On Thursday 10 May the U16 Sandwell Academy football team made history at
the Bet 365 Stadium, home of Stoke City FC, by becoming the first team from
Sandwell Academy to retain the National Schools Cup beating Ravenswood
School from Kent 3 – 0.
Sandwell made a promising start taking the lead in the eighth minute, when
after a patient build up a fantastically threaded ball by Finley Thorndike,
found the run of Jordan Edwards who was able to shoot past the oncoming
Ravenswood goalkeeper. From this moment Sandwell continued to stamp their
authority on the game, and came close to doubling the lead with good
chances for Morgan Rogers and Jordan Edwards. Sandwell’s dominance was
rewarded in the twenty-fifth minute when excellent pressing from Bradley
Burton disposed the Ravenswood midfielder. He then played an executed chip
pass to Morgan Rogers, who calmly slotted past the goalkeeper, allowing
Sandwell Academy to take a 2 – 0 lead into the half time interval.
Ravenswood started the second half brightly, with some good possession
however, Sandwell’s defence defensive duo of Harry Williams and Carrick
Hill were able to dominate and diffuse any threat with ease. As the second
half went on, Sandwell continued to manage the game fantastically well with
Lewis Smith controlling the pace of the game. In the seventy-second minute
Sandwell closed off the game when Jarvis Cleal broke down the right wing,
feeding Morgan Rogers, who beat his defender before calmly squaring the
ball for Bradley Burton to score and secure the victory for Sandwell.
After the win, Man of the Match Bradley Burton said ‘It was a fantastic
occasion, and although we knew we had the quality to beat any team on the
day, we had to work hard and play well as a team in order to retain the
title.’ Manager, Mr Simon Golden highlighted what a brilliant team effort
it was ‘To win back to back titles is special, it takes all members of the
team to be on the top of their game, and every player played their part in
the victory. It is a special achievement and as an Academy we are proud of
all the players’.