It was a hotly contested match at Cockermouth School where two equally matched sides, Workington Academy and Nelson Thomlinson, were looking to bring home the Allerdale Shield. The Year 11 boys were looking to win this fixture for the third consecutive time, whilst Nelson Thomlinson were looking for vengeance and bag a result in the final. Previous results had Workington win the past 3 games against Nelson Thom on penalties, so our boys went into the game feeling confident of how the game would pan out.
The game began with Nelson Thomlinson getting us underway, as they kept regular possession of the ball for long periods in the first half. Both defensive lines were very solid, with neither side able to break each other down. Great saves from Ken Derbyshire, big tackles from Andrew Sinclair and good aerial battles from Declan Newman brought our opponents into a state of frustration, unable to beat the keeper. The pass and move style of play was flowing throughout Nelson’s forwards and eventually a lofted pass over the centre backs created space for one of their top strikers to fire one home, and take the lead after the half-hour mark. Workington Academy began to control the play, with great passes from Cody Benson and Kieran Worthington to seek out darting runs from Tom Glover and Nathan Nowak. Without the equaliser before the half time, the lads had fire in their bellies and came out into the second half ready to get back into the game.
The second half began with a Workington Academy kick off. Fast passing and movement saw Workington completely dominate the half, along with high work rates from Jackson Moore and Aaron O’Donnell ensured we kept possession and win the ball back when our passes were intercepted. Nelson Thom were beginning to crumble under the attacking pressure and good efforts from Troy Berwick and Leo Holliday saw us come increasingly closer to the vital equaliser. With around 15 minutes to go, Nelson started to defend more nervously, when a ball out to the edge of the box saw Troy Berwick smash one into the back of the net and get the equaliser we desperately needed. The remaining final minutes were long and needed Liam Cavanagh and Michael Hendren to clear up the danger looming at the back, whilst Alex Sandwith came on the field and prevented Nelson’s attempts of finding the winner. The full time whistle had blew and with both schools fairly fatigued, extra time was just around the corner.
For both sides, Extra time was rather chaotic- full of chances and counter attacks. Good parried saves from both keepers in the first half of extra time meant it was still all to play for in the second half. However, the second half was outstanding from Workington Academy. Going for all-out attack, our boys had came so close to getting the winner- A long range strike from Kieran Worthington was tipped over the bar by the keeper and headed efforts from Andrew Sinclair and Jackson Moore rattled the crossbar in the last couple of minutes. Extra time was over and we were going to penalties.
The ‘dreaded’ penalties. The Year 11 boys were feeling optimistic stepping up to take the penalties as we took each one calm and collectively. Despite Nelson taking the advantage, great penalty saves from Ken and good finishes from our lads took us to sudden death. A penalty hit into row Z by one of their key players saw us take the advantage, with Ken to step up to win the tournament for the new academy. A cool run up and a side footed strike sent the keeper the wrong way, seeing Workington Academy win the first piece of silverware. The team was ecstatic after the battling game with celebrations all round and a huge shield to reward our great performance.
Full time (AET) 1-1 – Workington Academy win 6-5 on penalties.
MOTM: Andrew Sinclair