23 Mar 2022
U13 Footballers crowned National Champions

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On Thursday 17 March, the U13 football team travelled to the Pirelli Stadium, home of Burton Albion FC, for the ISFA Cup Final against Manchester Grammar School.

The game opened nervously as both teams got used to the full sized Burton Albion pitch, but then Dulwich started to create chances on the Manchester goal after pressing high up the pitch. In the 12th minute this pressure paid off. Some nice play down the left between Jack, Max and Jacob saw the ball played forward to Seth who fired it home into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. 1-0 Dulwich. Manchester grew into the game which opened up but, save for the odd free kick, neither team created any more clear cut opportunities in the first half.

The second half started like the first with Dulwich on the front foot creating early chances and looking dangerous in the wide areas through Mylo and Jai. Manchester stood firm at the back but the Dulwich defence of Matthieu, Michael, Reuben and Jack made it hard for Manchester to clear their lines and hold onto the ball for a sustained period. Dulwich continued pressuring the Manchester players all over the pitch and, in the 38th minute, Dulwich capitalised on a loose touch with Ben winning the ball high up before finding Seth who calmly placed the ball past the keeper to make it 2-0. Dulwich looked comfortable in possession and kept attacking the Manchester backline through Mylo, Jai and Alfred in the wide areas who were creating more chances, but Manchester defended well and stood firm. Manchester then had a chance of their own with a free kick which sailed just past Sean’s post. However, it was Dulwich who had the final say scoring a third after Kwame won the ball in midfield before finding Seth who crossed to Roan who’s first attempt was saved by the keeper before following up with the rebound to secure the victory.

The full time whistle blew, 3-0 to Dulwich. The Dulwich crowd cheered and the players celebrated what was a fantastic achievement. Dulwich College were national champions for the first time in the College’s history.

Mr Whitehead, Head of Football added “it was a fantastic performance from a talented team who have worked hard all year and fully deserved the national title. They are a special group and did it the hard way, facing some tough opposition on their route to the final. Wins against The Hall, St Joseph’s Ipswich, Aldenham, Whitgift and Hampton saw the team tested in every round. They play an exciting brand of football, always looking to be on the front foot, pressing or attacking quickly and it really is wonderful to watch. Impressively, the team have only conceded one goal in their whole cup run, which is some achievement especially bearing in mind the teams they have played. Special thanks must also go to Mr Habib, without whom this success would not have been possible. Last Thursday was a very special day, playing in front of their whole year group in a professional ground. The whole squad should be incredibly proud of their historic achievement and it is a day I am sure none of us will forget quickly”

Squad:

Matthieu, Roan, Jacob, Jack, Michael, Sean, Max, Alfred, Kwame, Mylo, Jai, Reuben, Ben, Seth.