Wiltshire FA U18s 1 Somerset FA U18s 2
Five Bridgwater & Taunton College Team BTC Football scholars played a pivotal role in helping the Somerset County FA Under 18s Representative Team finally get their hands on the winners’ trophy at Royal Wootton Bassett FC. In a hard fought match on an excellent pitch Somerset finally clinched the trophy, a long 23 years after they last won the competition.
Ashton Granter (Electrical Engineer Apprentice), Keelan Gunningham, Ryan Brereton, Kofi Martin and Jordan Lovibond (all studying Sport Science and Coaching) all played key roles in this year’s county cup campaign, which rounds off another highly successful year for the Team BTC Football provision at the College. These players have also won the South West England Colleges FA League and starred in the Team BTC/Bridgwater Town FC U18 partnership squad that play in the South West Counties Youth League against the likes of Forest Green Rovers and Salisbury. Granter has also made his home debut for Bridgwater Town FC’s first team in the Southern League.
The first half started with Somerset dominating, and Lovibond’s quick play down Wiltshire’s left flank enabled a pin point cross to find the Somerset number 9 unmarked and he placed a powerful header past the Wiltshire goalkeeper to open the scoring.
Brereton nearly got on the score sheet in the opening two minutes of the second half as he took on the opposing full back near the by-line only to see his shot beat the keeper but roll across the goal line with no one following up to tap in the second goal for Somerset.
However, ten minutes later, Somerset went further ahead when Dom Baressi was brought down in the box with the referee pointing to the spot. The player picked himself up and coolly slotted home the penalty kick.
This second goal seemed to rejuvenate the Wiltshire team and they began to put Somerset under pressure. The pressure continued and eventually the efforts paid off when Wiltshire reduced the arrears with a fine shot into the corner of the net. Gunningham was brought on to seal up the back line and ensure that Somerset held on to a deserved win after an excellent all-round performance.
As part of the after match celebrations Lovibond, Martin and Gunningham were all presented with commemorative shirts and caps in recognition of reaching six appearances or more for the Somerset FA team.
Jamie Laird, Head of Team BTC Football provision at Bridgwater & Taunton College said,
“This was a fantastic win for the county and we congratulate everyone involved with Somerset FA team. We are delighted our players played such a key role in the cup final success and have had a further four players represent the Somerset FA side this year, which shows that for any aspiring footballer who wants to progress their football and also study for a career pathway of their choice this is the college of choice, as we have the breadth and depth of high quality provision and staff that can offer a clear and realistic football performance pathway for them. We offer scholarships to support players’ football and study commitments and are still recruiting for September”.
If you are interested in becoming a Team BTC Football scholar and studying at Bridgwater & Taunton College, you can find out more here.