Report by Steve Benyon
This past weekend saw 11 Performance Phase players travel down to Nottingham to compete in the AOC National 7-a-side Championships.
Selected to play against 11 of the best sides throughout the entire UK, the schedule saw us play two games on the Friday, six on the Saturday, with the final two on the Sunday.
The format was a league system, with teams playing each other once in 20 minute games, with three points awarded for a win, two for a draw and one for a loss.
Friday saw us start strong against Pembrokeshire winning 3-0 with goals from Liam Parry, James Rutter and Luis Edwards. This was followed up with a frustrating 0-0 draw against eventual winners Tresham College, to see us remain unbeaten for day one.
Saturday started off with a disappointing 2-2 draw to Winstanley, through goals from Liam Parry, and a fine finish from captain CJ Craven. We followed this up with a 3-0 win against Belfast (Harry Woledge, James and Luis), a 1-0 win against South Devon who were the well-known Pro Direct Academy (Louis Bradford), a 2-0 victory against BHASVIC (Liam and CJ), followed by another 1-0 victory against New College Durham through a composed Ethan Short strike.
The final game of the day saw us up against favourites Barnet and Southgate College who had links with Tottenham Hotspur. We found ourselves 1-0 up through a great Louis Bradford header, only to sloppily concede two goals in the final two minutes to lose 2-1.
The final day saw us record a narrow victory against Hills college through goals from Harry and Louis, meaning a victory was needed in our final game against Barnsley College to try to gain first place.
However, a game of missed chances ultimately cost us, as we could only manage a 0-0 draw, meaning we finished 3rd, one point behind Tresham and Barnet.
The boys were a real credit to themselves and the club, adapting well to the format and playing some brilliant football, lots of which was applauded by the organisers and other teams.