LANCASHIRE Under 16s Schoolboys have reached the quarter finals of the ESFA Inter County Trophy thanks to a local touch.
Six members of the squad were from East Lancashire including goal scorer Joshua Emmott from Rossendale.
Emmott was joined in the county squad by fellow Rossendale schoolboy Matthew Read, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley pair, Roman Hickey and James Wolfenden, Chorley’s Mark Forshaw and Declan Forkin from Blackburn with Darwen.
While Lancashire ran out comfortable winners in the end, the first half was very even with neither team able to break the deadlock at Lancashire FA headquarters at the County Ground, Leyland.
Staffordshire started well, pressing high up the pitch and with both sides well-organised and hard-working with copious amounts of pace and skill from all the boys from both teams.
With the teams so evenly matched and with few chances created in the first half, it looked as though the first goal may well win the game.
And it was Lancashire who made the breakthrough early in the second half when South Ribble’s Harvey Close broke the deadlock with a brave header following an excellent cross from the right Lancashire gradually took control of the game and added a second goal from Close following another excellent cross from the right from Kit Gregory.
Emmott got on the scoresheet two minutes from time to wrap up the victory, although there was a hint of offside A suspiciously-looking offside goal two minutes from time from Josh Emmott sealed the win for Lancashire.
The draw for the quarter finals will be made at ESFA headquarters this week and can be found on the website esfa.co.uk.
* Lancashire U16s Schoolboys: Myles Boney (Blackpool), Joshua Emmott (Rossendale), Ben Anderson (Blackpool), Rahul Parmar (South Ribble), James Corbett (Blackpool), Roman Hickey (Hyndburn and Ribble Valley), McCauley Wilson (Blackpool), Kit Gregory (Blackpool), Jacob Anderson (Blackpool), Robson Hall (Preston), Matthew Read (Rossendale), Harvey Close (South Ribble), Sam Skidmore (GK) (South Ribble), Charlie Carpenter (Blackpool), Mark Forshaw (Chorley), Chris Clinch (Preston), James Wolvenden (Hyndburn and Ribble Valley), Declan Forkin (Blackburn and Darwen).
* Staffordshire U16s Schoolboys: H Pickering (Alleynes Stone), S O’Sullivan (Friary), T Renard (John Taylor Academy), A Morriss (Alleynes Stone), I Bowden (St Margaret Ward), D Mees (Wolgarston), B Fox (captain) (John Taylor High), R Finnie (Alleynes Utttoxeter), L Brown Staffordshire Univesity Academy), M Clarke (Friary), C Shaw (Landau Forte QEMS), O Ritchie (Alleynes Uttoxeter), T Dominic (Cardinal Griffin), J Lovatt (Trentham High School), W Nelson (Clayton Hall).