GOLDEN eye Joe Grayson played through the pain barrier to fire Moorland School to a sensational cup double.
Proud dad Simon Grayson, manager of Preston North End, saw Grayson junior keep his nerve from the penalty spot as the Clitheroe-based school carried off the Under 15 Lancashire County Cup at Squires Gate with seconds to spare.
Grayson was off the pitch for 20 minutes after colliding with a metal barrier, injuring his back, but the goals galore striker returned to seal victory for Moorland and deny plucky runners-up Blackburn St Bede’s High School in a ding-dong cup final.
It means Moorland have collected two trophies this term, coming just a week since they were crowned the Independent Schools’ Football Association Under 16 Shield winners.
“It is a remarkable achievement, we are proud of every single of them,” said Moorland coach Charlie Jackson.
“The boys had to dig really deep for this one, but again they showed their character and resolve to win another trophy in their first season in this competition.
“We are a tiny school compared to others, just 175 pupils, so that makes this achievement extra special.”
Lancashire Schools’ Football Association secretary Mike Timberlake praised the spirit that the final was played in and congratulated Moorland on their double winning campaign, presenting captain Stefan Mols with the trophy.
Playmaker Mols struck first for Moorland in the 20th minute, but their lead was a short-lived one, Dexter Slater levelling the tie.
Grayson restored Moorland’s advantage with a well-crafted opportunity, however moments before the interval danger man Slater found the target again to keep St Bede’s firmly in the hunt.
It was nip and tuck in the second period, and just as the final was heading towards extra time, Grayson stepped up to win it for Moorland following a handball offence.
Proud Moorland headteacher Jonathan Harrison said: “To win a cup double is an extra special achievement and they have all done Moorland proud.”