Greensward Academy's Year 8 football team made it a 'Double-Double' by winning the Castle Point & Rochford (CPR) District League & Cup for a 2nd successive year courtesy of a 2-1 victory over local rivals Fitzwimarc School.
Resplendent in their new training tops and playing at the home of Canvey Island FC, the boys ensured that the occasion didn't get the better of them by controlling the early stages of the game with some neat, passing football that has become their hallmark for the last 2 years. On a big pitch and in warm conditions, Fitzwimarc simply couldn't match the collective work rate of their opponents, as Greensward pressed the ball over the park and broke with speed and intent when in possession.
Fitzwimarc remained resolute in defence as Greensward dominated possession but were largely restricted to shots from long-range. Half-chances came and went and the eventual breakthrough came in bizarre circumstances. Moments after a smart save from Danny Massam, a miscued Frankie Aston cross-shot from 30 yards caught the goalkeeper in two minds and ended with the ball being fumbled and then spilt over the line. The Assistant Referee immediately signalled the goal and Greensward took a deserved 1-0 lead into half-time.
Changes at the break saw the introduction of Tadiwanashe 'Junior' Mutize who made an immediate impact. Put through on goal courtesy of a deftly weighted pass from Billy Cheevers, Junior smashed the ball past the on-rushing keeper to put GWA firmly in the ascendency with a 2-0 lead. It was now all Greensward but chances to kill the game were spurned and Fitzwimarc dug deep to try to salvage something from the game. As the big pitch started to sap the energy from the legs of the Greensward players, Jack Cooper and Adam Johnson stood firm at the heart of the Greensward defence.
As Fitzwimarc started to pile forward, a momentary lapse in concentration was enough for the deficit to be reduced as Fitz broke the offside trap to pull a goal back. Greensward continued to have opportunities to put the game beyond doubt but gilt-edged chances were wasted and they were eventually left hanging on for a deserved victory.
Congratulations to all the boys involved and many thanks to the parents and family members who came out in force to support.
The team: Danny Massam, Teddy Grennan, Daniel Fleming, William Thresher, Jack Cooper, Adam Johnson, Josh McGrath, Adam Graves, Oliver Coker, Billy Cheevers, Thomas Smith, Junior Mutize, Sam Adebayo, Tristan Ogunwufa, Frankie Aston. Jack Mearis (absent).