Third time lucky for Schools finals


It was third time lucky for the Mansfield and Ashfield Schools’ FA Cup Finals after heavy rain twice forced abandonments at Mansfield Town’s One Call Stadium.

A first half 25-yard volley from Manor School’s Joe Wathall was enough to give them victory in the Chairman’s Trophy at U19 against Joseph Whitaker.

Although Whitaker completely dominated the second half, Manor held on to the 1-0 scoreline.

Tuxford School inflicted a very heavy defeat on Manor School at Year 10.

A torrential rain shower proved something of a leveller and the boys should be congratulated for providing good entertainment in difficult conditions.

Tuxford ran out 5-0 winners with a Callum Wilson hat-trick, a brace from Josh Barker, and an own goal.

The best game of the evening came at Year 8 between Samworth Academy and Ashfield.

With some of the best players in the Association on view, they did not disappoint the large crowd of parents and friends with good individual skills and sound team work.

On this occasion Samworth were 2-1 winners, but it could have been very different without the herioc performance of Ryan Smith in the Samworth goal to continually foil Ashfield’s efforts with Owen Newell outstanding in midfield.

The second evening of games kicked-off with Garibaldi and Quarrydale at Year 11.

These evenly-matched sides gave the large, enthusiastic following a wonderfully entertaining spectacle,but unfortunately, no goals in normal time saw a penalty shoot-out decide the outcome, the Garibaldi boys having the edge to win 3-2.

At the third attempt to complete the programme, Ashfield met Tuxford at Year 9 in a repeat of last seasons county final and lost 2-1.

Two first half goals from Drew Allwood, a header from a corner and a perfectly-placed free kick, gave Tuxford a deserved 2-0 lead at the break, Ashfield’s fightback and a goal from Connor Barnes then not enough and left them without reward.

Seemingly saving the best until last, Joseph Whitaker and Ashfield produced a real cracker of a game for a very excited crowd at Year 7, Ashfield winning a five-goal thriller 3-2.

A goal from Taylor Stevens and penalty from Oliver Williams looked to have started a goal-fest for Joseph Whitaker.

However, Ashfield seemed spurred into a positive reaction and a Zach Henson volley brought them back into the match.

Ashfield upped their game and when Bradley Prosser eventually levelled the scores at 2-2, it seemed only seemed a matter of time before Ashfield would produce a winner given their dominance of the second half and, after several Ashfield near misses, Nathan Whitehouse slotted the winner.