RIBBLESDALE School’s Year 10 footballers progressed to the semi-final of the English Schools’ Under 15 Cup after victory in the West Midlands.
Drawn at RSA Academy from West Bromwich, the locals started brightly, and were rewarded when a superb cross caused confusion in the RSA box, and the ball flew into the net off the head of defender.
This seemed to settle the home team down and they began to show the form that knocked Thomas Telford out in the previous round.
The Ribblesdale defence were under tremendous pressure but remained resilient as the half-time whistle sounded. The second half saw Ribblesdale take the game by the scruff of the neck, with the lively Dominic Telford going close, before Scott Hughes saw his shot go just over.
Ribblesdale piled on the pressure and were unlucky to not go further in front when Telford’s 35 yard lob bounced down off the bar and seemed to have crossed the line, only for the linesman to adjudge that it didn’t. The referee gave the home side a penalty with five minutes remaining. and Josh Pomfret produced an amazing save, although the joy was short-lived as the rebound fell kindly for the home team to equalise.
Showing the character and determination which has seen the Ribblesdale boys win every game in the last 12 months, a long ball into the box landed at the feet of towering central defender Patrick Fordham, who turned and was hacked down from behind.
Telford, with what turned out to be the very last kick of the match, smashed the ball into the bottom right to send the team into the last four.