CROMPTON House School is only three wins away from lifting one of the most prestigious trophies in girls’ football.
Their Under 15s side is through to the last eight from a starting entry of 256 in the English Schools’ Football Association’s Playstation Under 15s Knockout Cup.
Already the team, including many who also play for Crompton FC, has progressed further than it has done before thanks to a narrow win over Sale Grammar in the last 16.
Next up they face Durham Johnston School from Bishop Auckland, County Durham for a place in the semi-finals. The game must be played on or before Saturday, February 3.
“I’m so proud of the girls,” said teacher and manager Faye McMahon.
“I only took over the side in September so I am more surprised than anyone.
“But we have deserved it and the girls have never reached this stage before.”
Crompton House began their run with a 2-0 victory over St Bede’s College.
They followed up with an away derby success against Newman RC College, Oldham.
By now the girls were really into their stride and hammered Chorlton High 9-0 to reach the last 32.
Opposing them next were Meadowhead School from Sheffield but the goals continued to flow.
A 7-2 success enabled Crompton to reach the last 16 and equal last season’s position.
Sale stood between them and the quarter-finals. The tie proved the closest so far with the hosts leading 1-0, 2-1 and 4-3 before Crompton came through to take the match 5-4.
“We knew Sale had a professional club Academy player in their side,” said Faye. “None of our girls are affiliated to an Academy so it is an even better result.
“There are some strong schools left in the competition and it could be they also have Academy players.
“But we think we can at least make the semi-finals and then see what happens from there.”
The rest of the draw is: Bottisham Village College (Cambridge and District) v The Friary (Cannock), King’s College Taunton v Stanley Park High (Sutton), The Eastwood Academy (Essex) v St Ivo School (Huntingdon) or Beaumont School (St Albans).
Meanwhile, the Under 12s are through to round three of their competition and face Trinity High School, Manchester.
At Under 14s level, Crompton House reached round five before a 3-1 home defeat to Haslingden High.