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Semi Finalists Show Skill and Determination

Year 10 Bournemouth Cup Semi-Final Match Report

by Mr L Lewis

Year 10 Football Team April 2024

A bright spring afternoon saw Bournemouth School for Boys host The Arnewood School in the semi-finals of the Bournemouth Schools area cup. After losing the toss and playing up the hill, it was Arnewood that started the more nervous of the two teams. Some aggressive, high-pressing football saw BSB on the front foot and the Arnewood defence under pressure early on. First blood would go to BSB; however, it wasn’t without controversy. Miscommunication between the Arnewood defence and a missed offside call allowed BSB to capitalise and poke home a tame effort from close range. Not letting their heads drop, Arnewood went again, slowly making their presence known with some excellent tackles to stop further BSB attacks. Despite their positive play, it was BSB who would again find the back of the net. An unfortunate error from keeper Jake Wyatt saw BSB finish a simple chance and put the home side up 2-0. With nil desperandum ringing in their ears, Arnewood went again, stringing together a number of attacking chances and pilling the pressure onto BSB. A sublime piece of individual brilliance saw striker Zack Green receive the ball on the edge of the BSB 18-yard box and turn the opposition defender inside out, only to narrowly miss at the far post. Momentum was now with Arnewood, and as a result of their continued attacks, Arnewood would win their first corner of the match. Up steps Kieran Woodsford to deliver the corner with hawk-like precision; it was met by Fin Evans and put away at the near post to make the score 2:1. Game on. Both teams would trade blows, with all players proving why their respective schools deserved their place in the semifinals. BSB would strike next and score with a clinical finish; however, despite the score line now being 3-1 in their favour, they never looked comfortable. Arnewood poured forward, determined to go into halftime on a positive note. The best chance came from Kieran Woodford’s audacious effort from distance; however, it was tipped over the crossbar by an equally superb one-handed save from the BSB goalkeeper. 

Halftime came around, and Arnewood captain Alfie Poyser rallied his troops for the upcoming half. After a rousing halftime team talk from Poyser, Arnewood came out of the blocks like men possessed. Playing down the hill with the wind behind them, they had no intention of going gently into that good night. Attack after attack fell against the BSB defence, The Arnewood engine room of Kieran Woodsford, Fin Evans, and Abdul Njie were dictating the play and driving forward with ease, as if the ball were an extension of their feet. The lone striker, Zack Green, pouncing on any opportunity to score that came his way. Wingers Jayden Crowther, Lucas Forbes, and Luca Bellini used their pace and guile to cause havoc among the BSB defence, with the BSB goalkeeper making a number of important saves. Even defenders Lawrence Warner, Zach Monk-Williams, and Ollie St John were shaking off opposition players as they pushed forward, intent on finding a chink in the BSB defences. Only Alfie Poyser would remain at the back, as the last bastion of defence, using his strength and positioning to stifle any counterattack that BSB managed to get going. Much credit must also go to Arnewood goalkeeper Jake Wyatt, who, despite the previous error, did not lose his composure and distributed the ball brilliantly, as well as making a series of crucial high catches to keep Arnewood’s chances of going through to the finals alive. The relentlessness of Arnewood’s attacking play was matched only by the resolute defence from BSB, whose clear game plan of soaking up the pressure and holding firm to grind out the result was working. 

Refusing to throw in the towel and resign themselves to a defeat, Arnewood kept pressing until the dying seconds of the game, throwing themselves forward with reckless abandon. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, the referee blew the final whistle, and final the score was 3-1 to BSB. The score line may suggest to some that BSB had an easy time against Arnewood, but that could not be further from the truth. In reality, the Arnewood defence gave BSB very few opportunities to add to their score, in addition to the BSB defence riding their luck at times.

The Arnewood Year 10 A team acquitted themselves most commendably and should be hugely proud of themselves, not only for the victories along the way to the semi-finals but also in defeat, knowing that every player gave their best efforts.



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