On Tuesday 19th January HDHS Yr 8s were visited by East Bergholt Yr 8. In sub zero temperatures and having played no games together since Year 7 you couldn’t have predicted what was about to unfold.
In the early stages it was Harwich who were the dominant side with Corey Loveday and Jack James causing the visitors problems at the back. The deadlock was deservedly broken on the 5 minute mark when Lewis Grubb was the first to react and slot the ball away from an inch perfect delivery from Mitchell Piercy. Harwich were caught napping and with some clever play from Bergholt no fewer than 30 seconds after the restart they were back on level terms. The midfield Partnership of Grubb and Sam Cooke were working tirelessly and the latter got himself on the scoresheet and Harwich back in the lead when he Cooly beat two defenders before firing the ball past Bergholts Keeper.
Full credit must again go to East Bergholt who hit straight back and were the team applying all the pressure. 2 quick fire, well taken finishes left Harwich 3-2 down with only minutes before half time. The way the first half had gone it was no surprise that Harwich weren’t finished yet and a well timed challenge from Louis Nicholson and clever pass from Daniel Pearson set up Tyler Eastwell who caught the opposition keeper off his line and exquisitely chipped him from no fewer than 30 yards. Half time 3-3.
The second half was no different to the first and it was end to end football from the start. Jack James came closest for Harwich when his one-two pass with Jay Ayling put him through on goal but his shot deflected up onto the crossbar. The Harwich defence of Josh Wells, Kyle Mallett, Jack Cottee, Liam Sanderson and Bailey Brundle all put in fantastic displays and at some point every one of them put in a goal stopping challenge or clearance. Harvey Rotchell in goal for Harwich pulled off some unbelievable saves and commanded his box exceptionally keeping Harwich in the game. With 15 minutes to play Bergholt once again took the lead when their impressive striker slotted calmly into the bottom corner leaving Rotchell no chance. Harwich said spirit from this point on was second to none and their determination got them back into the game, clever play from Brundle and Eastwell down the left wing resulted in a fine delivery into the box Darrion Cooper was first to react and volleyed home superbly to level the scores up once again. With only two minutes left to play the game looked as though it would fizzle out and a draw would on the balance of play have been a fair result. However Sam Cooke had other ideas. Josh wells won the ball back and threaded the ball through to Cooke who found himself 25 yards out, with seconds remaining there was nothing else to do but have a crack at goal and his shot thundered into the top corner and sealed the game for Harwich once and for all.
Both teams deserve full credit for the manner in which the game was played and how neither team were willing to give up and keep fighting until the very end for their School.
Final score Harwich and Dovercourt High School 5-4 East Bergholt High.