SOLIHULL ACADEMY’S MAGNIFICENT SEASON ENDS IN DEFEAT AT ST GEORGE’S PARK
Despite a hat trick from one of our students,Solihull Academy football team lose to the Oasis centre on a beautiful morning at St George’s Park. A young and enthusiastic team travelled to St George’s park, home of England Football with high spirits to participate in the SEN Midlands League 2022/23 final. This is the first final Solihull Academy have participated in, having lost in closely in semi-finals in previous seasons.
The start of the game was hectic with both teams creating early chances and hitting the posts. SA were under immense pressure but defended their hearts out. Our goalkeeper made numerous quality saves to keep The Oasis’ attack at bay. Solihull Academy took a 1-0 thanks to a spectacular individual goal on the counterattack. Unfortunately, this lead didn’t last long as within two minutes, The Oasis struck back with a scrambled goal within the box as the SA defence struggled to clear the ball. This didn’t damper their spirits though as again fantastic teamwork and resilience was shown by the team, a second quality goal quickly followed courtesy of the captain to take us into half time 2-1 ahead.
The second half started slowly from SA and again relentless pressure from The Oasis resulted in 4 quick fire goals to take a 2-5 lead. This rocked the SA players as this was unfamiliar territory for them having been winning most games during the season until this point. Their backs were against the wall, but rather than give up and throw the towel in. This inspired them and again they worked tremendously as a team, showing great character, working for one another, resilience and showing that they were not going to give up without a fight. Their efforts were rewarded as again Atkins showed his goal scoring class by netting another goal. The team was rallied and confident, heads held high. Because of this another goal was scored within a minute to make it 4-5 and set up a grandstand finish for the final 10 minutes of play.
We threw the dice and went in full attack mode to try and score the equalising goal, but despite huge pressure, numerous shorts and classy football the goal just would not come. The Oasis goalkeeper made 2 crucial saves to keep them in the lead. As 2 minutes remained on the watch, SA got caught short in defence from an Oasis attack which resulted in a free kick on the edge of the SA area. The resulting free kick found the back of the net to break SA hearts and end this years dream of lifting the trophy.
Despite this years loss, I am immensely proud of all of the students who have represented Solihull Academy football team this year. They have played immensely on the field and are a pleasure to watch and coach. What an achievement reaching the final in a competition which consists of 30 schools. There will be learning to do from the final loss, which I think will set the team up well for next season to go one better and I am very confident that the students will continue to work as a team collectively to get the best out of themselves for next year.
I wish our leaving year 11’s good luck in their future football careers and would like to thank Lucy Burnett from Touchwood and Angie Smith from Reeley Ltd for your support with sponsorship, Mel for your help with organising transport and paperwork, Matt and Sandra for keeping us all watered and fed on our game days, all the staff who have supported me during the season both at the games and at school and finally the parents/carers who have supported me and the students at recent games to give the students the best possible experience they can have in their football opportunities.
It’s been a blast… D Turner (Assistant Principal )