STRATFORD-upon-Avon School’s under-13 girls beat Wilmslow High School in a dramatic penalty shootout to book their place in the English Schools PlayStation Cup semi-finals.
After a thrilling quarter-final tie finished 3-3 at the end of 90 minutes, and after the teams could not be separated in extra-time, Stratford converted all of their penalties to win 4-2 in the shootout.
Captain Clara Zaffinani scored the winning spot kick in style with Chloe Jones, Ella Taylor Noble and an own goal providing Stratford’s three strikes in regulation time.
Despite trailing at the break, the team of Seren Welsh, Skye Holtom, Chloe Jones, Marley Wright, Clara Zaffinani, Amaya Atkins, Dita Nicholls, Ella Taylor Noble, Scarlett Burkitt, Ellie Shirley, Matilda Berwick, and Millie Clark fought back to secure a place in the last four.
Coach Paul Turrell said: “The girls battled and fought incredibly well in challenging conditions and on a poor playing surface having faced substantial travel beforehand to get to the game.
“They worked well to manage both the conditions and the pitch and made some key in-game management decisions at the right times.
“To achieve our fifth national semi-final in the last 10 years with three completely different teams is nothing short of phenomenal and I am incredibly proud to be associated with the team as the coach and manager!”
And Stratford’s reward is a semi-final clash with either Cheadle Hulme School or South Hunsley School and Sixth Form College with the pair set to face on Tuesday next week.
The semi-final date is yet to be announced with the ESFA Schools’ website stating the game will be played on or before Saturday, March 12.