Year 8s make English Schools Football History
The History Boys – Ryan's strike, deep in injury time, secured Archbishop Beck back-to-back national individual school football titles. A fete previously never achieved before by a Merseyside secondary school, and has reserved for the team a unique place in local football history.
Goodison Park, this time on a boiling hot day, was again the venue for their remarkable achievement, where this time they overcame Grange Sports College (Bristol) 1-0, in a game of few clear cut chances. The Aintree lads undoubtedly retained more possession. In the first half, John Joe and Ellison, on a few occasions, had reasonable efforts on goal. On the right wing Aaron was a box of tricks, but none could find the pass or strike to break the deadlock.
After the interval, the match continued much in the same vane, with Anthony blasting a good chance, high, wide and into the Gwladys Street End.
With extra time looming, Grange were forced to take off their beanpole striker, and best player, Laurent, for treatment. Suddenly the game burst into life, and Kenny and Ellison had other efforts saved or off target.
With only a couple of minutes remaining, Rhys crossed from the right, Ellison had his first effort blocked again, but lying in the six yard box, he managed to force home the winner to great acclaim from the crowd.
The game wasn’t over. Led by the returning Wilson, Grange attacked with real purpose and for the second time in the game, Archbishop Beck goalkeeper Ashley blocked brilliantly, to confirm their place in the record books.
In his post match joy goalscorer, Ryan, could hardly find the words to express his delight at the win. “It was great to score the winner, I’m not sure how I felt. I was sure it was going into extra. It is great to have won two titles on the trot."
Headteacher Paul Dickinson was equally pleased. “A great performance,” he said, “not just for today, but also in the cup run to get to Goodison. There were many away games. The quality of football from both teams was excellent.”
Team manager Richie Kyle believes his team’s record is unlikely to beaten: “It is a great achievement and I will be surprised if anyone can do any better. Even to equal us a team would have to win more than 20-matches without a defeat, which takes some doing. The lads, who are also joint winners of the Merseyside Cup, are now targeting a third national win next season and I know they are capable of succeeding again.”