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Top Draw

28th January 2018

Some say the FA Cup has lost its magic. The reality is, there's plenty of magic left for those teams who have successful runs in the competition. Today is FA Cup day: the fourth round. But who cares? Our attention is on the RISA Under 11s Football league, and it​'​s got more magic in it than a witch's wand!

The New School went into this round of matches level on points with St George's Football Academy B, at the top of the table; St George's A team not far behind.

First up, The New School versus St George's Football Academy A (SGFA A). A bold​ young goalkeeper held the green tide back for a long period of the game, but the floodgates eventually opened. A brace from Helen and a wonderful individual goal from William saw our heroes pass their first test of the day 3-0.

Next up, The New School versus SGFA B. A win for either team would mean putting glorious daylight between themselves and their closest rivals​, who would drop to 2nd place.

The league’s top two teams: head to head.  It was tough.  It was tight.

Talented players cancelled each other out all over the field. At times, New School supporters on the sidelines were throwing their hands up in the air in celebration, only to see the ball ricochet off a post or zip agonisingly along the line and out of play.

St George's certainly had their moments too, and it's tempting to say that they were unlucky not to win. But Lady Luck wasn't to thank; Ellis—our goalkeeper— is the one who deserves the plaudits; for winning his one-to-ones and for making a super-human leap to his right post to palm a​ goal-bound ball out for a corner.

In the end both teams had to settle for a draw; a fitting result for two teams who just can’t be separated. Following the final whistle, however, news filtered through that this was in fact St George’s second draw of the morning.

We were top! Not just joint top; top top!

A win in our third and final game would open up a 5-point lead at the top of the league! The Greens were disappointed then, when a ​well oiled​ team performance failed to be rewarded with victory against a plucky Southlands side.

Captain Gregorio—composure personified—somehow created space for himself among a sea of red and green shirts, in order to slot home the opener. Wave after wave of attack, shot after shot, The New School threatened to net a second. But it wasn’t to be. It seems that The New School is not the only team blessed with a solid goalkeeper!

The three points on the horizon ​turned out to be a mirage. Southlands never gave up and a passage of scrappy play in the area ended with the ball rolling into The New School net.

Another draw.

Onlookers were rightly proud and impressed by The New School players as they trudged off the pitch at full time. The players themselves, though, were visibly disappointed. This speaks of the high expectations they have set for themselves.

They should feel proud. They are top of the league by three points and everyone has forgotten all about the FA Cup.