Independent Schools FA Cup, Second Round
St Bede's College 2 Shrewsbury School 1 (att 13)
This week sees the second round of the Independent Schools FA Cup, and having enjoyed earlier matches I took in what looked an interesting (and, most importantly, local) tie between St Bede's and Shrewsbury.
St Bede's College is in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, a leafy south Manchester suburb. The school's sports ground is in Brantingham Road, and features an attractive old pavilion and a number of pitches. The senior pitch is closest to the pavilion, and adjacent changing rooms, and most of its perimeter was taped off for the match.
I had Shrewsbury down as favourites to win this tie, and the visitors looked to justify my faith from the off, causing the home defence all sorts of problems before deservedly going ahead after 13 minutes.
Slowly but surely St Bede's fought their way back into the game. As they improved it became clear that Shrewsbury's defence was vulnerable under pressure. The home side's first half equaliser set up an intriguing second half.
The second 40 minutes (ISFA Cup games are played over 80 minutes) was great. Shrewsbury tried to recapture their early form, but were out-battled by St Bede's.
Extra time looked to be on the cards, until a well-taken goal five minutes from the end proved decisive, and sent St Bede's through to the last 16.