Football stars of future fly flag for Gainsborough schools

The U11 boys' team who represented Gainsborough at the English Schools FA Midlands tournament.
The U11 boys' team who represented Gainsborough at the English Schools FA Midlands tournament.

Football teams representing U11 boys and girls flew the flag for Gainsborough with distinction at the English Schools FA’s nine-a-side Midlands tournament.

The boys finished fifth in the competition, which was held on the 3G pitches at the St George’s Park Graves sports complex at Sheffield, while the girls finished fourth.

The U11 girls' team who represented Gainsborough at the English Schools FA Midlands tournament.

The U11 girls' team who represented Gainsborough at the English Schools FA Midlands tournament.

Players for the two teams weere drawn from schools across the Gainsborough area, including Saxilby, Scotter, Morton, Blyton-cum-Laughton, Corringham, Parish, Benjamin Adlard and Sturton.

Manager and coach John Anderson, a teacher at Parish, said: “The competition was a great experience, and everybody in the district should be proud of how well the players did. We had two strong teams.

“It was also great to have former professional player Steve Housham watching us because his son, Billy, was in the boys’ team.”

The boys’ section comprised two leagues of four, and Gainsborough kicked off with a superb passing performance to beat South Derbyshire 3-0.

They were unlucky in their second game against Chesterfield, which finished 0-0, before they took on the tournament’s red-hot favourites, Sheffield, in their final group match. They held their own and went close to scoring, but Sheffield struck on the break to win 2-0.

They missed out on a place in the semi-finals by just one point and, instead, played a play-off game for fifth place, which they won in a penalty shootout after a goalless draw,

Gainsborough girls lost their first four games by the odd goal as they found the warm weather and large pitches difficult to handle. But then they scored their first goal, followed by their first clean sheet, to collect a couple of excellent draws.

One of their players, Sky Woodhead, said: “It was a great day and an awesome experience.”