The Under 16 Girls final has 3 semi finalists and Wolgarston will take on Blythe bridge whilst De Ferrers await the winner of Painsley and Westwood. These games have to be played before the 5th of March. The Under 15 Girls have a finalist where Alleynes Uttoxeter will play the winners of Sir Thomas Boughy and Kingsmead. The final girls competition the Under 13's have one semi finalist. Games here will be decided on the toss of a coin unless there is some prompt action next week.
In the U18 boys competition Codsall await the winners of the Painsley/Repton tie whilst in the Under 16 Boys Trentham play John Taylor whilst Rawlett will playt the winners of Painsly and Biddulph which has to be played next week. The under 15 semi final involve Painsley against Repton and St Margaret Ward will play Excel Academy or Westwood, another game that must be played next week.
At under 14 John Taylor are waiting for the winners of Trentham and Sir Graham Balfour and in the Under 13 competition St Edwards Middle School from Leek will play the winners of the game between King Edward VI Stafford and Wilnecote. Last but not least De Ferrers Academy await either Blythe Bridge or Clayton.
Teams are reminded to look at the rules and the codes of conduct as there have been several complaints this season. It is hoped that almost all finals will be played before the Easter break.
The photograph below shows the two Staffordshire girls with ESFA ambassador and England International Rachel Yankee and ESFA goalkeeping coach and ex international keeper Rachel Finnis-Brown.
Staffordshire Under 16 Girls made their exit from the ESFA national cup to Cheshire by the narrowest of margins, losing 5-4 on penalties after the game finished tied at 1-1 after extra time.
Cheshire were physically very strong and a well drilled talented team who started strongly and dominated early possession. Staffordshire were without international and playmaker Phoebe Warner through injury but the girls gave an outstanding defensive display with many of the squad having not only the best game of their season but in some cases the best game for their County.
Cheshire showed their early intent and went close but a sprawling save from kepper Hollie Nelson kept the scores level. However minutes later she was beaten by a cross shot after Cheshire breached the Staffordshire back line. Staffordshire then had to defend stoutly to prevent a further deficit but the back line of Hannah Price Alex Buck and Ria Elsmore, marshalled by skipper Holly Gibson held firm.
In a sporadic attack Staffordshire found themselves level when an inswinging corner from Paighton Rowbathan was not dealt with and Ellie Bruton stabbed home the loose ball. 1-1 at half time.
In the second half Staffordshire were again under pressure for long periods but seldom looked as though they would concede a goal with Anna King marking the Cheshire Under 17 England International out of the game. The midfield players chased, harried and blocked all that came at them and at the final whistle the scores were locked at 1-1.
Extra time saw Staffordshire create good chances as did Cheshire but as the final whistle blew the score remained tied at 1-1 and penalties beckoned. Unfortunately Staffordshire missed with one of their spot kicks to give Cheshire a home tie in the semi final against Lancashire.
The Stafffordshire girls will now concentrate on trying to win the Midland Counties Trophy for the first time in their history.
Three girls from Staffordshire Schools have been selected to represent the England School's Football Association for this season. Anna King from Wolgarston School, who was also selected last year, Phoebe Warner from Ounsdale School and Hannah Hampton from Kingsmead.
Phoebe and Anna will be spending the half term week making use of the training facilities used by Benfica, as they have a training camp in Portugal. Hannah will be attending an FA camp and will miss out on making her competitive debut for the girls ESFA XI but will be in the squad which travels to play the Republic of Ireland in March.
All in Staffordshire wish them every success during the International programme.
The photograph above shows Anna and Phoebe preparing for departure fro Stanstead Airport.
On Monday evening Staffordshire SFA Under 18 squad travelled to play Worcestershire in an important MCF fixture. As the current title holders the Staffordshire management team were keen to get a result after the earlier draw against West Midlands CSFA.
Little did managers Mark Culverhouse and Greg Valentine know what drama would unfold during the day. Already missing two players through injury 6 others called off late the night before or in some cases the day of the game with excuses ranging from poor to pathetic.All had reported fit for the prestigious fixture at SGP. George Dixon who picked up an injury the previous day, showed true committment, travelled to support the squad the manager had cobbled together with frantic phone calls and pleas for support.
The magnificent twelve, not seven, including two goalkeepers arrived at Littleton prepared to show what they could do given the chance and they responded in superb fashion for their County. The team played without fear and soon led 2-0 and went in at the break 4-2 to the good. This was stuff that dreams are made of and following a heroic rearguard action in the second half where one goal was conceded, Staffordshire were victorious by 4-3.
Had the game been forfeited then the ramifications would have been very serious. There would , in alllikelihood no Under 18 football the following season as there is little point working hard to provide youngsters with opportunities if they cannot be bothered to commit themselves to County football.
This in turn would have denied future generations of players the chance to represent their country, as only playing for your County makes you eligible to trial for the ESFA national squad. In all liklihood it would have resulted in staff, who give of their time freely, leaving the County set up which in turn would lead to the loss of County Cups and other football related activities. So well done to the young men who stood up to the plate on Monday, now you need to win against Shropshire to guarantee a semi final place and the opportunity to retain the trophy.
The under 14 girls travelled to Thomas Telford School last night to take on Shropshire Schools in their first Midland Counties Federation Fixture. Having suffered defeats in their previous two matches manager David Ebberson was looking for a positive response from the girls.
They did not start too brightly and struggled in the fist half although going in at half time all square at 1-1.
The half time tea and team talk obviously did the trick and the Staffordshire girls ran riot adding six further goals without reply, running out comfortable winners by 7-1 and picking up a valuable three points along the way.
Goalscorers were Hannah Hampton (2) Shev Watson (2) Louis Brindley (2) and Demi McCalliog.
Worcestershire girls will visit Stafford on the 23rd of March in an MCF fixture, with the return against Shropshire and the away game against Worcestershire still to be arranged.
We wish the girls from Kingsmead who play in the team all the best in their quest to reach the ESFA semi finals when the play Thomas Esley School from Leicestershire this week.
The Under 16 Girls take on Cheshire in the quarter final of the ESFA Inter County Trophy on Wednesday 11th of February at Stafford Town FC with a 7-00pm KO
Admission will be £3 for adults and £1 concessions. Usual dress code applies.
The following girls have been selected and have already indicated their fitness and availability.
The Under 16 Girls squad travelled to Worcester on Monday to play an MCF fixture against Worcestershire, having recorded a 1-0 win in the home fixture. Staffordshire unbeaten in the Western division for two seasons have always found Worcestershire their most difficult opponents and this game was to prove no different.
On a bitterley cold night Staffordshire, shorn of several starting line up players, started poorly and for twenty minutes chased the shadows of an excellent Worcestershire side who dominated possession and passed the ball very well. Just as Staffordshire looked as though they were posing a threat Worcestershire struck when a long ball sailed over a non existent Staffordshire back line and was swept home leaving keeper Holly Nelson helpless. Minutes later Staffordshire were two down when keeper Nelson played the ball short from a goal kick and miscontrolled the return on the difficult surface and was disposessed by the Worcestershire centre forward who fired into an empty net.
Staffordshire responded positively and the Worcestershire keeper made a fine diving save before Staffordshire were denied by the crossbar. Worcestershire responded in the best way possible with a third goal. A hopeful punt from thirty yards was lost in the lights by the Staffordshire keeper and Staffordshire went into the break 3-0 down with what looked a lost cause and only their pride to play for.
Staffordshire started the second half brightly. Making her full debut Charlotte Jarvis picked up the Worcestershire skipper and snuffed out her influence on the game. This allowed midfield dynamo Phoebe Warner more freedom and she began to influence proceedings and with Holly Gibson rampaging down the left flank Staffordshire at last began to show their true form.
The first breach of the Worcestershire rearguard was from Paighton Rowbathan who stunned everyone by scoring direct from a corner. There was however no fluke about her second goal when she was on hand to rap in a volley after some outstanding team play and a wicked cross from skipper Hollie Gibson. Staffordshire were now rampant but it seemed that they had given themselves too difficult a mountain to climb, when Ellie Bruton stepped up and smashed a free kick into the box from 35 yards out. The Worcestershire keeper stood rooted as the ball sailed over her head and into the roof of the net.
3-3 in a game of two distinct halves was a fair result but the winners were the specatators who having braved the Arctic conditions, saw an excellent game of football which showcased the abilities of girls from both sides and demonstrated just how far girls football has come in the past four years.
The Under 18 Boys travel to Littleton FC on Monday night, 9th of February to play Worcestershire in a MCF Fixture. Manager Mark Culverhouse has named the following squad to play.
Brandon McEleny 1
Cameron Bliss 2
Alex Russon 3
Callum Street 4
George Dixon 5
Kalum Betts 6
Keenan Powell 7
Steven Edwards 8
Jack Alexander 9
Malaki Norford 10
Oliver Ritchie 11
Macauley Rowe 12
Matt Smith 13
Will Carney 14
Matthew Hough 15
Ben Douglas 16
Liam Elliott Standby
Masoma Sakwe Standyby
Steven O'Sullivan Standby
Ryan Nesbitt Standby
Jacob Campbell Standby
Players should meet at the ground as near to sixas possible for a 7-00pm KO
Usual Dress code applies.
Staffordshire Schools FA Under 15 Squad wil play Shropshire at St Georges Park on the indoor International 3G pitch on the 15th of January. The cost of admission will be £4 and there will not be any concessions to try and offset the hire costs. Only 50 spectators will be allowed to watch the match. Places will need to be reserved through the website but more details will follow.
For manager Gary Spruces notes see below.
Staffordshire U15 v Shropshire - Thursday 15th January
Venue - St Georges Park, Burton upon Trent 7-30pm
The following 22 players are asked to confirm their availability for the above fixture by Wednesday 7th Jan. firstname.lastname@example.org
Only 16 players will be selected to play in the match however all 22 are invited to attend the fixture, more details to follow