Shenfield High School

Shenfield Humble National Champions

Shenfield football academy produced the result of the season in the Essex Colleges top division by beating last season’s national cup champions Barking Abbey 3-1 in a pulsating game on Alexander Lane.

Shenfield raced into a 1 goal lead with a well taken goal from forward Ryan Murphy, who burst past his defender before tucking the ball neatly into the bottom corner past the advancing Abbey keeper. This opened Murphy’s account for the season much to the delight of the rest of the squad.

Following Shenfields opener Abbey enjoyed large spells of possession but was frustrated by the discipline, hard work and excellent team shape showed by Shenfield who limited their opponents to speculative long range shots that was easily dealt with by goalkeeper Robbie Jarvis.

A stroke of luck then gifted Abbey an equaliser when a corner kick assisted by the wind flew into Jarvis’s top corner. A spirited Shenfield responded led by some tough tackling from centre back Archie Barnes which allowed the midfield due of Joe Heath and debutant Harry Skinner to enjoy more possession. This led to another flowing move involving lots of the Shenfield players culminating in a perfectly weighted through ball from James Hardcastle allowing Murphy to double his account and give Shenfield a 2-1 half time lead.

In the second half a frustrated Abbey began to battle hard but to no avail against a well-disciplined Shenfield rear guard once again led by captain Connor Witherspoon. Shenfield maintained their discipline with every player doing their job and preventing Abbey from playing.
With 20 minutes to go Shenfield scored a breakaway goal through Ben Garder, an expertly taken volley which rose into the top corner. This capped a truly outstanding performance from the boys and is even more amazing considering Shenfield were missing 3 first team regulars, Josh Norman, Josh Bardealoua and Matt Newman, as well as long term absentee Ashley Keys.

Lead Teacher of the Football Academy Lee Thomas has this to say about the result
“To be top of the league after 4 games, remaining unbeaten and beating last year’s national champions is a remarkable achievement, far beyond what we expected in our first season. It is frightening what this group of players might achieve next year if they remain as focused and disciplined as they have”.