Schools share cup after Blackpool FC showpiece
This year's Harry Johnston Cup final at Bloomfield Road was contested by St George's and St Bede's and was a game to inspire any young footballer.
The annual Fylde coast schools’ showpiece was played in a good spirit of mutual respect, befitting the memory of the 1953 FA Cup-winning Blackpool captain whose name the trophy bears.
St Bede’s started the game the brighter, keeping possession in midfield without creating clear-cut opportunities, though a curling effort from outside the box sailed narrowly over the bar.
However, it was Marton school St George’s who broke the deadlock, seizing on a long clearance by their goalkeeper to score.
Lytham school St Bede’s continued to control the midfield but the St George’s defence stood up well to everything thrown at them.
However, in the last minute of the first half, St George’s gave away a free-kick in a dangerous position.
And although the resulting shot was blocked, an assistant referee ruled that an arm had been used and St Bede’s were awarded a penalty, which almost broke the back of the net and made it 1-1 at half-time.
St George’s started the second half brighter and regained the lead.
The game hung in the balance and the next goal would be crucial. It went St Bede’s way from another free-kick, which was forced home from inside the area.
At 2-2 the final went into extra-time, with both teams working hard to score the winning goal.
St George’s hit the bar twice from headers and St Bede’s had a goal disallowed but there was no addition to the scoring.
The rules of the competition say that in such circumstances the trophy will be shared, meaning both captains lifted the cup together.
All the players represented their school impeccably and the supporters showed their appreciation towards both teams.