Mandeville School’s U18 are through to the quarter-finals of the Schools National Cup after their amazing run in the prestigious competition continues.
The Wright Sports Academy-run team welcomed Stanley Park School from Sutton in South London, who like Mandeville, run a successful established football academy.
The game was a tight and nervy affair in the first half with neither team dominating possession.
But it was Stanley that took the lead after 25 minutes on their first real break into Mandeville’s box.
It was the spark the hosts needed and they equalised before half-time through Adam McCauley after a fantastic volley by Airron Francis was parried into his path.
Stanley Park were on top again, though, when they took a 2-1 lead against the run of play in the second half.
But Mandeville heads did not drop and they raised the tempo once again, Leon Harding heading home Ollie Hogg’s excellent free-kick.
Harding was proving the difference between the two sides and it was him again who won it for Mandeville with just 15 minutes on the clock.
He rifled an unstoppable shot into the top corner from the edge of the box prompting wild celebrations in front of a healthy home crowd. The team dug in to preserve the lead and safe passage to the last eight. Mandeville now travel to Colchester next Monday afternoon.