Both teams had already competed in our own local tournament held on the 3G pitch at the Score centre and had won through to this South East (North) Regional Final in the quest to move onto the Southern Area finals.
The girl’s team from St. John Fisher Catholic Primary school in Loughton won through to their semi-final but lost to a solitary goal from opponents St Albans City. Nonetheless, team manager Jack Horsford was delighted with the girl’s efforts. “We’ve had a wonderful day and really enjoyed it. This is the first experience at an event like this and it’s been a tremendous learning curve. But the girl’s did us proud and we’ve loved representing Leyton Orient. I hope we’ll get the chance again”.
In the boy’s event, Churchfields Primary school in Redbridge went through the tournament to reach their final unbeaten, scoring 18 and conceding just one along the way. However, the final turned out to be a tougher contest against a team representing Dagenham & Redbridge and after a close-fought 0-0 draw, it came down to a penalty shoot-out, Churchfields emerging victorious by three to two!
A fantastic result. However, it was ultimately decided that both teams would go through to the Southern Area Finals and so Churchfields will now move onto represent the O’s on April 24th, once again hosted at Boreham Wood, with a chance to play at Wembley prior to the National League Play-Off Final, against their northern counterparts.
Team manager Lisa Brown said afterwards, “We are over the moon and looking forward to the next round. To play at Wembley is every players dream and this competition is a wonderful opportunity for these kids. We’ll do our very best to get there and obviously proudly represent Leyton Orient”.
Howard Gould, LOFC Community Liaison Officer, commented, “It was a pleasure watching the teams playing in O’s kits although a little difficult at times trying to be in two places at one time (when both teams playing simultaneously). But both St John Fisher and Churchfields were a credit to their schools and now we have to go through it all again with Churchfields! However, they are a well-coached team with great ability and I’m sure if they play to their potential, we will have another representative at Wembley as we did in 2014 when Chase Lane from Chingford won the equivalent EFL competition. All very exciting”.