On Tuesday 8th April the Under 16s Boys’ football team retained their Staffordshire County Cup title with an impressive 2-0 victory over a strong Sir Thomas Boughey School side. The first half was a cagey encounter with both defences appearing relatively untroubled. The KEVI’s back four of Scott Winnington, Keenan Powell, Oli McCormick and Jagon Edge provided a solid base on which to build. Malaki Norford was a constant threat going forward and helped the KEVI midfield to gradually take control of the game.
In the second half Ben Douglas, Charlie Clayton and Josh Wilson moved into more attacking positions and it was this combination that saw KEVI take a deserved lead on 53 minutes. Josh Wilson played in Ben Douglas who crossed superbly to the far post where Charlie Clayton was on hand to head home from close range. Sir Thomas Boughey came back strong in search of an equaliser but the KEVI defence continued to hold firm with Keenan Powell playing superbly in the heart of the defence who was being well protected by Connor Pope and Malaki Norford. Indeed it was KEVI who should have doubled their lead when Joseph Shanley shot wide after following in a Josh Wilson effort that was saved by the keeper. Minutes later the influential Norford was forced to come off with a calf injury. This was one of three substitutions made by KEVI as they looked to secure victory. Jack Walker, Jamie Sowerbutts and Callum Hope all came on.
With ten minutes to play Boughey began to build the pressure and created a great chance to equalise. The centre forward was through on goal and looked certain to score but a superb reaction save from the excellent Brandon McEleny in the KEVI goal maintained their slender advantage. From the resultant corner KEVI broke with a fast counter attack, a bouncing a ball was contested by Josh Wilson who got the better of the Boughey keeper, dribbled to the by-line and selflessly squared the ball to Jamie Sowerbutts who calmly slotted the ball home to secure a deserved victory for KEVI.
Moments later the referee sounded the final whistle and KEVI celebrated retaining their County title: “a truly well-deserved victory against a team that had qualified for the National ESFA semi-finals. All the players were excellent on the day. Man of the Match was given to Keenan Powell” said PE teacher and coach, Mr Warrilow.
Acting Headteacher Mr Christey congratulated the team on their outstanding win. “The school is very proud of the team’s achievements on retaining the County Cup title. They have worked hard and have demonstrated their extraordinary talent and skill over the years. They are a credit to the school. Mr Abel, the PE Department and the whole school join me in congratulating the team on their well-deserved win”.
The news comes on the back of the school’s football teams’ impressive wins in the District Cup quarter and semi-finals with the U13s beating Weston Road Academy 2-0 in the semi-finals, the U12s beating Walton Priory School 5-2, the U16s against Sir Graham Balfour School 4-0, the U13s against Stafford Grammar School 4-1, and the U14s and U15s beating Alleyne’s Academy 1-0 and 4-0 respectively.
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