Highams Park School girl’s u13’s football team lost out to Charlton Athletics representatives in the Area Finals of the npower Football League Girls Cup held at Millwall FC last month.
Representing The O’s as winners of our own recent tournament that comprised of 12 local schools, Highams Park remained unbeaten in the competition but lost out 3-1 on penalties in the semi-finals.
In a group consisting of teams from Gillingham, the eventual winners, Southend and Millwall, the girls managed a win and two draws, enough to reach the semi-final stage where they faced Charlton who had topped their mini-league that contained schools representing AFC Wimbledon, Crystal Palace and Dagenham & Redbridge, but after a thrilling encounter in which The O’s dominated proceedings, restricting their opponents to only one shot on target, a combination of wayward shooting and an inspired performance from the Charlton goalkeeper kept Orient at bay resulting in the shoot-out.
Danielle Lewis, teacher and team manager, said: “The girls really enjoyed the tournament despite the final result. We remained unbeaten including a draw against the eventual winners and it’s been a great day out. We’ve all thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I would also like to thank Leyton Orient for the chance to represent them and for supplying the kit! The girls loved it and looked awesome!”
The npower Football League Girls Cup and Kids Cup competitions have been designed to encourage youngsters to be active, healthy, and develop a keen sense of teamwork whilst enabling Football League clubs a chance to engage with local schools and pupils and promote their work within the local community.
Howard Gould, Club Liaison Officer, said: “It wasn’t a nice way to go out, especially after dominating the game against Charlton, but the Highams Park girls did us proud, not losing a game and performing with great enthusiasm. I’d like to personally thank them all for their commitment and determination and hope to see some of them competing again next year.”
The girls, Shania Leacock, Shawna Harvey, Gemma Aldeen, Amber Bracey, Emily Sharpe, Ella Berry, Olivia Hall and Fareena Saleemi, along with Danielle and LOCSP coach Athena Yennaris have been invited to a forthcoming O’s game as guests of the club as a thank you for their efforts.
Look out for news on how their male counterparts, Greenleaf Primary school, get on when they attend the Kids Cup Area Finals at Crawley Town in March!