George Spencer fall in last 32 of English Schools
GEORGE Spencer Academy (Stapleford) have been one of the most successful sides from the region in national competitions so far this season.
But they suffered disappointment when their U14s went out of the English Schools FA/FA Premier League U14 National Cup at the last 32 stage.
In an enthralling game, they went down 4-3 away to last season's national U13 champions, Sandwell Academy.
George Spencer made a great start, taking the lead through Andy Brown.
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They were unfortunate not to make it 2-0 after more great work from Brown and Stephen Gray.
Sandwell showed their threat by hitting the post and bar.
George Spencer made it 2-0 early in the second half when good wing play from Gray ended with a cross which Roberts bundled in.
Sandwell raised their game and two quick goals got them back in the game but Adam Morley made it 3-2 with 11 minutes left with a bullet header.
A looping cross hit the post for a Sandwell player and went in to make it 3-3 and then, in the final minute of added time, a player coming back from an offside position caused a moment's hesitation in the Spencer defence and the home side made it 4-3.
At least four other teams from the county will be hoping for further progress in national competitions this week.
Nottinghamshire U16 girls will meet Staffordshire in the Midlands County Championship semi-finals at Collingham FC tomorrow (7.15pm).
The winners will represent the Midlands in the last eight of the English Schools' County Championship together with the winners of the match between Worcestershire and Lincolnshire.
In the U15 girls' national Cup, Arnold Hill will meet Sherwood E-ACT Academy (formerly Gedling School) for a place in the quarter-finals.
This game will be played on the 3G surface at Arnold Hill on either Thursday or Friday.
Becket School (Wilford) take on Ormskirk School from Lancashire in their bid to reach the semi-final of the U16 E.S.F.A. Cup.
Although the recent bad weather has slowed down progress in the County knock-out competitions for individual schools, one of the national indoor competitions, the English Schools/Munich Trophies 5-a-side Championship for U12s sides has reached the East Midlands' Finals.
Six Nottinghamshire schools, winners of their district competitions, will be competing in these at Derby Power League Soccerdome on February 8.
Nottingham's representatives are Nottingham University Samworth Academy (Bilborough) who won the Nottingham title for the second successive year in the boys' section and Nottingham Emmanuel Academy (Wilford) in the girls.
The winners of the South Notts competition were West Bridgford (Girls) and George Spencer (Boys), while from Worksop and Retford, Outward Academy Valley will compete in both the girls and boys' events.
No games have been played since Christmas in the U16 Nottinghamshire Cup and Shield competitions.
But four schools are through to the quarter-finals of the boys' Hawkins Cup.
They are Bluecoat Academy, 1-0 winners against Dukeries (Ollerton), Nottingham Academy who beat Brunts (Mansfield) 6-2 and OG Portland (Worksop) who won 3-1 at Joseph Whitaker (Rainworth).
The draw for the last eight is:
Bluecoat v Nottingham Academy; Manor (Mansfield) or Trinity (Nottingham) v George Spencer; All Saints (Mansfield) or Quarrydale (Sutton) v Ashfield or Garibaldi (Forest Town) and East Leake Academy or Sherwood e-act Academy v OG Portland.
In the corresponding competition for girls, the Hilary Swinn Cup, six teams are into the quarter-finals.
Becket, in view of their achievements in the national U16 event, must rank as favourites having already reached the semi-finals with an 8-0 win over South Wolds Academy (Keyworth).
Three other teams will provide good competition for Becket with Carlton-le-Willows, who progressed through five rounds of the national Cup, Sherwood E-ACT Academy and Arnold Hill, who both have outstanding U15 players who are eligible for the U16 County Cup.