The year 10 football team became National Champions with an emphatic 5-1 win over Finchley Catholic High School from Barnet. The final played at the Madejski Stadium was round 10 of a competition that 700 schools would originally enter in round 1! This is the second consecutive U15 National title that SFX have won, with the current year 11’s claiming victory in the same competition last year.
The match would start with SFX quickly taking the game to Finchley. Outstanding early play from Joseph Wright showed that there would be plenty of attacking opportunities in the match. SFX’s early dominance paid off when a run into the box from Cameron Inglis, led to a clumsy tackle from the Finchley defender and the award of a penalty. The penalty was calmly dispatched into the bottom corner by Tom Costello. In a matter of minutes it was 2-0. A fantastic through ball from Anthony Humphries was latched upon from the ever dangerous Joseph Wright, who calmly slid the ball past the keeper. His initial shot rebounded off the post but Joseph had the presence of mind to follow his shot and place the ball into an empty net. Although having other chances ourselves to finish the game with more goals before half time, the defence led by the ever impressive SFX captain, Morgan Kinsella managed to keep a resurgent Finchley attack from getting the goal they needed to turn the game back in their favour.
After half time, SFX came out determined to get the next goal. A dominant midfield display from Harry Hatton, Matthew Grivosti and Harry McDonald ensured that it was SFX who were controlling the game and winning most of the first and second balls. A free kick near the right hand touchline would allow Joseph Wright to show off his immense crossing ability. A pacey, swerving cross in between defenders and goal keeper was met with a determined header from Harry McDonald. Soon afterwards it would be 4. Joseph Wright was able to beat 2 players on the left wing, before cutting the ball back to the onrushing Tom Costello who managed to expertly side foot a half volley into the Finchley goal.
Finchley were able to get a consolation goal before the end but it was SFX who have the final say in the match. In injury time, Harry McDonald superbly turned away from his marker to deliver a sublime pass right into the path of Joseph Wright, who managed to pass the ball into the net before the onrushing keeper.
For the school to be national champions two year in a row is an incredible achievement and a fantastic way to mark our 175 anniversary! All through the campaign the players were a credit to themselves, their parents and the school!