On Saturday 30 March, a team of eight Year 6 footballers represented Coddington Primary School at the NDPSSA Spring Football Tournament at Flowserve. The tournament included 14 different teams from schools in the local area.
Teams were split into 2 groups, and Coddington shared a group with: Barnby Road, Chuter Ede Balderton, Highfields, Bishop Alexandre, Muskham and The Mount.
The team made a fantastic start to their group; overcoming Muskham 2-0 in our first game. Both goals were scored by Harry Horne. In our next two games against Highfields and Barnby Road, we continued to play good football, but unfortunately could not find the all-important end product. Consequently, we were punished by 2 late goals, and soon found ourselves on 3 points from our first 3 games.
In need of a boost in creativity, the teams formation was changed for our fourth game against last year’s winners, Chuter Ede Balderton. Fortunately, things started to click again and we went 1-0 up early with a long distance strike from Jake Warren. We then nearly added to our lead moments later, when a low shot from James Thornley was bravely blocked by the Chuter Ede keeper. As we neared the latter stages of the game, Chuter Ede began to press hard, and in the last 30 seconds the ball fell kindly to their centre forward in the box; gleefully he unleashed a low drive into the bottom right hand corner of the Coddington goal. When the final whistle blew, the 1-1 result was a big dent to Coddington moral. With 4 points from 4 games, we were teetering on the edge of exiting the tournament. To have a chance of reaching the knockout stage, we had to win our two remaining group games and hope that lot of other results would go our way.
With this in mind, we bounced back with a superb 2-0 win against Bishop Alexander, thanks to 2 fantastic team goals finished off by Finley Poole and Tom Mann. In our final game against the Mount, we grabbed another early goal, as James Thornley pounced on a goalkeeper mistake; then in the last few minutes Tom Mann ran through and finished smartly into the bottom left hand corner. This meant we finished the group with 10 points.
Fortunately, as we had been playing; Barnby Road had dropped points in their final game and finished on 9 points. Consequently, this meant that Coddington just scraped through into the semi-finals!
In the semi-final, we were pitted against a Sir Donald Bailey team, who had narrowly topped their group on goal difference. Having also reached the knock out stage in the Autumn tournament, the Coddington team were feeling confident, and they dominated the early exchanges, coming particularly close when a Jake Warren effort blasted against the crossbar. After this, the game became more scrappy with both teams struggling to produce many flowing attacks. With the defences on top, the game was forced in extra time. After 6 more minutes, the deadlock still could not be broken and like in October, penalties would once again have to decide the winner. In the shootout, 3 unstoppable strikes were unleashed from the boots of Sir Donald Bailey players. Despite Leland Meadows making a brave stop and James Thornley slotting in a composed penalty, the Sir Donald Bailey team finished 3-1 winners in the shootout.
The Coddington players were obviously very disappointed with this result, however they had to pick themselves up quickly for a third place play off against Chuter Ede Balderton. If we won this game, the team would at least come away with a medal, which they thoroughly deserved for their efforts.
In the play off, we quickly went 2-0 up, thanks to two outstanding goals from Harry Horne. Chuter Ede did later bring one goal back, but the Coddington team managed to hold on until the final whistle, and celebrated a well-earned 3rd place!
Mr Simmonds, Mr Head and myself would like to say that we were extremely proud of all the players efforts. You all represented the school superbly and showed fantastic team spirit and commendable sportsmanship in victory and defeat.
Thank you, and congratulations to the players: Leland Meadows, Jake Warren (c), Harry Horne, Tom Mann, Finley Poole, James Thornley, Morgan Arrowsmith and Joel Johnson.
Also thankyou once again to all the parents for your support.