The Ashbourne Allstars travelled to the England National Football Centre in Burton to participate in a 10 team A level college football tournament, narrowly missing out on the final in a well contested semi-final against MPW London.
Ashbourne were in a group made up of Carfax, Bath Academy, MPW Birmingham and Collingham.
Ashbourne Allstars 4-0 Carfax
The Allstars started brightly against Carfax and took no time at all in making it 1-0, with Djordje really trying to make a name for himself in this tournament, scoring 3 quick fire, well taken goals. In a game that was dominated by the Allstars, our Goalkeeper, Ali, had very little to do and the defence, Tommy and Danial, kept it really tight. Our passing game was on point, with Mark, Kasy and Limbani pulling the strings in Midfield and Tommy added a fourth with a rasping effort from long distance.
Ashbourne Allstars 1-0 Bath Academy
After the comfortable victory in our first game, we came up against a tougher Bath Academy side. We decided to play Mohammad Gerashi in goal for this game, giving Kasy a rest and playing Danial in a midfield three with Mark and Limbani. Ali partnered Tommy in defence and for all our domination, we simply could not find the back of the net. Djordje had very little space up front to make any chances and with minutes remaining, Mark drove from midfield and hit a right foot rocket shot straight past their keeper to win us the game.
Ashbourne Allstars 1-0 MPW Birmingham
This was to be our toughest game of the group stages in a tightly contested match which could have gone either way. The Allstars created few chances, but were resolute in their defending to deny the opposition a goal. Our winning goal came late in the game and what a goal it was. Tommy broke from defence with the ball and played some neat passes into midfield, finding himself in the attacking third, he played a brilliant back heel to Limbani who finished with a superbly placed left foot shot which arrowed straight into the top corner. With players tiring, Limbani was replaced by Stephan, who showed a lot of energy to help us see the game out and give us maximum points from 3 games.
Ashbourne Allstars 0-0 Collingham
The last group game saw Stephan start in place of Mark and Limbani was replaced by Ali. The game was very scrappy and a few tired legs started to show. Neither side created many chances and it was no surprise the game ended 0-0 in a game that saw us finish top of the table and cement a place in the semi finals against MPW London.
Ashbourne Allstars 0-0 MPW London (MPW London win 2-0 on Penalties)
The Allstars came up against their inter college league rivals, having pipped them to 2nd in the table this season and having beaten them home and away in what are always very competitive matches in the process.
We knew what MPW London were all about and we knew that they were always going to cause us problems. The game was full of chances at both ends and if our final pass had been more accurate we could have come away with a win. Neither team could make the breakthrough and so the game eventually went to penalty kicks.
The Allstars won the toss and elected to take the first penalty kick, which was to be an ice hockey style penalty kick which the boys were not used to.
Tommy and Limbani missed their penalties and MPW London put both of theirs away to proceed to the Final where they would go on to beat CCSS on penalties.
We went on to play MPW Birmingham in the 3rd/4th place playoff and having taken the lead through Djordje with a great header, we conceded 2 late goals to see us finish 4th overall in the tournament.
The boys should take great pride in their performance and Stephen and I were very pleased with the performances on the day in what has been a very good season overall for the Allstars.