Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City – watch and learn. Springfield Primary in Sunbury may not have the resources to match the country’s footballing giants, but its girls’ team showed the likes of Eden Hazard, Jack Wilshere and Sergio Aguero how it should be done this season after clinching a League and Cup double.
Having wrapped up the Spelthorne Girls' league title back in February, winning all their games and scoring 24 goals in the process without conceding once, the team, under the guidance of teacher Anna Wilson, faced a long wait for the chance to add to their title triumph in the Spelthorne Girls' Cup competition.
After victories over local rivals St Ignatius and Ashford C of E School – a 2-1 win which saw them concede their first goal - they won through to the final against Chennestone School, played at the neutral venue of Buckland School. And having already had to wait a long time to play the match in the first place, the season was then strung out to the very end when, having led twice through goals by striker Tilly, in the final minute Chennestone equalised to take the match to extra time.
The best chance of the additional 10 minutes fell to Chennestone, with defender Courtney’s vital tackle denying them the chance to score and resulting in her coming off injured, before the final drama of penalties. Keeper Lauren was the hero of the day, saving two spot-kicks before a decisive miss gave Springfield a dramatic 3-1 shoot-out win, and with it, the Cup to go alongside the league trophy.
“It’s been an amazing experience for the girls and I couldn’t be more proud of what they achieved,” said Ms Wilson. “They had to do it the hard way, so they deserve everything they’ve got. They’ve been so enthusiastic all year – it would have been so easy to think winning the league all those months ago was enough, and to have turned off, but they wanted so desperately to add the Cup as well, and that determination really showed as they were pushed to the limit and came up trumps.
"It’s been an absolute honour to work with these girls, and I couldn’t have asked for any more from them. If Roy Hodgson and the England team want any advice on how to win on penalties, I’m sure the girls would be happy to give them some tips!”
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