Glory for Dacorum U13s as Liverpool are downed in the final at Goodison Park
The Dacorum Schools U13 football team have been crowned national champions after beating Liverpool Schools 2-1 at Goodison Park in the final of the ESFA Inter-Association Trophy.
The victory was the perfect end to an incredible season for the Dacorum team, who went the entire campaign unbeaten and also won the Hertfordshire Inter-Association Championship.
The U13s join the Dacorum SFA U15 side of 2011 as the only two Dacorum Schools football teams to win a national championship in over 100 years of national competition.
The final started slowly for Dacorum, with Liverpool having the majority of possession in the early stages, and the Merseyside outfit deservedly opened the scoring with a tidy volley from a cross midway through the first half.
As the nerves settled, Dacorum came in to the game and began to create chances. In the final minute of the first half, they were awarded a penalty and Isaac Pitblado calmly finished to send the teams in level at the interval.
Dacorum made several tactical and positional changes at half-time, which changed the whole dynamic of the match.
The quality of their football and ability to keep the ball led to several goal scoring chances and made it difficult for Liverpool to get back in to the game.
The winner arrived midway through the second half as Jack Harvey-Bailey finished from close range to put Dacorum 2-1 up.
Dacorum dominated the game from then on as Liverpool continued to struggle to gain possession, and it was the Dacorum boys who were left to celebrate an historic win.
The Dacorum squad was made up of: James Heward (manager, Hemel Hempstead), Jack Aldridge (Astley Cooper), Luke Cestrone (Tring), Jack Moriarty (Cavendish), Jake Edwards-Alley (Tring), Mason Brand (Hemel Hempstead), Scott Smith (Tring), Lewis Swindells (Longdean), Finley Sykes (Longdean), Mark Gatenby (Manager, Astley Cooper), Josh Ravenhall (Hemel Hempstead), Jack Sears (Tring), Sam Nolan (Ashlyns), Jack Harvey-Bailey (Astley Cooper), Elliott Hutchings (Kings Langley), Ross Gardiner (Hemel Hempstead), Isaac Pitblado (Hemel Hempstead).