IHM Football Academy at Ellesmere – 2
Pro Elite Academy – 3
Date: Friday 24 November 2023
Venue: Ellesmere College
Competition: ISFA Bowl u18s
Goal scorers: Alex, Jakub
IHM at Ellesmere College said goodbye to the Independent Schools Football Association Bowl
competition, narrowly losing 3-2 to Monmouth.
IHM started well, sliding the ball confidently around the park. All down to the work by Lead Coach,
Brandon, during his pre-match briefing. Brandon had focused on the importance of maintaining a
disciplined and tight shape and initially this was paying dividends. The need for flexibility was also
discussed, depending upon what formation the opposition adopted. The attention to detail, when
preparing for a game is always there. All this led to IHM being in full control of play from the start
of the first half.
“In possession we were really good. Out of possession our ball recovery was fantastic. It was a
game of switching play, from right to left, across the floor.”
However, despite this conscientious and principled approach, IHM did eventually get caught out by
a momentary lapse in concentration. The ball was flicked on between our centre halves and a good
finish from the Monmouth number 9, lobbing the ball from the 18-yard line on the half volley, led
to a break in the deadlock and IHM going 1-0 down. But, IHM did react very positively to this and
with a lucky break down the line, IHM’s number 9 expertly put the ball away, to level the game up.
This led to IHM kicking on and becoming the clearly dominant side for the rest of the first half, with
a good number of chances on goal. The team came in at half time brimming with positivity.
Lead Coach, Brandon gave clear instructions to come out after the break with exactly the same
positivity and game plan. Which was rewarded by a well taken 2nd goal from IHM taken by Alex
Sharp, who managed to get a little flick on the ball from a shot in the box. IHM were in full control
of the game at this point. However, with just 15 minutes to go, and a slight loss of concentration
from the IHM keeper led to a penalty being awarded to Monmouth. Which was expertly slotted
away to level the game up to 2-2.
With the wind on their side, Monmouth now fought back remarkably well, putting immense
pressure on IHM’s back four. Everything was now going Monmouth’s way and quite soon their
number 11 deftly tucked the ball into the bottom right hand corner to make it 3-2 in their favour.
IHM never recovered from this, but bravely fought on until the full time whistle saw them leave the
Lead Coach, Brandon was still full of praise for IHM’s attitude:
“Overall I was really pleased with our performance. I thought the lads were really unlucky to be knocked out of the competition. Especially after their first half display.”