final of the National Cup and we knew that Sussex would not be an easy opponent. The wind was gale force and we wanted it to be behind us for the first half to get a solid grip on the game. We had a good, thorough warm up and got all the boys going and up for it and then it came down to the moment we had all been waiting for. It was time to kick off.
Luckily they lost the toss and I chose to have the wind behind us which worked out well as in the early parts of the game we were all over them and they couldn’t work us out. We had a number of chances like my effort that the keeper saved well and Finley Cotton’s thumper which slammed against the bar. Then about 20 minutes in the deadlock was finally broken, Alfie Moynes whipped in the ball and Finley Cotton took it down on his chest and slammed it home to put Kent 1-0 up. We kept getting stronger throughout the game but was hit with a sucker punch as Sussex equalised from about 30 yards after we thought we should have had a free kick. We were still much the better team but we went into half time drawing 1-1.
After some brisk words of motivation from James and Chris we were fired up for the second half. We had more chances then finally Daniel Kanu shot and their keeper scrambled the ball clear but without the use of goal line technology we had to rely on the linesman’s 20-20 vision to spot that the ball had crossed the line and put us 2-1 up. Immediately from kick off Sussex hit the bar with a long range effort but the defence dealt with their long balls extremely well and nothing was getting through. We controlled midfield and won everything all day but when Elliot Nimmo got injured we had to change formation and Joseph Terry came on. He made an immediate impact by playing a through ball to Rasheed Tijani who beat two men and scored a screamer which was a very important goal putting Kent 3-1 up.
We continued to win our individual battles and managed the game very well. Jack Vine and Harvey Welford linked up well to get a cross in for Joseph Terry who slotted it home to make the final score 4-1 to Kent and put us through to the National final. Everyone played brilliantly and put a massive shift in and we showed great camaraderie throughout. Now all we need to do is win the final and bring the trophy back to Kent.
Once again, a massive thank you to James, Chris, Niall, Richard Crutchfield and Phil Harding for being there and supporting us and also a big thank you to all the family and friends for supporting us throughout this competition and the season.
By Jack Beerling