UNFORTUNATELY the dream is over, and Old Trafford is no longer beckoning for Ribblesdale High School’s Year 7 footballers.
Facing St Margaret’s High School from Liverpool in the English Schools’ Football Association Under 12s Cup, the locals lost out on a quarter-final berth in agonising fashion.
With a total of nine Academy players in their ranks, the visitors were shell-shocked when James Scorah smashed the ball home after an exquisite cross from the talented James Nightingale.
St Margaret’s then started to produce some excellent football and would have equalised but for some excellent saves from Jack Graham. Two minutes from the break Nightingale could have put Ribblesdale 2-0 in front but was thwarted by an excellent last-gasp challenge.
But the Liverpool lads drew level with a neatly-worked goal and then quickly went into the lead with a very fortunate strike. Showing incredible determination, Ribblesdale piled on the pressure and were rewarded when the excellent St Margaret’s keeper could not hold Elliot Watson’s 20-yard drive and the game headed into extra-time.
Both teams pushed for the winner but the game went to penalties, and Ribblesdale ran out of steam.
PE Teacher and Year 7 manager - former Burnley striker Nathan Peel - said “The lads were absolutely devastated and tears were plentiful at the end of what has so far been an unbelievable season for them.
“Their attitude, commitment and dedication has been rewarded with memories they will never forget, they gave everything against an excellent team and I could not have asked for any more. To reach the last 16 schools from over 800 is an incredible achievement, they’ve done themselves and everybody at the school proud.”
The school would like to thank Nigel Stones of Stones Financial for sponsoring the team.