Football News

Elite National Cup

Monday 26th November saw Verulam U14s face Brockvale High School from Leicestershire. Continuing their competitive unbeaten run in all competitions this game was an Elite National cup last 16 in the country game. It was played at Sandringham School making use of their amazing brand new Astro facility.

Although Verulam knew that this would be a very tight game as Brockvale had a number of Academy players and last year reached the semi final of this competition, a determined Verulam side strived for that win which would take them straight into the quarter finals (last 8 in the country).

The game started at a very quick pace and Verulam got the start they needed as Charlie McDonald played a nice pass out to Charlie Taylor at right back who played a cross which fell at Harrison Smith’s feet who finished very nicely. However, the game started to turn and both teams had some very good chances. Brockvale managed to get one back on the stroke of half time.

Brockvale came back into the second half confident, but during the second half Verulam dominated the game and had many chances. The full time whistle went and extra time it was. Extra time went Verulam’s way who were again very dominant, however couldn’t break the deadlock and the game finished with the score still at 1-1 and it was time for dreaded penalties.

Brockvale started very confidently in the penalty shootout, scoring their first four penalties comfortably and taking the lead as despite good penalties from Will Andiyapan and Charlie McDonald the Brockvale keeper saved Verulam’s Third. Harrison Shaw scored to make the score 4-3 to Brockvale meaning if Brockvale scored next they would win however a brilliant save from Alfie Chambers kept us in it. We needed to score and after a great penalty from Uthmann we were back in it at 4-4. Brockvale then missed with some of our boys thinking that meant we had won but we still needed to score one more to make the score 5-4 and the pressure was left to Elliot Johnson he calmly stepped up to win it for us and scored!

Verulam are into the quarter finals, the last 8 in the country, in the most prestigious national competition! Big congratulations to Kyrese Williams who deservedly won man of the match for his solid defence contribution. A home draw awaits us after Christmas with opposition to be confirmed. COYV

County Cup

On a windy away game against Bishops Stortford High School, Verulam went into the game confident on the back of a win in the Elite National Cup the following week. As the game commenced, a few warning passes in around the opposition box were dangerous, but the defence stayed strong and cleared the passes away. About 15 minutes into the match, a throw in was led to Harrison Shaw, who controlled it and passed it to Vinny Clarke who crossed it to the in-behind run of Will Andiyapan. With a great first touch, he calmly placed it into the bottom left with a great finish.

Quite an even middle part of the match led to no team really dominating, but both teams had danger in- behind. Verulam went into the second half 1-0 up. As the heavens opened, the conditions became more difficult with the ball starting to skid and slide on the pitch, but Verulam’s class started to shine through on the opposition. An excellent clipped through ball from Charlie Mac connected with a curved run from Harrison Shaw who was now in behind the defensive line. Sprinting at the keeper, Harrison Shaw opened up his body and slotted the ball with precision into the bottom corner, sending the keeper the wrong way making it 2-0 Verulam. However, with the break of play, Bishops Stortford had a lucky attempt following a corner that their striker struck into the goal beating the sprawling Sam Hanks; even though he got a strong hand on it. Our heads didn’t drop though, as the defence opened up, and mistakes from the defence as the rain pounded down led to a skilful run from Harrison Shaw. After two steps overs and a faint around the defender, he tripped him up just outside the box. Harrison Shaw took the free kick and placed it underneath the jumping wall into the bottom left of the net making it 3-1. The final score was 3-1 Verulam, sending us into the Quarter-Finals of the County Cup. Congratulations to Will Andiyapan who was collectively voted Man of the Match!

Elliot Johnson Harrison Shaw and Charlie Taylo

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