Whitgift’s U13 footballers had already achieved the outstanding feat of reaching the Investec ISFA Cup final for the fifth consecutive year. Indeed the match day programme summed up Whitgift’s recent history in the competition, “In last year’s competition, the team went through all five rounds, only conceding two goals, and this year’s team have gone one better, having only conceded one goal in the competition to date; with 37 goals scored, they are a force to be reckoned with!” Indeed, the U13s had emerged victorious last year, against Chigwell School, with an exhilarating Hudson-Odoi hat-trick, the first in an Investec final.
Having defeated Lochinver House School 5-0 in the semi-final, the team travelled to Burton-upon-Trent’s Pirelli Stadium, home of Burton Albion FC, on 5 March. They faced City of London, who were enjoying their first outing in an ISFA final.
Unfortunately for City of London, this was not to be their glory match; it was Whitgift who took the lead, with an unstoppable shot from Luke Abai Haddon. City of London had their opportunities and periods of possession, but could not convert their chances. Jamal Musiala increased the goal tally to two just before half time. Cal Hamilton scored again for Whitgift minutes into the second half, and Ollie Lea put a victory beyond City of London’s reach, with an acrobatic bicycle kick to make it 4–0.
Mr Andrew Martin commented on his side’s fifth consecutive win, “Over the five years Whitgift have participated in the tournament, they have played 29 games, won 29, lost 0, scored 178 goals, and conceded 13 – an incredible schoolboy achievement that is unlikely to be repeated anytime soon.
The boys have been outstanding in this season’s competition, showing a real belief in their ability. They were fantastic on the day, playing some great football and scoring four superb goals. They have played to their billing as favourites for the title, with stylish, attacking football. Well done to the boys and let’s hope next year’s crop can carry on the success.”