Bede’s boys won their second ESFA National U18s Cup Final with a thrilling victory over Thomas Telford School at the bet365 Stadium, home of Stoke City. The travelling fans had faced a great deal, with last-minute equalisers and extra time winners in previous rounds and the final did not disappoint!
Despite a four hour journey, Bede’s started the stronger with Corey Smart and Sam Bull combining well on the left to send in some teasing crosses which just evaded the Bede’s strikers. On five minutes, Josh Sudan thought he had scored the opening goal with a pile-driver from 25 yards which was heading into the top corner until the Telford keeper pulled off the save of his life to tip it over the bar. Telford began to settle and had most of the possession with Bede’s content to soak up pressure and counter on the break. Half chances fell to both sides but the game remained in deadlock at half time.
Whatever, David Caryer, Director of Football, said at half time, worked, as Bede’s again started the stronger. In the 48th minute they won a corner and the clearance fell to Charlie Yeates, who smashed it through a crowd of players into the bottom right corner. 1-0! Bede’s began to take control and should have gone two up moments later when Harry Mills shot just wide from a tight angle. The Bede’s defence, led superbly by Tarun Rohilla, coped with anything the Telford strikers threw at them and continued to look dangerous on the break. Hayden Beaconsfield was immense holding the ball up and Michael Blight was tackling everything that moved! Unfortunately, the elusive second goal didn’t come and as the game opened up players from both sides began to go down with cramp.
With ten minutes remaining the frustration of the Telford players got the better of them with one of their midfielders being sent off for a late challenge. This should have been game over but in a frantic five minutes of injury time, Telford threw everything at Bede’s and even hit the post with the last kick of the match! But the boys held on and thoroughly deserved their victory with their performance over the ninety minutes. It was truly a team effort with every player giving their all. The travelling fans were delirious!
Commenting on the victory, Bede’s Director of Football, David Caryer said, “I am so proud of the players, again they showed the hard work and determination they have demonstrated all season. They fully deserve this title and I am so happy they will have this lifelong memory.
I would like to thank Dan, Olly and Tony in particular for all the help they have given the players over the course of the season and all the Bede’s community for the support they have shown us.”
Captain of the Bede’s team, Tarun Rohilla, couldn’t be prouder of his team. He comments, “We are finishing on such a high after a long season which has been full of ups and downs. As a team, we stuck together and used all of our Team Bede’s values to help us to win this cup. It was a close game but we remained on top for most of it, had the most chances, and got a goal after half time which helped us to see it out and get the win.
I am very thankful to everyone who has helped us to get here - Mr Caryer, Mr Byrne, all of our coaches, the transport team who take us to fixtures and everyone who has shown support for us. Winning this cup was the best way to end my time at Bede’s, and one of the best days of my life!”