Islington pupils end season with share of silverware as Trophy final finishes level
- Credit: Archant
Islington’s Primary School district team had to settle for a share of the spoils after a thrilling McKee Trophy final with Hackney.
Looking to avenge their Kay Trophy final defeat against the same opponents, Islington began well but could not find the net.
And Hackney then took the lead after four minutes with their first shot of the game, setting the pattern for the rest of the half.
Islington continued to play some great football but were not able to find a finish and Hackney were incisive on the counter attack, scoring twice more to give them a 3-0 lead at half-time.
Undeterred, Islington continued in the same vein in the second half and got a goal back through Stephane Mgbada, who kept up his average of a goal per game.
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Han Wilhoft-King cut the gap to one a minute later with a left-footed shot from outside the box, but Hackney forced saves from Ossis Valtanen and strong defensive work from Archie Linden and Jack Vargas.
Six minutes from time captain Joseph Gurie delivered a corner from the right and an excellent header at the far post from Willhoft-King made it 3-3.
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Both teams had chances in extra time and Islington went in front with three minutes left as Willhoft-King had a shot and Levi Farrington-McCarthy converted the rebound at the second time.
There was more drama to come, though, as Jonnie Gurie went on mazy run and claimed a penalty after going down in the box but the referee waved play on and Hackney levelled with 20 seconds left, as Inner London Schools’ chairman Graham Swann said it was the best game he had seen in some time, which was echoed by other committee members.
Islington’s football development manager Michael MacNeill said: “It really was a phenomenal performance. All 13 players played well. Even though we were 3-0 down at half-time, we’d played really well and I wasn’t worried.
“We told them to continue as they had been playing. The comeback was excellent and although it’s disappointing to concede in the dying seconds, to have the whole squad playing and finishing the season with such a strong performance, is really satisfying.
“Players and parents should be proud.”
Islington: Marshall (Valtanen), Linden, Vargas, Jos Gurie, Richards (Walker) (Farrington-McCarthy), Yildiz (Gordon), Jon Gurie, Willhoft-King, Mgbada.