Schoolhouse strike in extra time to lift the Sunday Senior Cup

Schoolhouse celebrate their extra time winner
Schoolhouse celebrate their extra time winner
Schoolhouse celebrate their extra time winner
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A thirty yard screamer from Brendan Burke in extra-time saw Schoolhouse clinch back to back Sunday Senior Cup wins in a pulsating final.

Click here to view photos from the match.

It was an intense start to a match that had plenty at stake for both sides, with Riverside looking to complete a League, League Cup and County Cup treble, whilst Schoolhouse looked to avenge their second place finish to the Rovers with back to back Sunday Senior Cup success.

The match saw plenty of firm tackles, with both sides giving the ball away cheaply under pressure. Schoolhouse enjoyed the majority of the play in their opponents half, and looked the more threatening side in the final third. Midfielder Charlie Bartram had the first opportunity of the game, as he quickly dispossessed his opponent before curling a fantastic shot that bounced towards goal, only for the ball to flick off the post and wide.

Schoolhouse continued to press, with Brendan Burke sliding in forward Chris Hall who attempted to poke the ball underneath the onrushing Stuart Parsons in the Rovers goal, who excellently got down to deflect the effort away with his legs.

Both sides struggled to create any real clear cut opportunities mid-way through the second half as they searched for a way through. A long lofted ball found Riverside forward Roy Bevis through on goal on the angle, and did well to loft his effort back across goal over the MacRae, however the ball had just too much power on it as it landed on the roof of the net.

The long ball proved to be Schoolhouse’s undoing in the first half, with Bevis once again causing trouble as he expertly brought the ball down before laying it back to Shaun Wones who skied his effort over the bar. Bevis had more opportunities as Rovers looked to take the lead just before half time, with two speculative volleys that were dealt with by the keeper, however MacRae almost ended up spilling the second effort into his own net, in what proved to be the last chance of the half as the game remained goalless at the break.

Half time: Riverside Rovers 0 - 0 Schoolhouse

The second half saw both sides attempt to put a foot on the ball and take more care in possession, however it was Schoolhouse who created the half’s first chance. Rhys Logan cut in from the right before spreading the ball out wide towards Connor Delaney on the opposite flank, who ran at his defender before unleashing a swerving effort that flew just wide of the top right hand corner.

Despite Riverside's best attempts to drive the ball forward, Schoolhouse looked comfortable at the back, and continued to look the more threatening side going forward. Rhys Logan picked the ball up from deep and ran at the Riverside defence, opening up onto his favoured right foot before curling an effort that looked destined to go in, however Parsons did brilliantly to tip the shot over the bar.

Riverside came forward ten minutes later, with forward Jordan Rocastle winning the ball on the half way line before playing a clever one two that saw him bear down on goal one on one. The number 9 got into the Schoolhouse penalty area but took too long to get his shot away as the desperate Schoolhouse defender blocked his shot, sending it behind for a corner.    

The last fifteen minutes saw the game open up as both sides searched for what would surely be the winning goal. Rocastle found himself in the box again however his shot was saved, with Schoolhouse quickly breaking on the counter attack as Chris Hall struggled to latch onto a through ball as Parsons cleared up the danger.

Full time: Riverside Rovers 0 - 0 Schoolhouse

The two sides were inseparable at the end of 90 minutes, meaning the match would head into extra time. It didn’t take long – just four minutes in fact – until the deadlock was finally broken in a close match, as Brendan Burke collected the ball deep inside the oppositions half before pushing forward and curling a wonderful shot into the top right hand corner that left Parsons rooted to the ground.

That goal saw the Schoolhouse fans and bench erupt with joy as they knew it could prove to be a crucial goal. Riverside didn’t drop their heads however as they desperately searched for an equaliser. A low drive into the Schoolhouse area found its way to Rocastle at the back post, and despite his clever turn, a defender was on hand to quickly close his effort down once again.

The game began to slow down dramatically in extra time as both sides became increasingly tired. Riverside’s Aaron Kay had an excellent opportunity to  equalise in the 113th minute, drilling an effort low towards the bottom left hand corner but MacRae was on hand to deny the midfielder. Despite Riverside's best efforts to equalise and send the game to penalties, it was Schoolhouse who cleared any danger as they lifted the Sunday Senior Cup for the second time in a row!

Final Score: Riverside Rovers 0 - 1 Schoolhouse

Line ups:

Riverside Rovers: Stuart Parsons, Jamie Atkins, Duane Eastall, Shaun Wones, Charlton Halliday, Gavin Lemmon, Jamie Riley (C), Jordan Rocastle, Roy Bevis, James Maxwell-Stuart & Aaron Kay.

Subs: Gary Bland, Steve Edridge, Warren Nichols.

Schoolhouse: George MacRae, Jack Smith, Charlie Bartram, Elliot Lythgoe, Sam Watts (C), Sam Applegate, Rhys Logan, Tim Henery, Chris Hall, Connor Delaney & Brendan Burke.

Subs: Oliver Thomson, Calum Burke, Joshua Ball.

Goals: Brendan Burke (94’)

Referee: Andy Waite

Assistants: Matthew Hudson & Mark Woodhouse

Fourth Official: Nigel Howes

Player of the Match: Sam Watts (Schoolhouse)

Attendance: 690

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