Macclesfield Football Academy (MFA) have won their first-ever trophy after claiming the U18 Macclesfield and Districts Schools Cup in an evenly fought battle against Wilmslow High School.
The game started off to a great tempo with both teams having chances in the first 5 minutes, but it was MFA who took the lead through Sam Box’s lobbed effort after being played through by Sam Jordan.
Wilmslow immediately levelled 40 seconds after the restart however courtesy of a Ben Elliott strike after some good wing play from George Barker.
Wilmslow then began to dominate and and on 20 minutes, MFA made a triple substitution with Rocco Fregapane, Charles Chilufya and Luke Boyle entering the fray.
This looked as if it had settled MFA down, as they started getting further up the pitch towards the end of the first half.
On 44 minutes James Chadwick was fouled down the right-hand side and captain Colin Midgley delivered a delightful ball into the box and the smallest man on the pitch Luke Boyle outleaped the Wilmslow defence to head back across goal into the far corner of the net.
MFA knew that Wilmslow would come quickly out the blocks for the second half and after 54 seconds of the restart they restored parity. A through-ball from Ben Mail split the MFA defence in two and George Barker rounded Joe Haigh before composing himself to level.
Fifteen minutes later, MFA were rewarded for their resilient play – a free kick from Alfie Tyldsley was handled in the box by Ben Mail – Sam Box stepped up to take the penalty and despite Wilmslow goalkeeper Yves Jones getting a touch, the ball squeezed in to restore our lead.
The game then opened up a lot more with Wilmslow’s Will Watts trying his luck from 35 yards but the ball sailed over and then he had another effort a few minutes later that was dragged wide.
MFA then began a quick counter-attack and when Sam Box ran into the area he was pushed blatantly in the bag by Tadiwa Dzvoti. The referee waved away the claims to the confusion of the players – however the linesman stepped in and the referee subsequently reversed his decision.
Sam Box stepped up again, and went the same way - yet his time he was denied by a great hand from Yves Jones in the visitor's goal.
Wilmslow then through the proverbial kitchen sink at it and were pushing for the equaliser. Two very good chances fell to Elliott and Dzvoti in the box but their efforts went just over.
MFA repelled everything which was thrown at them though and secured their first trophy since their inception.
Manager Kyle Lord said: “I am incredibly proud of the players today who showed true character to dig in deep and perform the way they did.
"In very tough weather conditions they continued to work hard for one another and they got what the deserved at the end”.