Carre’s Grammar School’s superb run in the national U18s ESFA Hudl Schools Trophy came to an end at the quarter-final stages on Monday afternoon.
The Sleaford school were beaten 3-1 by Doncaster’s Balby Carr Community Academy just five days after booking their place in the last eight with a superb sixth round win in Burton-upon-Trent.
The visitors had the better of the game and took the lead, but they missed several opportunities to extend their lead.
Their profligacy came back to haunt them when they conceded three late goals.
Carre’s had a chance to equalise with a minute to go, but missed the target when clean through after what looked a push on our striker.
The killer third goal then came as the visitors were caught pushing men forward.
Head of PE and team manager Martin Wilson said their focus would now switch to defending their County League title.
“We’re obviously disappointed, but proud of the boys and their efforts throughout the cup run.
“We still have a chance to win the County League as long as we can get the games played that we had to postpone to accommodate our cup matches.”
A total of 424 teams from across the country had entered the competition back in September as the Sleaford sixth formers looked to add to the school’s proud cup record.
Under former coach Colin White and then Andrew Wilkinson, Carre’s current assistant head teacher, they reached three semi-finals and two quarter-finals between 2003 and 2014 and were beaten finalists eight years ago,
After thrashing Grantham’s Priory Ruskin Academy 10-1 and sweeping Tuxford Academy aside 9-1 in the opening two rounds, the sixth formers, coached by PE and sport advisor Matthew Evans, then dispatched Nottingham side Carlton le Willows Academy, 4-0.
Carre’s needed a last-minute winner to beat Leicestershire side Robert Smyth Academy in their first away test, and then knocked out last year’s runners-up Samuel Whitbread, from Buckinghamshire, 2-0, in round five.
They fell behind after just 30 seconds against John Taylor High School last Wednesday, but hit back superbly.
Against a side which had yet to concede a goal in their cup run, Carre’s struck three times to earn a 3-2 win and yet another quarter-final place.