Mandeville School’s under 18 football team are through to the last 16 of the National Schools after victory over Brooke House College in Leicester.
Mandeville’s under 18s, run by Wright Sports Academies, knew they were in for a tough challenge against the experienced international academy at Brooke House.
And so it proved for the first 20 minutes as the hosts settled the better of the two sides. But prolific Mandeville striker Leon Harding rounded off a perfect counter attack when he lobbed the Brooke House keeper to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
Aylesbury FC starlet Ollie Hogg and Rob Tomlin dominated midfield for Mandeville and TJ Bartley made some incisive runs down the wing as the visitors ended the half on top.
Just after the hour Mandeville made it 2-0 when Airron Francis converted a good half volley after Brooke House failed to clear a corner.
This proved to be the turning point in the game as with so much at stake, Brooke House put lots of pressure on the Mandeville goal trying to get back into the game.
But the reds were well marshalled by Adam McCauley and Greg Copcutt who held firm relying on the odd break away to relieve the pressure.
With nerves jangling, the tie was finally settled when Curtis Chapple latched onto a clearance and beat two defenders before calmly slotting past the home keeper to spark massive celebrations.
The team will play Stanley Park High School from Sutton, Surrey, on Friday January 24.