An amazing season in which the year 9 team became Liverpool Champions, Merseyside Champions and National Cup Runners Up began in September with a difficult away national cup game against our fiercest rivals, Cardinal Heenan. A strong, decisive display ensured SFX came away with a dominant 2-0 victory. It was at that moment that I knew this would be a special season. The road to the final seemed to be long but as the Winter term progressed the team kept on performing at an exceptional standard, scoring plenty of goals along the way in a series of difficult away games. Every game, Tom Costello, Joseph Wright and Matthew Grivioti were scoring goals at will in what became an explosive and dynamic attacking three. They were constantly backed up with a strong defence led by Morgan Kinsella and a creative midfield duo of Alex Murphy and Harry McDonald.
The Spring term started with what seemed like a tricky away fixture in Lancashire against Haslingden High School. It was in this game that the team were at their most explosive. Josh Hobbs and Morgan Kinsella marshalled expertly the dangerous Halsingden and Preston North End centre forward. This gave the team confidence to attack from all over the pitch. The game was highlighted by an exceptional goal from Tom Costello, From a corner kick, Tom hovered just on the edge of the Haslingden box. As it was cleared from inside the 6 yard box, Tom was able to control the ball on his knee before volleying it back into the corner of the net with power and pace. Spectators from both teams applauded such a magnificent goal.
A nervy win against Manchester Creative and Media Academy in the last 16, took us to a difficult away game up in Newcastle for the quarter finals. The game was finally balanced throughout the 90 minutes with SFX always looking to be the more dangerous team. An early Matthew Grivosti goal was cancelled out by the opposition meaning that the game would have to be decided in extra time. SFX’s power and fitness shone through during this period with Joseph Wright scoring early on after shrugging of two defenders to calmly put the ball in the corner. The decisive moment n came with five minutes to go, when John Spence were pushing for an equaliser, Morgan Kinsella intercepted the ball on the edge of his own box. Powering through midfield, Morgan laid the ball off to Tom Costello, who expertly returned the favour back into Morgan’s path on the edge of the John Spence box. Cooly, Kinsella, rounded the keeper to book our place in the semi final.
In the semi final, the year 9’s came through a tough test narrowly beating Wickersley Sports College from Rotherham 3-2. SFX took an early lead when Joseph Wright was first to react after Tom Costello’s free kick had come crashing back off the cross bar. SFX were put under pressure soon afterwards though when Wickersley put in a deep, curling free kick straight into the six yard box. After a scramble to clear, the ball somehow managed to end up in the SFX net. The advantage was taken back late into the first half with an exceptional team goal. Sharp, one touch passing between Matthew Grivosti, and Tom Costello led to a cut back to Joseph Wright, who when arriving at the edge of the area clinically dispatched into the corner with a first time strike. We looked to be coping with the threat Wickersley possessed in open play but their set pieces always looked dangerous. Seconds before the half time whistle, Wickersley were awarded a free kick deep into the SFX half. With exceptional power and technique, the Wickersley player curled and dipped a free kick into the top corner of the net. The game was settled in the second half with an exceptional individual goal from Tom Costello. Receiving the ball in the inside left position; the SFX pupil was able to beat two defenders before drilling the ball home into the bottom corner of the net.
Having already clinched the Liverpool and Merseyside cup titles earlier that month, we went into the national final full of confidence. Unfortunately a combination of an excellent Beths Grammar School team and certain crucial, game changing decisions early in the match meant that we were unable to show our true potential. To end the season in such fashion was extremely disappointing to the pupils and staff alike but on reflection to be city and Merseyside champions and national runners up is an extraordinary achievement!
Route to the final
|Cardinal Heenan (Liverpool)||0||2||SFX|
|(Scorers: Joseph Wright, Carl Furlong)|
|Kings Chester (Chester)||0||4||SFX|
|(Scorers: Joseph Wright x2, Matthew Grivosti, Ben McKeown)|
|Ridgeway High School (Wirral)||2||6||SFX|
|(Scorers: Joseph Wright, Tom Costello x 3, Matthew Grivosti, Ben McKeown)|
|Archbishop Beck (Liverpool)||1||4||SFX|
|(Scorers: Joseph Wright, Matthew Grivosti, Tom Costello x 2)|
|SFX||5||0||Wade Deacon (Halton)|
|(Scorers: Tom Costello x 3, Joseph Wright, Matthew Grivosti)|
|Haslingden High School (Rossendale)||1||9||SFX|
|(Scorers: Joseph Wright x 2, Tom Costello x 3, Matthew Grivosti, Morgan Kinsella x 2, Fraser Garvey)|
|SFX||3||2||Manchester Creative and media Academy (Manchester)|
|(Scorers: Joseph Wright x 2, Cameron Murray)|
|John Spence High School (North Tyneside)||1||3||SFX|
|(Scorers: Joseph Wright , Matthew Grivosti, Morgan Kinsella)|
|SFX||3||2||Wickersley Sports Cellege (Rotherham)|
|(Scorers: Joseph Wright , Tom Costello)|