This year’s final was set to be a brilliant contest between two teams that have faced each other multiple times since Year 7. There was no doubt that Park were the favourites. Still undefeated in the North Devon Schools Football competition, they would be the four-times North Devon Schools Cup Champions if they were to beat their bitter rivals Braunton Academy under the lights at Bideford College.
The team prepared for kick off under sunlight but as the first whistle blew the pitch was engulfed in darkness. Heavy rain fell as Park, in their iconic yellow-highlighter kit, fizzed the ball around the artificial pitch. James Harley dictated the build up play from centre back, finding James Barnett time and time again in tidy little pockets of space on the Park left side. One and two touch combination play between Charlie Roach and Oscar Rogers turned the Braunton centre backs inside out, Ollie Foseberry took advantage of the disorientated centre backs and created multiple chances by running in behind and hassling the Braunton defence.
In ‘Man City’ fashion Park tucked home the first goal. On the outside of his right boot Charlie curled a pin point accurate cross which was begging for Ollie to finish. He did so effortlessly, with a karate-like kick in the air to touch it past the Braunton keeper.
The Park pressure from that point on was relentless, Austin Bull and Adam Rashid jumped on any loose balls and ensured the Park dominance. A central free kick 25 yards out set up the perfect opportunity for Adam to set the records straight and forget his penalty miss. The ball rippled the back of the next after a powerful driven strike.
Oscar nicked the next, before Braunton pulled one back after a mistake from James Harley. A poorly defended corner gave Braunton another before the break. 3-2 to Park at half time.
Playing into the wind in the second half, Park wasted no time keeping the ball out of their half. Direct long balls over Braunton centre backs enabled Park to play on the front foot. A deep-back post cross found Oscar again to make it four. Shortly after Charlie neatly put through to Ollie for a well-deserved second goal making it five.
Captain Adam Rashid lifted the trophy for the fourth time and Park completed an unbelievable achievement by going undefeated in school football and winning four trophies. Well done lads!
Full time: Park 5 -2 Braunton
Man of the Match: Charlie Roach