Some of Bromsgrove’s most talented footballers were given the opportunity to showcase their talents at a professional football stadium on Tuesday 19 June. Students from Years 8, 9, 10, 11 and the Sixth Form travelled to the 72nd Anniversary stadium to take on, and eventually triumph over, a team of teachers.
Before the game, the students were given a surprise when they were presented with special match football shirts and made use of the professional changing rooms to help prepare and plan their tactics to defeat the teachers.
The new black shirts gave the students an air of military efficiency; an impression that was only enhanced as the game began and the Year 11 pairing of Nic and Kai showed energy and commitment in a tough midfield battle. If the Kai and Nic were soldiers in the trenches then the organising generals were certainly Geng and Chot (both Year 10), assisted by Isaac (Year 9) and Thomas (Year 12) who calmly and authoritatively nullified the pacy attacking threat of Mr Cowen and the strength of Mr Owens. If an army needs strength and organisation to defend, it also needs strength to attack and this was provided through a powerful performance by the centre forward Kong (Year 11) who finished the game with two richly deserved goals.
The students showed excellent organisation and communication skills throughout the game although the score remained at 0-0 until the final part of the game, thanks largely to excellent goalkeeping from Adam (Year 12), Leo and Michael C (both Year 10). With the game looking like it may end goalless, Mr Reilly was penalised for a wild lunge on a free running Kong on the edge of the area. The forward had been set free after good work down the wing by Yusang (Year 8) and it was the Year 10 striker himself who dusted himself off and curled a great free kick into the top corner.
This lead would not last long though, when the teachers were able to reply a few minutes later. After good work by the midfield maestros Mr Dye and Mr Tak, Mr Seigel was fouled. The resulting free kick was powerfully despatched in to the net by Mr Foley with goalkeeper Michael C’s faint touch unable to stop the shot.
As the aging staff team tired, the students seemed the most likely winners, particularly after the staff captain, Mr White, departed injured. The pace of Denny (Year 12) proved challenging for Mr Smith and with the staff defence dropping deeper and deeper, Kong once again pounced, and with a forceful run isolated Mr Reilly and was able to finish neatly past Adam.
With the staff team now trailing 2-1 and missing both Mr White and Mr Foley who had joined the Year 5 teacher in limping off, it looked like certain victory for the students. However with full time looming, Mr Seigel stepped up and bent a fantastic free kick into the net and sent the game to penalties.
Although Mr Dye and Mr Cowan scored their penalties, Mr Marker and Mr Ross missed theirs and with the students having scored the first three, Nic Stanig was able to calmly slot home his penalty and nudge the students over the line and to victory.