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Gainsborough school foiled in their bid to play at Wembley

The Parish Primary School team, who reached the regional finals of the National League's U11s' Cup.
The Parish Primary School team, who reached the regional finals of the National League's U11s' Cup.

A brave bid by a Gainsborough school to play on the hallowed turf of Wembley in a national competition has bitten the dust.

Parish Church Primary School represented Gainsborough Trinity at the regional finals of the National League’s U11s’ Cup, played on the 3G training pitch at the Sincil Bank home of FA Cup giantkillers, Lincoln City. And they knew that if they progressed, they would take on other regional winners in the grand final, to be played at Wembley on the same day as the FA Trophy and FA Vase finals on Sunday, May 21.

They were supported by Trinity manager Dave Frecklington, who gave up his time to go and support the boys. But despite making the play-offs, they were knocked out by a 1-0 defeat. They hit the post three times, only to go down to a breakaway goal.

It was a still a day to remember for the Parish youngsters, however, and manager and teacher John Anderson was delighted with his team. “The standard was very high,” said Anderson. “In fact, I have never seen an U11s’ school side as good as the eventual winners, Gateshead.

“With just a little bit of luck in front of goal, we could have gone a bit further, but it wasn’t to be. We will try again next year and see if we can get that Wembley place!”

Before the finals, the team received extra coaching in a special training session at Trinity’s ground, which was organised by coach Paul Weeks and proved to be a memorable experience for them.

Wearing a brand new Trinity kit for the trip to Lincoln, they started strongly in their qualifying group, beating Halifax 2-1.

They then lost to Gateshead, but recovered in two draws against Boston and Bradford Park Avenue that could easily have turned into victories.

Parish received lots of praise for the effort, skill and determination they showed. And one of their players, Josh McClue, made the highest number of tackles during their five matches. He said: “Gateshead were so good, but we were as good as all the other teams. It was such an honour to play for school and the Trinity representative team at the same time.”