IHM Football Academy – 2
Denstone College – 2

IHM Football Academy at Ellesmere win on Penalties

Date: Wednesday 8th November 2023
Competition: U18s AFSA Bowl – 1st Round
Goal scorers: Alex Share, Philipp Reinder
Alex Share
Sodjantsan Battuvshin
Sacha Connesson

The IHM Football Academy at Ellesmere College U18’s side progressed into the draw for Round 2 of “the ASFA Bowl” with a win! The game was won on penalties, against Denstone, after the deadlock couldn’t be broken in normal time nor after a short extra time period.

In tough autumn conditions, with a very wet and soggy pitch, the IHM Football Academy at Ellesmere College side made tough work of their progress to the next round. They took the lead twice, only to let Denstone back in again on both occasions.

Alex Sharpe put Ellesmere ahead in the first half, only for this to be cancelled out by Denstone with a fantastic strike from their front man. Late on in the first half, a penalty gifted Ellesmere the chance to take the lead again, which they did through a calm and confident strike from Phillip. However, some sloppy play and lack of concentration meant Denstone were able to level up once again.

As the game drew to a close, the IHM Football Academy at Ellesmere College team looked the better side and the most likely to score a third. But, in a game that should have been a convincing win, when the final whistle went, the teams were all square at 2-2.

With the light fading, what should have been a 20-minute extra time ended up being a very short 12 minutes’ of added time. With the condensed time and the conditions of the pitch it was a very cagey performance from both sides. Neither wanted to make a mistake and lose the game. As the added time drew near, neither side could find the net and so, penalties it was.

With the first two spot kicks both the Ellesmere goalkeeper, Major, and the Dentsone keeper, pulled off great saves to keep the game level. The second spot kicks saw the target missed by both sides, so as the tension grew it was down to Alex, Sodjantsan and Sasha to convert the final 3, which they did and so bravely clinched the tie.

Ellesmere progress through now to the next round of the competition in great form and hoping to string together a good cup run, which was such a positive aspect of last season.

Lead Coach, Brandon, said:

“ Delighted we are through. We made hard work of that as we should really have won it in the first half of the game. Just a few bits of poor play let them in to get back on level terms with us.

But, it was a great learning experience too. The lads were strong and managed to keep their nerve right through to the end. Only having that short period of extra time was tough, it wasn’t really a game in that period, it was about avoiding making mistakes and trying to see it through to penalties.

Overall, great that we are through and I think the lads will want to make sure in the next round that it doesn’t go to the wire like that.”

For the Ellesmere side, Harry was the stand-out player in his debut for the team getting “Player of the Match”. He was calm and tidy in possession and looked comfortable on the ball. A great debut for the newcomer who fitted in nicely with the rest of the team.