English Schools' Football Association National Cup
Friday 19 September
Report by Mr Harrison
RPA's new Year 7s took to the football pitch for the first time in the first round of the ESFA National Cup against Wilson's School of Wallington.
Wilson's started the stronger of the two teams and took the lead with a well worked move after ten minutes. RPA's slick passing soon clicked into gear with the attacking trio of Klem, Shakwarne and Mason causing Wilson's a host of problems. Mason popped up with a fantastic equaliser midway through the half. An even first half ended 1-1 as both teams had a well deserved break from the rising temperature.
With Mason and Shakwarne pulling the strings and Nicolai putting in a strong performance in central midfield, RPA took control of the game. Ten minutes into the second half, Mason bagged his second of the game with a superb finish that caught the Wilson's keeper off guard. A two-goal lead can be a dangerous one in football and the next goal is always important. Unfortunately RPA sat back and Wilson's began to work their way back into the game. Throwing players forward at will, Wilson's put the RPA goal under increasing pressure. Despite impressive defensive performances from Jesse, Finn and Jack, RPA couldn't hold on. Two goals in the last 10 minutes meant we were heading to extra time.
A tight and nervy extra time period ensued with both teams going close to scoring. With two minutes left on the clock RPA won a corner from the left hand side. A fantastic cross from Shakwarne was met by Mason, who nodded home off the post to put RPA within touching distance of the next round. There was still time for Wilson's to get in on goal in an attempt to force a penalty shoot out but Danny capped a fine performance in goal with a first class save, sending RPA through to the next round of the cup.