Magdalen School from Brackley do Northampton Town proud
After months of preliminary rounds of competition, we reached the regional stage of the npower Girls Cup. Representing Northamptonshire was Magdalen School from Brackley. They proceeded to the regional phase after winning their local tournament and then overcoming Sponne school of Towcester in the County Final.
The regional finals took place in Stevenage and the day was superbly hosted with great facilities. We were drawn in Group B alongside Peterborough, Stevenage and Wycombe Wanderers. Our opening game was against Wycombe and the girls played some fantastic football and battled back from going 2 goals down to earn a 2-2 draw, a positive start to the day.
Our second game was against Stevenage and again luck went against us conceding an unfortunate equaliser after scoring a fantastic opening goal to draw 1-1. Our tournament was going to come down to our final group game against Peterborough.
We started the game well and took the lead through another well worked goal, however shortly after we again conceded in unfortunate circumstances, a deflected shot sneaking in the corner. We were 1-1 until the last minute of the game when we were awarded a free kick just inside the half. The kick was taken with only one option in mind, to score. The ball flew into the top corner and Northampton Town had qualified for the semi-final!
We were drawn with Watford who were group winners of Group A and hadn’t conceded a goal in their 3 games. A daunting task. We started brightly and took the lead with a good goal. However Watford responded well and were soon level, the game was balanced and either side could have gone on and taken the game. However the game turned on 30 seconds, Northampton headed up the pitch and struck a shot from outside the area which clattered the bar and sparked a Watford break, the resulting attack saw a shot blocked and fall at the feet of a Watford striker who slotted home. The final whistle blew shortly after and we were left with a 3rd place play off with hosts Stevenage, with Watford & MK Dons playing out the final.
Having already played Stevenage and drawn we knew it would be a tight game, both teams had tired legs and had to dig deep to find the energy to finish third. Northampton took the lead, great individual work led to a calm finish past the keeper. Soon after we were 2-0 up, taking advantage of space given to us by Stevenage and finishing past the keeper. We looked to see the game out and were in for a nervy end when Stevenage pulled a goal back but we held on to finish third out of the South East region.
Congratulations to the girls on a fantastic effort and for some fantastic football played throughout the day. They deserved all their success and were a credit to their school.