Paul Jewell watches on as schools trophy goes to Great Cornard

IT'S OURS! Cornard's captain Ben Judge receives the ESFA Small Schools Trophy.
IT'S OURS! Cornard's captain Ben Judge receives the ESFA Small Schools Trophy.

Great Cornard Middle School 1 Seaton Burn Community College 0





Great Cornard Middle School 1 Seaton Burn Community College 0

CORNARD striker Jack Housden’s strike at the end of the first half proved enough for the Suffolk side to lift the English Schools’ cup at Ipswich Town’s Portman Road on Friday.

The Championship club’s manager Paul Jewell was even spotted watching on as Ralph Pruden’s side got the better of their Newcastle opponents to ensure the name of their school will be remembered for its sporting prowess long after it closes indefinitely in 2013.

“The whole school is really proud,” said Pruden, head of PE at the school. “You can see from the headteacher, all the staff and the kids that there has been a real buzz about it.

“It is the first year of the tournament and the name Great Cornard Middle School will always be the first on the trophy — the school will soon no longer exist but that name on the trophy is a legacy to leave behind.”

Neither side really got into their full fluent football in the first half, but Cornard carved out the best chances with Housden going close with a header and then seeing the Seaton Burn goalkeeper saving from a one-on-one. The keeper then showed his agility to tip over from Chilli Wolf’s strike.

And just as Pruden was fretting that his side might regret not converting before half-time, a throw-in on the right moments before the break from Charlie Stevens was cushioned on his chest by Housden, who rolled his marker and struck a half volley towards goal. The keeper could only parry it out and Hosuden showed the foresight to follow it up, allowing him to prod home the rebound before being mobbed by his team-mates.

The second half was a backs-to-the-wall performance with commanding skipper Ben Judge ensuring goalkeeper Zac Smith did not have a real save to make as Cornard etched their name on to the cup.

Pruden said: “It may be a cliché but everyone really played their part. I looked at it and everyone had a good game and that is where the strength of the performance came from – we were not spectacular but we were efficient and performed really well.”

After setting out in a minibus for the short journey to Ipswich – compared to their opponents – Cornard had a pre-match meal prepared by Ipswich Town’s head chef before using the home dressing room and warming up on the pitch in front of the 587 crowd – packed with Cornard pupils, staff and parents.

Pruden played tribute to the army of Cornard fans and said they made a real difference on the day.

The whole team were set to be honoured in a special assembly at the school to mark their achievement.

Cornard: Zac Smith, Charlie Stevens, Jamie Ward, Connor Tucker, Craig Doherty, Ben Judge, Callum Henderson, Chilli Wolf, Johnathan Amos, Jack Housden, Josh Collins. Subs: Callum Smith (65’), Joe Lane (35’), Markuss Kohs (65’).