On Wednesday 29 March the College men’s football 1st team competed in their first ever English Schools Football Association U18 Cup final against York College at Doncaster’s Keep Moat Stadium.
The road to the final had seen victories over Exeter College, Barton Peveril College, Brighton Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College, Richmond upon Thames College and Strodes College.
On match day, York started the better of the two teams and deservedly went 1-0 ahead in the 16th minute. Farnborough gradually grew into the game and were unlucky not to equalise when Jake Wilson rattled the post with a 30 metre free kick. The equaliser did come in the 34th minute when Owen Powell challenged the 'keeper from a Harvey Griffiths free kick to bundle the ball over the line.
The second half started in much the same fashion as the first with York dominating possession and scoring in the 61st minute to put York 2-1 ahead.
The game turned four minutes later when Jake Wilson was pulled back trying to get on the end of a through ball. He stepped up to bend the free kick into the net from about 25 metres out. Wilson then put Farnborough ahead in the tie for the first time after 72 minutes when he beat the offside trap to get on the end of a Sam Henneberg long pass and finish to the 'keepers left.
As the final whistle sounded to signal a 3-2 victory for Farnborough the enormity of what had been achieved started to dawn on all involved. Both teams showed great sportsmanship at the end, congratulating each other on their considerable efforts, but it was the Farnborough players who were smiling as they were crowned national cup winners for the first time in their history.
Goal scoring hero Jake Wilson was crowned man of the match by the match day commentators and all that remained was for captain Liam Whyte to lift the cup in front of the ecstatic Farnborough support.
A delighted Alan Reed, team coach and Curriculum Manager for Sport and PE said, "This is as big as you're going to get in college football. I've worked at the College for 12 years and we've never got to this stage of the competition. We're fortunate we've got a really good crop of players this season, really committed too. I'm really pleased with the way they've come together this season."
Principal, Simon Jarvis added, “This is a brilliant achievement, there has been none better in my time at College. Magnificent - many congratulations to all the lads on a fabulous victory.”
Deputy Principal, Vince Scannella who watched the game with other colleagues on the live stream said, “What a cracking second goal and a joyous third! Well done to both the team and the coaches.”
The Farnborough team: Matt Russell, Sam Henneberg, Dan McLennan, Owen Powell, Cameron Smith, Liam Whyte, Charlie Bushell, Harvey Griffiths, Arran Deere, Jake Wilson, Alex Penny, Ryan Funnell, Adam Campbell, Andy Martin, Alex Stone, Scott Davies, Oumar Ba and Jeevan Panesar.
Click here to watch the match.