The Aldridge Football Academy beat favourites the Weald Community School to qualify for next month’s final of the County Cup 2nd XI competition.
Having had a bye in the first round, Aldridge defeated Ilfield College 6-1 in round two and then beat City College 3-2 in a close quarter final. This led them to the semi-final on 22nd March, where they won 5-1 against the Weald.
After a slow start to the semi-final game Ryan Stevens broke away to put Aldridge ahead. A second followed before half-time after a slip by the Weald saw the Aldridge team steal the ball with Ryan Stevens chipping the out-coming keeper.
The second half was almost identical to the first with the Weald dominating position until Ryan Stevens broke away to snatch his hat trick. A six pass move then resulted in the best goal of the game as Owen Mattheson rifled in a low shot from 20 yards out.
The Weald then pulled a goal back before a counter attack from Ryan Stevens saw him win a penalty, which he stepped up to score.
Everyone from the Aldridge Football Academy agreed it was a great game to experience, not least netting five times from six attempts on goal. Louis McNeil, Year 13 student and Aldridge Football Academy team member, said “I have been at PACA since year 7 and now I am part of the Football Academy. This cup final achievement is a great way to finish off my time at PACA.”
The cup final takes place on the 28th April at Lancing FC’s ground.
Paul Dollner said “We are looking forward to the cup final and finishing off the season on a high note. Win or lose, we plan to make sure the squad prepares fully and enjoys the cup final experience.”
“The success this season is purely down to hard work by all on and off the pitch and access to the excellent facilities at BACA & PACA . Full training alongside full time studying is hard work yet it is a vital lesson for young players to learn. The harder you work, the more rewards you will get.”
The Aldridge Football Academy plan to grow and develop in future by competing at the next level up – the second tier of the AoC National Colleges League. They are also developing a partnership with Burgess Hill Town FC and plan to join the Conference Alliance U19 League next season. Students interested in pursuing their education alongside an excellent standard of football coaching, leagues and participation, can contact Paul Dollner at email@example.com