St Bonaventure’s storm to victory as they keep national title hopes alive

PUBLISHED: 16:04 25 October 2012

St Bonaventures school pic

St Bonaventures school pic


National Schools’ Cup

Barking Abbey 0

St Bonaventure’s 2

St Bonaventure’s Year-11 manager Chris Topping hopes his side can go all the way to the final after seeing his side progress to the fourth round with a 2-0 victory over Barking Abbey last Thursday.

Goals in the second half from two of their academy players, Darnell Depradine and Emmanuel Afolabi, managed to put them through to face Harris City Academy from Crystal Palace in the next round.

And alongside West Ham Academy boys Kevin Akins and Lemarr Douglas, Topping believes that gives them a good base to build their team around as they target the latter stages of the national tournament.

“That is a good strong core of Academy players there,” he said. “The rest of the lads play with each other at the weekend so that gives us a good team.

“The final is a realistic target. We have got as far as the semi-finals before, but if we can get to the final it will be a great achievement.”

In the early stages, Barking Abbey striker Jamie Cartney-Shand saw a good shot well stopped by St Bonaventure’s goalkeeper Sydney Eikio, before another effort went just wide of the target following a good run.

Slowly the visitors began to get into the game with an Afolabi effort cleared off the line.

And they stepped up a gear in the second period, before taking the lead when a ball over the top found Charlton Academy player Afolabi and he raced into the box, before slotting a cool finish into the top corner.

Brandon Johnson spurned a good opportunity for the hosts when he fluffed his chance wide with just Eikio to beat.

Topping’s team then hit the bar after Mitchell Victorin’s delicate ball over the top of the Abbey defence.

And they found goalkeeper Callum Chafer in top form, denying Afolabi a second and on numerous other occasions as they dominated the second period.

But late in the game they sealed the win when a corner could only be blocked by Chafer and it fell straight to Leyton Orient’s Depradine who tapped in from close range.

“I think we were a little bit slow to start and a little lackadaisical, thinking it was going to come a bit too easy at the start, especially from the big academy players,” added Topping.

“They stepped up in the second half and realised they needed to do a little bit more. I was happy with them in the second half and they certainly deserved the win.”

St Bonaventure’s: Sydney Eikio, Edwin Ohemg, Josh Victorin, Obed Agykum, Michael Teca, Lemarr Douglas, Patrick Ngambo, Kevin Akins, Mitchell Victorin, Keanu Parillion-Samuel, Emmanuel Afolabi. Substitutes: Onray Johnson, Darnell Depradine, Charles Brown-Bampoe, Emmanuel Umona, William Akins.

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