King James Academy will play at The Hawthorns, home of West Bromwich Albion, after winning through to a national football final.

The Year 10 squad at the Royston school travelled to Poole for their semi-final in the ESFA U15 Small Schools' Cup final but returned with a 5-2 win over LeAF Studio.

Their run to the final has seen the score 34 goals in the five rounds, knocking out teams from Cambridge, Enfield, Kensington and Canterbury.

The Dorset hosts started the game convincingly with some good quality possession but the KJA defence made it difficult for them to get any shots away.

However, when the Royston school finally got hold of the ball, they made it count.

A free-kick 40 yards out, won after a foul on Alfie Smith, was swung into the box by captain Harry Ogilvie and after a deflection off a defender, it fell beautifully for Jake Emmett to poke home.

LeAF responded well though and grabbed and equaliser despite a good initial save from Corey Howe.

But that proved a temporary recovery and by half-time KJA had almost put the game to bed by scoring another three, all from Emmett.

The second came from the penalty spot after a hand stopped a James Lowden shot while the third was a clever lob after good approach work from Huw Maslen and Toby Pendrick.

Rushaun Cross picked up the assist for number four, giving it back to Emmett who twisted and turned and fired home with his left foot.

It had been a great half with full-backs Sujeevan Sathees and Charlie Woods doing an excellent job of frustrating the home side.  

There had been one down side, however, the threatening Tyler Thake forced to come off with a back problem although his replacement, James Corthine put on a masterclass in marking to keep the LeAF danger-man quiet.

More changes followed at the start of the second half, King James bringing on Billy Newman, Corey Miller and Lenny Murray to add fresh legs and new options.

And a second penalty, ably converted by Emmett after he was brought down, meant a late second for LeAF was a mere consolation.

Rob Dowler, head of PE and school sport at the Garden Walk establishment, said: "The team really rose to the occasion and put in another excellent performance.

"This is a huge achievement and one that doesn't happen very often for students or teachers.

"They need to prepare properly for the final but most of all they need to enjoy it in order to play their best football.

"After so much hard work and progress this year it will be fantastic to see them walk out in the final and make memories that will stay with them forever."

The final is scheduled to take place between May 22 and 25.


King James Academy: C.Howe, S.Sathees, H.Maslen, H.Ogilvie, C.Woods, J.Lowden, T.Pendrick, R.Cross, T.Thake, A.Smith, J.Emmett, B.Newman, C.Miller, L.Murray, J.Corthine.