Islington school triumph in national final at Reading’s Madejski Stadium
- Credit: Archant
Left-back Prosper Keto headed in the only goal at Reading’s Madejski Stadium as St Aloysius’ Under-14s collected their first national 11-a-side trophy for 16 years.
Keto – one of the smallest players on the pitch – nodded home a near-post corner from man of the match Ryan Alebiosu in the second half to settle the English Schools FA PlayStation Cup final against Westfield School from Sheffield.
The St Aloysius’ boys were cheered on by around 300 supporters inside the stadium, while the rest of the school watched the match on big screens via a live YouTube stream.
Team manager Stewart Henderson told the Gazette: “I couldn’t fault any of the players. I was really pleased with the whole team, including the subs we brought on.
“We looked comfortable in terms of possession but, although we had chances, we couldn’t score until late on – and it was nice to score from a set-piece, which is something we don’t do too often.
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“The boys were quite confident – it didn’t faze them at all playing at a big stadium. They were excited but didn’t show any nerves – it was just me being nervous on the touchline!
“It was a great day for everyone who went down there and also those watching the game back at school. The support we’ve had from everyone has been immense.”
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The Under-14s, who were also crowned national five-a-side champions earlier in the season, received their medals and the trophy from Arsenal star Alex Iwobi.
And the supporters were rewarded for their vocal efforts as well – their decibel levels were officially higher than any other group of fans in the tournament, which earned the school a PlayStation 4 from the sponsors.
St Aloysius’ Under-16 team completed a successful week for the school as they lifted the London Cup with a 1-0 win over Kingsdale Foundation.
Kingsdale looked the better side during the early stages but, with Aiden Mesias and Guynel Henriet beginning to take control of midfield, the Aloysius boys always posed a threat.
The pair combined to good effect five minutes before half-time, when Mesias passed a free-kick sideways to Henriet, who curled a sweet finish into the top corner from 30 yards.
St Aloysius’ manager Ali Halsall said: “What a great way for them to finish this season and their school careers.”