Students from Joseph Whitaker School had their dreams of playing at Wembley Stadium broken today [10th January] as representing Mansfield Town Football in the Community, the year eight girls were knocked out of the EFL Utilita Energy Girls Cup.
Joseph Whitaker were representing the Stags for the second successive year after winning our club final in November last year, but couldn’t quite match their performance from the previous season – being knocked out at the group stages of the Area three final.
Playing at Doncaster’s excellent Keepmoat Stadium, The Rainworth based students endured a tough start to the day, as despite scoring seconds into the match, fell to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Rotherham in the opening game.
Game two saw the Stags record a narrow 1-0 win over eventual finalists Hull City who were eventually beaten by Nottingham Forest, before a scrappy come from behind 1-1 draw against hosts Doncaster in game three setting up a tense finish.
Sheffield Wednesday made it tough for Mansfield scoring first, but a spirited display saw the Stags run out 3-1 winners – however results elsewhere, prevented further progression.
Emma Ridgeway, PE Teacher at Joseph Whitaker said “The girls put everything into it, they really tried hard and showed lots of effort and determination – we just needed a bit more consistency, but in terms of the effort and desire, I can’t fault it – I’m really proud of their effort.
“They get lots from it [participating in the tournament], obviously that resilience, but also the opportunity to come to different places and compete against different teams which I think is really important and valuable”
Gary Shaw, Community Manager, added “On a social aspect, the competition is huge – it gives so many people the opportunity to progress and develop, on and off the pitch. The girls today have done us proud, progressing further doesn’t matter, because in every game they’ve played, they’ve battled, worked hard as a unity, given it a go and most importantly played with a smile and freedom to enjoy the opportunity.”
Nottingham Forest were the eventual winners of the tournament and will progress to Preston next month to battle for a place at Wembley Stadium, Mansfield Town Football in the Community would like to wish them all the best and congratulate every person whose taken part in our participation of the competition this season.