Sports Reports for PT2019 Week 2
Saturday saw the first ‘mini-block’ of the season against Whitgift School. The 1st XI travelled away and created plenty of chances in the first half only to find themselves 1-0 down at the break. They equalised early in the second half but then fell behind again and looked to be heading for a frustrating defeat until Ben Afram grabbed a deserved equaliser in the third minute of injury time.
There was a late Westminster goal also in the 2nd XI match at Vincent Square. Having taken the lead through Freddie Flowers, Westminster looked to have had victory snatched from their grasp as Whifgift drew level with a penalty deep into the second half. However, there was time still for more penalty drama as Westminster were awarded a spot-kick right at the death, and Zach Brandman coolly converted to give the 2nds a 2-1 victory.
Meanwhile, on the adjacent pitches, the U15As & Bs were playing out their own entertaining and high-scoring matches against Whitgift. The 15As found themselves 2-0 down but battled back to draw level at 2-2 only to then fall 4-2 behind at half-time. The chances continued to flow after the break with both teams far superior going forward than defending. Eventually, the entertainment was brought to an end with a 6-4 victory for the visitors, although Sachin Lavender did bag two goals for the Westminster side. The 15Bs were even slower out of the blocks and went 2-0 down inside a minute only to bounce back even stronger and take a 4-2 lead. However, this served to spur Whitgift on and to their credit they came roaring back to win 6-4 also.
Sunday saw the annual ISFA Sixes competition held this year at Winchester College. An inexperienced Westminster squad faced a tough group of six teams with the top two progressing through to the Cup knockout stages, and the third and fourth-placed sides going into the Plate. Prospects did not look good as Westminster lost their first two matches to UCS (0-2) and Bradfield (0-4) – who were eventually to finish as Cup runners-up – but the side bounced back with a superb 3-1 win over Ardingly College. The resurgence continued after lunch with a solid 0-0 draw against a strong Hampton side, followed by an excellent 3-2 win over Queen Ethelburga’s, York to take Westminster into fourth place in their group and into the Plate quarter-finals. The boys were on a roll now as they eased past Brentwood by 2-0 and then overcame another Essex school in the shape of Forest also by 2-0 in the semi-final. This set up a Plate Final against the ‘auld enemy’ and historic rivals, Charterhouse, who we have been playing against since the FA was founded in 1863. A single goal was sufficient to give the Westminster team the victory, and their first silverware success in the ISFA competition’s 62 year history.
Special congratulations must go to new Master i/c Football, Mr Coles, as well as the coaches, James Lewis and Paul Barnes, and their outstanding squad:
Ben Preston (c), Connor Manning, Naryan Mangat, Edric Pepra, Ben Afram, Amir Elbishlawi, Luke Grbesa, Nikdad Khayami & Safar Shahbakhti.