Stoke City’s under-19s and Stoke on Trent College Futsal squad finished Runners up in Tuesdays English Football League Trust Trophy Finals day.
The Potters were drawn in a difficult group with a strong Chelsea squad, Brighton and Bristol Rovers teams all looking to progress out of the group stage and into the semi-finals.
First up the Potters faced Chelsea, and having beat them in the previous rounds they knew that Chelsea would be looking to make amends. In a disappointing 1st game the Potters lost 3-0.
2 wins from 2 were needed to qualify and the team picked themselves up from the Chelsea defeat and delivered 2 better performances, firstly edging out Brighton 2-1, with goals coming from Lewis Mcmurdo. He struck again by netting a brace in a 2-0 victory over Bristol Rovers ensuring a semi-final position by finishing 2nd in the group.
With Scunthorpe United B topping group B the Potters knew they would have to be at their best against a well-established team who had recorded impressive victories in the group stages and have a history of producing excellent squads.
In an impressive opening period the Potters went 1-0 up with impressive build up play leading to Bradley Edwards scoring at the back post. However the Potters paid the price of squandering opportunities and conceded 2 goals in quick succession, setting up a tense finish. With time running out the game turned with Bradley Edwards being fouled in the box, leading to Captain Thomas Pond scoring from the spot and taking the game into penalties.
Scunthorpe were first up and Goalkeeper Kieran Greatrex saved excellently, Thomas Pond scoring the Potters first and Greatrex again thwarting the Scunthorpe penalty taker, leaving Callum Lowe the task of scoring and taking the Potters into the final.
Fleetwood Town were the opponents in the final. The impressive and experienced squad ran out 4-1 winners with Thomas Pond getting the Potters only goal in what had been a day full of emotions.
Futsal Head Coach Duncan Gilchrist couldn’t hide his pride in the squad, “For the squad and the staff team it’s been a great achievement to get to the final and the players can hold their heads up high having represented themselves and the club impressively throughout the 2 group rounds and knockout stages. Year on year the programme is growing and hopefully on the back of this achievement we can get more players engaged in the game of Futsal.”
This is another fantastic achievement for the staff and students of Stoke-on-Trent College, and is further re-enforcing the reputation that we are building on a national level.