Bridgewood High 2-3 St Paul’s Academy
The semi-finals of the London Schools Cup Competition proved to be a tense and exciting match right up to the final whistle
Straight from kick-off, Bridgewood’s determination to reach the final of their first ever London Schools Cup Competition was apparent for all to see. Fifteen minutes into the game, a clever triangle of passes between Cork, Cunningham and Woodward created acres of space for a clear shot on goal. Maintaining his composure, Woodward skilfully slotted the ball into the back of the net, putting Bridgewood a goal up.
After the restart there was a tense period of St Paul’s possession. Thankfully, the pressure was alleviated when Jack Wilkins intercepted a sloppy pass and went on a hurtling run up the centre of the pitch, before chipping the ball into the opposition’s goal-mouth. A diving header by Johnny Cunningham screeched between the keeper’s legs, giving Bridgewood a two goal lead at half-time.
St Paul’s started the second half with five attacking players. It was an inspired move and within three minutes, St Paul’s had pulled a goal back. Their confidence restored, St Paul’s penetrated the Bridgewood defence time after time. For the next twenty minutes, the ball never travelled out of the Bridgewood end with Charlie Oakley, Sam Smith, Jack Mayhew and Timothy-Houghton Smith under constant siege. Their heroic resistance came to an end when a shot thundered in from one of St Paul’s best players, Wayne Mulroyd, skidding off Houghton-Smith’s knee and into the net.
With ten minutes to go, both teams were desperate to score, and the play became increasingly aggressive. An ill-timed tackle brought Woodward down in the St Paul’s penalty area, but was deemed fair by the referee. Urging themselves on for one last effort, both teams looked exhausted. With two minutes left on the clock, St Paul’s striker, Rushton Baynes, latched on to a pass that was a yard offside. Despite the foul, the linesman’s flag stayed down and Baynes went on to round Jasinski and tap the ball into the net.
There was not even time for the restart. Bridgewood had crashed out of the cup by the narrowest of margins.
Miss Cranson reporting from Goresbrook