Verulam Year 8 put themselves into the history books!!!

On Tuesday 20th February, Verulam Year 8 set about the start of their most important week of football ever. They began with a County Cup Semi Final game against a strong Aldenham School side. The game didn’t quite start off to plan where the team saw themselves 1-0 down quite early on. But never fear! Minutes later, Chambers showed what an outstanding goalkeeper he is with an exceptional double save to keep us in the game. After waves of pressure from Verulam, a penalty was awarded after a defender put too much pressure on Smith, bringing him down in the box. Harrison stepped up to score his 25th goal of the season. Before the half was over, Smith managed to find some space in the box and roofed a powerful shot past the helpless Aldenham goalkeeper leaving the score 2-1 to Verulam at half time.

The second half began with Aldenham performing the strongest again, with a neat bit of interplay that ended up with a great finish past the helpless Chambers. It is not often that this team concede two goals so we knew we were in for a game at 2-2. After some relentless pressure again from the V’s it was again an unmarked Smith who got on the end of the corner to score his hatrick and put Verulam ahead again. Soon after, Smith found space in the middle with a great run and dinked the ball past the keeper for his 28th goal of the season, securing another man of the match performance and surely putting the game out of sight for Aldenham. Sadly, Aldenham had the last goal of the game a long-range effort from their stand out right midfielder. The last celebration was of course from the Verulam parents and players who continued their unbeaten competitive run and have now reached a second County Cup final in two years. What an achievement for the boys!

The week was only just beginning with their quarter final of the National Cup on Friday 23rd February 2018 against Beechen Cliff. This was an achievement in itself getting to the last 8 in the country, further than any previous Verulam side. Following the semi-final result on Tuesday, the boys went into the game with confidence. It was nearly the same old story, when after a minute that confidence was blown, with a spectacular long range effort from the Beechen Cliff centre midfielder. The number 10 showed early on that he was a real danger and needed some additional Verulam attention. Yet it was the number 6 who would have won man of the match for the first half, marking goal machine Smith out of the game despite great support from Clarke. The score remained 1-0 at half time.

Early in the second half, Smith finally got clear of his marker and a through ball from Andiyapan left Smith one on one with the 6ft+ goalkeeper; he kept his nerve and rounded the keeper to the right, slotting home the equaliser. The game remained tense at 1-1 and both teams looked dangerous at times; however, it was Verulam who looked more likely to grab a winner. Into the last 4 minutes of the game, captain Taylor cut the ball back to Smith whose powerful shot was not enough to beat the giant Beechen goalkeeper. Nevertheless, Clarke then had one of the easiest yet most important goals he will ever score. Vinny’s tap in turned out to be the winner and added to his full game of outstanding play for an extremely well-earned man of the match performance. Verulam Year 8 have again changed the history books putting Verulam through to the last four in the country in an away semi-final tie against Cardinal Newman Catholic school in Brighton, due to be played on Friday 16th March, with a 1.30pm kick off. It will be again an extremely busy week of football for the boys as they have their County Cup final on Tuesday 13th March at Woollams playing fields with a 4.30pm kick off. Massive congratulations to all the boys involved in both squads. Pictured below was the squad after the National Cup quarter final in their newly sponsored kit for this season courtesy of Rack Storage www.rackstorage.co.uk.

Verulam School St albans Hertfordshire

Back left to right:

Dom Ward, Elliot Johnson, Ben Collison, Harrison Smith, Alfie Chambers, Bayley Bacon, Charlie Mc Donald, Kyrese Williams

Front left to right:

Vinny Clarke, Will Andiyapan, Charlie Taylor, Dan O’Toole, Paulo Overton, Kai Neill

Not pictured but instrumental in the success this season:

Tomas Galvez, Harrison Shaw, Frankie Ward, Dylan Campos, Nidiyan Sivakumar

Successful Ofsted Inspection at Verulam School

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