Young Louth footballers are blazing a trail for their school by making it to the last eight of a national cup.
King Edward VI Grammar School’s Year 8 side will line up in the quarter-finals tomorrow (Thursday) when they host Alban Academy, from Bedford, at the town’s London Road ground.
It is believed this year’s run is among the best in the school’s history.
The team, coached by Stuart Taylor, have swept aside five teams so far in the English Schools FA Under 13s Small Schools Trophy, including a thrilling 7-6 extra time victory in the last round earlier this month.
After a 140-mile trip to Lowestoft, in Suffolk, King Edward forced extra time with a last-gasp equaliser against Great Point Academy.
The visitors carried their momentum into extra time with two goals in the first period to go 7-5 up before Great Point scored a consolation with the last kick of the game.
Sam Jewel, who is having trials with Scunthorpe United, starred as he found the net five times, while Henry James and Joe Milner also chipped in with crucial goals.
Jewel’s switch from his accustomed centre-half position to leading the attack has proved a masterstroke in the cup run with four goals in the previous two rounds.
A total of 180 teams from across England entered the competition and after receiving a first round bye, King Edward swept past Lincolnshire rivals Skegness Grammar School 5-1 in the second round.
More county rivals awaited in round three where the Louth team edged past Caistor Grammar School 2-1 thanks to a Marsh double.
But the touchpaper was lit in the next round when King Edward travelled to Newark Academy and smashed eight past the hosts.
Marsh, James and Jewel all scored twice, with Hill and Smith grabbing the other goals to set up their trip to Lowestoft.
Taylor has plenty of experience in junior football as coach of Louth Old Boys under 13s, a team he has managed for the last seven years, with four of that team in his successful school side.
“Our head of PE told them to take it one game at a time,” he said.
“I thought we could struggle at Newark because they had a few players on Nottingham Forest’s books, but we beat them 8-2.
“Every time they have turned up and put in a performance, so hopefully they will do it again in the next round.”