So near, yet so far......the tale of the Lydiard Park Academy Football Tournament 29th March 2017
Unfortunately it was a tale of so near, yet so far for both the Brook Field netball and football teams this evening at the annual West Swindon Football And Netball Tournament held at Lydiard Park Academy. Miss New will be sorting out the website report for the netballers, so we won’t steal her thunder!
The footballers were drawn against: Westlea, Hazelwood, Peatmoor and Millbrook in our side of the league games.
We dominated our first match against Westlea but despite creating many chances, we drew 0-0. (This was to be the story of our evening and has been the story of our season just lately.)
Our second match was against Hazelwood. We knew due to other results we needed to start winning and scoring. Again, we dominated possession, territory and chances but this time we eventually scored. A super run from the middle to the left wing, saw Jake S beat three defenders before getting a cross into the box. Sam was completely unmarked, as Jake had pulled the defenders out of position. As the ball came across from the left wing, Sam let the ball run across him, opened his body and glanced his right foot shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net. Finn then had two more chances to nail the win but didn't take them as his shots sailed over. We thought we'd doubled our lead but the ball had crossed the goal line before being cut back into the middle for Harvey to roll the ball into a gaping net - so our second “goal” was disallowed. The game finished 1 - 0 and we were on our way!
We then played Peatmoor who had won their opening two games. Despite having several good chances, including one-on-ones with the 'keeper but our players dallying for too long over our shot before a defender was able to get back and clear, we were not able to score. Harvey came closest when his shot was cleared off the line in a last ditch attempt to stop his blocked shot rolling in. There also needs to be a special mention for Peter, who made a great tackle to thwart a threatening Peatmoor attack. So another 0 - 0 draw that we should have won.
Our final league game was against Millbrook. Ideally we needed to win to go through as the runners up in our pool. Unfortunately, the most influential player on the pitch was their goalie who saved well when one-on-one with Sam. He followed this up by saving two shots from point blank range one immediately after the other from Ollie and Sam. He then made two more good saves from these players. So another frustrating 0-0 draw!
As we walked off the pitch, we were told we were through to the semi-finals against Noremarsh, who had won the other league. This meant that as the Peatmoor and Millbrook matches had followed on from each other, we played the semi-final, our third game in a row with no gap between them.
Again the semi-final was pretty much all Brook Field. Finn hit the post. Their goalie made a good save. Josh had a good run that produced another save from their 'keeper. Jake S also had a shot saved before Finn shot into the side netting in the final chance before extra time. Jake S had another chance almost immediately from the extra-time kick-off when put through one on one with the goalie but his shot was hit straight at the ‘keeper’s midriff - either side of him and it would have been all over. All the remaining pressure was from Brook Field but the game ended 0-0.
So we were onto penalties to decide who would go forward to the final.....Noremarsh missed their first two penalties with shots wide or over and Max saved the third one. Jake S and Sam had their penalties saved before Finn slotted home our third one, as cool as a cucumber and we were through to the final for the seventh year in a row!
As the tournament was already running well over the finishing time and Swindon Town Academy were waiting to come on to the astroturf, we went straight into the final against Peatmoor who had beaten Shaw Ridge in the other semi-final, which had finished well before ours.
So into the fourth game in a row with no gap between them but we were confident that we could still win the tournament outright. It was a sense of déjà vu with Brook Field dominating throughout but not managing to convert our chances. For example, Finn’s shot was saved, but the ‘keeper flapped at it and knocked it down to Harvey. Harvey's header looped over the goalie….but off the post! We continued to have by far the better and more chances to win the final but it still ended 0-0. As we had more than exceeded the limit of our time at Lydiard Park Academy, we went straight to penalties. Peatmoor missed the first penalty, scored the second and Max saved the third.
Sam hit the post with our first penalty and Harvey's was saved. Finn cut the premature Peatmoor celebrations short by scoring our third penalty. So onto sudden death…. and Peatmoor, who were taking their penalties first, scored. Up stepped Rhys, but his penalty was fired over the top, not only of the goal but the security fencing behind as well! So we ended as Runners-Up for the second year in a row but it was a disappointing way to lose the final.
Thank you to Mr Parsons and Miss New for their help with the Tournament particularly as it was such a late finish and Miss New stayed on to support the footballers after the Netball Tournament had ended. Thanks to all the parents and siblings for their unstinting support and well done to: Max, Rhys, Peter, Jake F, Sam, Finn, Josh, Harvey, Jake S and Ollie.