Blackpool school so close in Kids Cup

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Stanley Primary School represented Blackpool FC Community Trust in the North Regional Finals for the Football League Kids Cup, with a place at Wembley awaiting the winners.

They were full of confidence ahead of the competition at the Alexandra Soccer Centre in Crewe.

Stanley were up against schools representing Barnsley, Doncaster, Oldham Athletics, Wigan Athletic, Chesterfield and Bradford City in their group.

Stanley were unbeaten during the group stage, winning four and drawing two, which saw them qualify comfortably as group winners.

The semi-final saw Stanley come up against Sheffield United, and they struggled to find their rhythm in the first half. Early in the second half, Sheffield took the lead from an own goal.

This was the first time Stanley had fallen behind in the competition but the reaction was fantastic. The lads pulled together and instantly turned on the style and equalised from the penalty spot.

With the wind in their sails, Stanley took the game to Sheffield United and had a goal disallowed. The match ended 1-1, which meant a penalty shootout.

However, the dream of Wembley ended there as Sheffield United went through 2-0, also going on to win the final.

Stanley can be extremely proud of being unbeaten in the seven games they played. Once the lads had picked up their medals and were back on the minibus, the manager of runners-up Crewe came over and spoke extremely highly of their performances.

Chris Debar, Senior Physical Education Officer at the Community Trust, said: “The lads were an absolute credit, not only showing what a fantastic football team they are but also showing high levels of teamwork and togetherness throughout the day, especially in the semi-final after falling behind.”