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Mar 14, 2019

Match reports

The tone of the two reports tells its own story. The future of girls representative football is in the balance after this weeks debacle.

Reports from managers Kieran Newey and Neil Davies.

Staffordshire Schools u16s Girls went into their home game knowing they would need a positive result to keep alive their chances of qualifying for the Midland counties semi final however they were up against it from the very start when a lack of commitment and unavailability saw no fewer than 10 players pull out, however the most concerning thing was the volume of players who pulled out within the last 24 hours before the game meaning it was impossible to find replacements.

However nothing should detract from the 10 players who continue to feel proud to represent their county, they put in an unbelievable effort against a very good West Midlands team creating a number of chances playing some excellent football. Millie Clarke had the first effort for Staffs but she was unable to find a goal, Staffs midfield was excellently marshalled by the returning Ella Spears with support from Lauren Riley and Isabella Galley. Staffs back three of Katy Moran , Issy and Lilly Anderson, produced a Number of fantastic challenges to frustrate the West Midlands forwards and it was symptomatic of this season that it was a Staffs break which would lead to the opening goal, West Mids hit a long ball forward which caught out Staffs and Chloe Swindell was pipped to the ball as she came to clear and Marion Mahmood rounded her to tap in to an empty net.

Staffs continued to play good football and Jess Travers pace was causing all sorts of problems with Macy Isherwood and Millie Clarke both linking the play up nicely. West Mids quality in the final 3rd meant the game was a real end to end affair and they added 2 further goals in quick succession. Staffs grabbed a deserved goal after an excellent free kick from Ella Spears found Lauren Riley who’s brilliant effort cannonned off the bar and Staffs managed to turn home the rebound.

The 2nd half saw Staffs offering more attacking threat with Macy Isherwood and Lauren Riley heavily involved but a mistake from a Staffs throw in saw West Mids grab the 4th goal . Staffs continued to play some neat controlled football and the West Midlands keeper was kept really busy with Macy, Jess and Ella all having good opportunities.

The work rate and application from the Staffs girls was extremely pleasing and despite adding a 5th goal they left having again shown outstanding character and commitment and the only disappointment was due to others who failed to show up.

Schools football has been a major factor in so many players lives over the years with many going on to gain regional and national recognition producing some unbelievable games with real drama and quality which would not be possible without the hard work and commitment of a small band of hard working volunteers, however this season has been unprecedented by a lack of commitment from an increasing number of players.

The final game of the season sees us travel to Lilleshall to face Shropshire on Wednesday 3rd April and would be nice to end the season on a high as reward for all those players who continue to make themselves available.

Shropshire U14 Boys 1 Staffordshire U14 Boys 3

Despite terrible weather conditions Staffs chalked up another impressive win to continue their push to finish top of the Midlands West Inter County League.

This was a much tougher game than the reverse fixture against a much changed and improved Shropshire side. The focus pre game was to match the early intensity and pressing that blew Shropshire away in the home fixture and the Staffs boys didn’t disappoint, taking just 47 seconds to score through Kyle Corns after some neat interplay. The second goal took longer but was worth the wait as Captain Sol Ashworth spotted the Shropshire keeper off his line and found the net from 30 yards with a delightful chip. To their credit Shropshire didn’t give up and on the balance of play deservedly got a goal back following a good move down their left flank. With the next goal crucial the Staffs boys pushed and got their reward close to half time when Todd Alcock volleyed in following a long throw from Sol Ashworth.

The second half was end to end. Credit to both teams as the conditions continued to worsen. Staffs had to play against an increasingly strong wind and were pushed back as a result, however whenever they managed to get forward they looked threatening. Dako Vuczic rattled the crossbar with a cross-shot and at the other end Keeper George Taylor pulled off a tremendous save late in the game.

The victory was a testimony to the superb attitude of this talented Staffs team who now look forward to the next game at home to Warwickshire