Bolton School Senior Boys

Boys Runners Up in National ISFA Cup

Bolton School's Under 15's finished runners up in the national final of the Independent Schools Football Association Cup, staged on Thursday 3rd March at Burton Albion FC's Pirelli Stadium. Having moved serenely into the final with convincing victories in their previous rounds, including a comfortable win over Manchester Grammar School in the semi final, the boys failed to overcome Whitgift School, Croydon, losing 4-0 in a final featuring flowing and attractive football from both teams.

Having conceded just three goals on their way to the final, Bolton were stunned to find themselves 2-0 down within the opening five minutes. Yet they fought hard to establish a foothold in the match, and increasingly pieced together progressive moves and patterns of possession. Nevertheless, they were restricted in the first half to a series of attempts from distance by the excellent Whitgift unit and went into the half time break needing to score the next goal.

Unfortunately for Bolton, having begun the second half well Whitgift increased their lead and put further pressure on the Bolton goal as the second half progressed. That Bolton held firm and refused to buckle when lesser sides might have been overwhelmed by Whitgift's incisive attacking play is to the great credit of the Bolton players. A fourth Whitgift goal eventually arrived but Bolton continued battling to the end and were perhaps a little unlucky not to earn themselves a consolation goal.

In spite of the result, the Bolton players represented their school, the north of England and the spirit of independent schools football in the correct manner throughout. So too did the Bolton supporters, who carried on singing their hearts out to the very end and beyond. Bolton captain Sam Mercer said: "It was a fabulous occasion in which to be involved and we were very proud to represent Bolton School in such a prestigious occasion. It is disappointing to lose but we have had a remarkably enjoyable and successful season and on behalf of the squad I would like to thank our coach, Mr Brace, for the time and effort he has given since September."

Whitgift v Bolton

Whitgift scored two early goals from which Bolton never recovered

Game over

Bolton started the second half well but then conceded a third and the game was effectively over